Everyone knows I have no tact, taste or decorum, but what isn’t clear to all is that is a conscious choice on my part. BUT, that sure doesn’t come without a hefty price. I have paid dearly on many levels, but I still try as hard as I can to cling what little personal integrity I have.
So what is PC exactly? When I lived and worked for a major university in the heart of the District of Columbia, I was given an HR handbook that outlined in exact detail what PC means.
It means keeping your mouth shut, PERIOD!
You don’t think for yourself, act like yourself, have your own thoughts, in no way shape or form are you to form, consider or express an opinion of any kind about another person, place or thing. Unless of course you were only around people of the same ethnic, religious and social background as yourself, and then, man you could just let it rip.
For me, I worked in an office with a Hindu Indian woman, a Muslim Arab man, a repressed Christian of unknown affiliations, a Protestant Hoosier, two fervent Catholics, a deaf Black man, an upper class Socialite and Debutante, an aging bigot female Dean, a very fat bureaucratic White man and a 20-something Jewish Baptist Buckeye (that’s me).
We discussed race, religion, politics, welfare, social issues and abortion to name a few. We had heated debates, loud arguments and MAJOR DIFFERENCES OF OPINIONS.
But as soon as we stepped out the door of out little world, we kept our mouths shut. As we visited the various departments around campus conducting university business we saw EVERY damn stereotype portrayed, displayed, conveyed and replayed. It was a microcosm of the world. We knew that showing emotion at the overt behaviors of those we encountered would be met with a letter from HR, “Thou shalt not be disgusted with people who are unwilling to get a clue and act like a person not a stereotype.”
But back in our world, we were given the extremely unique opportunity to discuss openly and explain these differences to each other from our own experiences and perspectives, and in the end we came away with a better understanding of ourselves and those around us.
I am EXTREMELY thankful for that time and I opened my ears and absorbed a lot. I am an entirely different person because of this and I learned that is it better to speak your mind and express your feelings than to make assumptions and carry them unchallenged.
Political correctness should only be a guideline for how to behave, not to think. Think, express, listen and understand – then be willing to say, “Damn, I was wrong.”