Politically Correct Double Standard

August 1, 2014

Reflecting further on how difficult it must be to relax and make offhand jokes if your world is a minefield of ever-changing PC taboos, I’m reminded of one of Jonah Goldberg’s newsletters.  He remarks that an offhand remark someone made about Indians was “utterly harmless” (true) but would risk the opprobrium of the humorless enforcers if made in their company.  He also makes an interesting point about the double standard involved in accusations of “micro-aggression”:

A “micro-aggression” is when you unintentionally say something (allegedly) insulting or insensitive that only an incredibly sensitive and politically programmed person would immediately take as a sign of oppression. Wikipedia tells me that “microinvalidations” are “communications that subtly exclude negate or nullify the thoughts, feelings or experiential reality of a person and their social identities.” It offers an example of such a microtravesty: “White people ask Latinos where they are from.”

. . .

So here’s the double standard. According to the doctrine of microaggression, if I innocently ask a Latino, “Where are you from?” I am committing some grave, bigoted, thought crime that the Latino has every right to be furious about. But when some lefty screams at me that I am a white supremacist racist blankety blank based on nothing other than some conjured offense drawn from Marcusian hogwash and hooey, I am not only supposed to stand there, take it, and feel guilty about it — I’m also supposed to repent of my evil ways. Asking a Latino “Where are you from?” might be a faux pas — or it might be a friendly way to start a conversation! But as far as aggressions go, it seems awfully micro, even nano, compared with being called a racist because you asked the question.

Funny story: Recently, the Dalai Lama visited AEI (Big hitter, the Lama). I was out of town for it, but Ramesh Ponnuru attended his talk. At one point, His Holiness turned to Ramesh and said something like “You’re from India, you know what I mean” (not exact quote). Ramesh replied, “Actually, I’m from Kansas.” Then Arthur Brooks apparently quipped something like, “Don’t worry your holiness, everyone in Kansas looks like Ramesh.”

Now, I think that’s all hilarious and utterly harmless. But apparently, what Ramesh should have done is stand up, point his bony finger of condemnation at the Dalai Lama, and scream in his best Cotton Mather voice “Microaggressor! Burn him!”

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Politically Correct Double Standard”

  1. Will S. Says:

    Reblogged this on Will S.' Culture War Blog and commented:
    Ah yes, those ‘microaggressions’ which somehow manage to get progs worked up on a lot larger than micro scale!

  2. gregdeane Says:

    Dorothy came from Kansas but she didn’t look Indian.


Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: