For some reason, there is this incredible policing going on about the use of certain words. All being done in the name of equality, racism, sexism, etc… I, personally, have used just about every term in the English language. I harbor no hatred, racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and any other prejudices. While I may be guilty of saying them, I am most certainly NOT guilty of hatred.
The PC police have gotten out of control, plain and simple. How many people have seen and laughed at the movie “Blazing Saddles”? Mel Brooks is a very well respected director/producer. He also happens to be very very funny. Yet, is there any chance that movie could be made today?? It was all written in jest and many of my friends, black and Jewish included, find his movies hysterical. truth be told, they are just funny movies. They are even classified as comedy. Today, the mere verbalizing of many words will bring a protest against you or, worse, claims of hatred/bias/prejudice. Vince Vaughn made a joke, referencing gay people, in a movie. It really was just a joke. Yet, activists out there made a big deal about and wanted to know what it is teaching our children. Ron Howard, director of the movie “The Dilemma”, is a well respected actor/director/producer. It is ridiculous to suggest he is bashing anyone or any group.
This is all getting blown out of proportion. I have friends from many different walks of life and lifestyles. Living on both coasts and spending a lot of my life in two of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, New York and Los Angeles, I am exposed to many cultures. The PC police are really hypocritical. If you want the entire population to stop saying the word “fag” or some derivative of it, then ask the gay population to stop using it. A very close friend is gay. We go out bar hopping and, at times, we go to a gay bar in West Hollywood. I hear that word thrown around all night. Are they exhibiting signs of hatred and homophobia? Why is it ok for them to say it and not a heterosexual? Not a single time have I been asked to curb my language when I am there. The reason being, I speak like them NOT in the vein of hatred. If it is a bad word to say, then it is bad for everyone to say. Period. Many words are used in jest and that is all that is meant by it.
Ever listen to rap/hip-hop? How many racial epitaphs are said in that genre? Why hasn’t the PC police charged them? How many songs are misogynistic, suggest all women are “hos”, etc… Why does the media not crack down on them? The rapper Common was invited to the White House by the Michelle Obama, herself. As an African-American woman, should she have been offended by his lyrics? Common has a song titled, “Real Nigga Quotes” and it includes the lyrics, ” This Craig nigga stole a style and ain’t take the tag off, Playin yourself, you can’t come with it, so you jack off”. Where was the outrage on this? How could he be invited to the White House to read poetry using those words?? I, personally, believe he is exercising his right to free speech. The First Amendment gives him the right to say that and he should be allowed to say what he wants or write how he feels like. If I were offended, I can simply turn it off. My issue is with the powers that be. Common is allowed to say those things and his race is not offended because he is one of their own. If a Caucasian were to say the same thing, the media would be up in arms, they would be branded a hater, racist, etc… If it is wrong for me to say it, it is wrong for him to say it. Wrong is wrong. I do not think the words are bad, the context and meaning are what makes any statement bad, hurtful, or filled with hatred.
I have a friend in Los Angels that is a white female in her early 30s. She is completely caught up in being politically correct, at all times. She has blasted me for some of the choices of words I use and says she is greatly offended by it. How is she offended? I am not making any comment about a white female. How is anyone offended about something they can not relate to? There are things that I find offensive and/or terms. I will not use them in ANY way. If I did and then were to be upset because someone else uses them, that only makes me a hypocrite. I am offended by them and will NEVER use them under any circumstance. My female friend went off on her high and mighty PC routine one night when we were hanging out with my gay friend. He told her to shut up. He told her she was lost. She was completely at a loss and had nothing to say for a good five minutes.
Recently there have been some unpleasant things happen during a professional hockey game. Wayne Simmonds, an African-American player on the Flyers, was exposed to an ugly incident. A fan threw a banana peel on the ice as he skated in on goal. The meaning is fairly obvious, to all but the thrower and his attorney. They, of course, claimed the fan was trying to impede the players ability to get a goal. Nonsense. Simmonds’ remarks after the game were of class and taking the high road. He blew it off as a show of ignorance and left it at that. Did not look for sympathy, play the race car or look to turn it into a PSA. The less attention given to such acts of stupidity, the better.
Fast forward several nights later and he had a 180 degree turn around. It was he that used a “bad” word. He called another player on the ice a “f*cking f*gg*t” It was clear on all the video replay he said it. He danced around the question in a post game interview and said he did not remember all the things that were said. The player he said it to was Sean Avery. Avery is a hotbed of controversy and has been for years. He recently came out in defense of gay marriage and helped pass the law in the state of New York. When questioned about the remark Simmonds said, he said he thought it was wrong and could not imagine someone using those words. He is being castigated by the media and fans of the NHL as being a hypocrite. He has said some pretty severe things in the past and now he was looking for sympathy, so says the majority. What was he supposed to do? He did not bring it up, he answered a question. He recently stood in defense of marriage equality; how could he not have made those remarks?? The fact that he has said questionable things in the past does not mean it is okay to say the words that were said to him that night.
I played hockey for twenty years, I can tell you that what Simmonds said is far from the worst thing I have heard on the ice. I have heard many comments about peoples mothers, children, girlfriend or wife. When the game is over, it stayed on the ice,. No one really meant to demean anyone’s family members. It was meant to get a reaction and hopefully a goal or power play. They were words. That is all they were. The First Amendment say all Americans can use them. We can not alter the right of free speech to not include certain words. Especially when the words that are “bad” are used as common place by the groups they offend.
Words are just that, words. How they are grouped together and the context they are used determines if they are racist, homophobic, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, etc.. Believe me, one can offend any group without using the so called “bad” words, just ask anyone that has truly experienced prejudice.
Kobe Bryant was recently fined for using the same term that Wayne Simmonds used. He then was ordered to give a PSA speaking out against homophobia. Maybe he did it because he was required or maybe he did it because he truly has no hatred towards someone because the are homosexual. I would hazard a guess, that if he was presented with a very strong opportunity to win another championship but only if a gay player were to join his team, he would jump at it. I would bet Wayne Simmonds would, too. I do not for a second believe Wayne Simmonds is homophobic, insensitive maybe, homophobic, no.
Stop policing vocabulary and start paying attention to the context of what is being said.