Douglas Bastard's Rants of Rage

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This article was written on 27 Mar 2016, and is filled under Uncategorised.

PC gone sane

‘“It’s PC gone mad.” Behind this tatty, shopworn banner march all manner of credulous idiots who would absolutely hate it if tables were turned and people started telling them what, in their minds, was the truth. That’s because what is derided as ‘PC’ is, to me, simple politeness. I don’t go out of my way to offend people who have done nothing to me because I’m not an idiot who thinks that people finding what I say or how I behave offensive is some sign of intellectual rigour. The same, however, is not true for everyone.

Imagine if one of these people was in a shop. They wanted to make a purchase. And the shop assistant replied “Alright, you fat old cow,” looked at the chocolate cake which was in her basket and commented “I doubt you should be eating that, judging by the state of you. Why don’t you put it back and buy some mung beans instead?” Now that’s utterly offensive and the shop assistant who said that would rightly be fired. But why?

Well, because the customer won’t shop there again and will walk away with an unbelievably bad impression of the shop that will be passed on to her friends and relatives. This is the stuff of retail armageddon and gives store managers sleepless nights. So why should you expect to do the same when you see a Muslim woman who you ask to explain some terrorist atrocity? The answer is very simple. You shouldn’t, because it’s rude. And if her husband happens to see that you’ve upset her and threatens you, then you can’t really complain.

Labelling things they happen not to like as ‘PC gone mad’ is the last redoubt of people who think that having to share physical space with people who aren’t like them and who dare to have a voice is beyond the pale. You can see it the horrified response to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, which dared to point out that killing black people was probably a Bad Thing and was rewarded by some very angry white people who didn’t want it brought to their attention.

This is also evidenced by the rise of Donald Trump, a man so laughable, so orange and with such a monstrous combover that he shouldn’t exist. He’s an expression of these people’s desperate and utterly inarticulate anger, making noises about banning Muslims from America, building walls and all manner of other muddle-headed things. The ‘PC gone mad’ crowd love this, because they think he’s been saying that ‘they aren’t allowed to say.’ If you aren’t allowed to say it, then it’s because your employer would lose money or lose the trust of people in the group you’re witlessly attacking. For the rest of the time, you can say what you want, to whom you want, but people might think you’re an absolute twat unfit for normal life.

If people are to be allowed to accost random strangers based on what they think their religion or ethnic status might be, we’re in for interesting times. Each time a Palestinian dies in Israel, can we go to Golders Green, find someone who might be Jewish, and ask them to justify it? If a woman is raped by a white guy, can we go into Haywards Heath and ask a random white man to explain it away for us? Or if we meet an American, can we ask them what they think of the fact their country royally screwed up Iraq and Afghanistan and killed thousand upon thousands of people and flouted the rule of law? No?

Should I be the random white bloke in Haywards Heath, asked to justify rape, I’d wonder what on Earth the person who accosted me had been smoking. If they did it aggressively enough, I might think that some kind of robust physical response was necessary in which I might need to restrain them and summon the authorities, so that they received the care they needed. More than this, I think there should be laws in place to stop people from choosing to remonstrate with people based on nothing other than their physical appearance.

Supposedly, this is ‘PC gone mad.’ But it isn’t. It’s politeness that has to be legislated because there are so, so many idiots. If I worked with someone who was trans, I’d refer to them however they wanted me to refer to them because I’m a normal human being with normal powers of empathy. I wouldn’t refer to them by their old name or old pronoun because that’d be rude and desperately stupid. That isn’t ‘PC gone mad,’ it’s just politeness. Calling them by their old name and pronoun isn’t speaking truth to power, or being a fearless iconoclast, it’s being a twat.

And that’s where this finally rests. If you flout ‘PC’ with the intention of causing offence there are two possible ways you can be described. Firstly, you could be ill, in which case, I’ve been there and, intermittently, I am there. Get help. Secondly, you might just be a twat. In which case, I’d recommend spending time with the minorities and other people that you demonise, but that’s probably a waste of time. The rest of us will have to remain vigilant. There are idiots out there and they want social rules abandoned and that would hurt all of us.

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