Twenty years ago the term Political Correctness was not found in any standard dictionary. Now both the term, and examples of it, are ubiquitous. The phenomenon of PC has grown to ridiculous proportions in the Western world, with no signs of leveling out. Each week brings a new example of the insanity of PC.
PC of course basically means the social pressure to not offend anyone, to make sure that every and any viewpoint, lifestyle or belief system are accorded respect and acceptance. This is part of the New Tolerance that has gripped pluralistic, multicultural postmodern society.
Thus is it politically incorrect to offend, ridicule or affront any minority group or special interest group. It is true, of course, that all people and cultures and races should be given proper respect. But the new PC differs from past understandings of tolerance and respect. In the past one could violently disagree with a person’s beliefs, philosophy, worldview or ideology, while still accepting and respecting the person.
All that has now changed. Today we are expected to embrace everyone’s beliefs and lifestyles as well. No culture, no habit, no practice and no belief is to be marginalised, dismissed or rejected. (There is of course one major exception, namely the Christian religion in particular, and white male Western culture in general, but never mind such obvious double standards. PC is not particularly consistent here.)
The latest example of PC comes from suburban Melbourne. Hume Council has declared that ham and pork will no longer be available for any Council function. The reason? Twelve per cent of the area’s population is Muslim. It is “out of respect” for this minority that all Hume residents will be denied a good ham sandwich, at least at any official function.
It seems that some open minds obviously need to be closed for repairs. This is just an example of political correctness gone mad. Where will it all end? This is not a question of tolerance and respect for other religions. Indeed, even the Islamic Council of Victoria thinks it is a stupid idea.
A number of questions of course come to mind over this affair. There are evidently 132 different ethnic backgrounds represented in the Hume area. Can we expect to see a further 131 bans on various items to placate every single ethnic grouping? The potential, to say the least, is mind-boggling:
-Will the Council also ban meat pies if 12% of the local population are vegetarian?
-Will it ban Aussie Rules if 12% of the population are Rugby League followers?
-Will it ban churches if 12% of the population are atheists?
-Will it ban cars if 12% of the population are bike riders?
-Will it ban families if 12% of the population are swinging singles?
-Will it ban music if 12% of the population are tone deaf?
-Will it ban medicine if 12% of the population are Christian Scientist?
-Will it ban blood transfusions if 12% of the population are Jehovah’s Witness?
-Will it ban clothes if 12% of the population are nudists?
The list could go on and on. One is even tempted to ask, will it ban the Hume Council if 12% of the population thinks it is a waste of ratepayers’ money?
As Brigadier Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby has correctly noted, “The Army has been hosting soldiers from Muslim countries for decades and has always simply ensured that suitable food was available and any containing ingredients which might cause a Muslim problems were labeled. Many of us like pork and ham. Councils should not be setting examples like this, that simply indicate to new arrivals that if they keep pushing hard enough we can make Australia like the places they fled. Perhaps we could next place our women in chadors for all Council functions.”
The ban is just plain dumb. Indeed, the move is not only downright foolish, but discriminatory as well. Ordinary Australians realise this. It appears that it is only public servants and bureaucrats who are so out of touch with the real world. As an example of the overwhelming public disapproval of the ban consider a Herald Sun telephone vote line on the issue. In what must have been a record, a massive 5333 votes were cast. Of these, 97.7 per cent (or 5207 voters) opposed the ban.
This is another example of how PC is really entrenched amongst our intelligentsia, opinion makers and politicians, – the ruling elite – but not necessarily our ordinary citizens. While a ban on ham sandwiches may not mean the end of Western civilisation as we know it, the intolerance and discrimination that it entails are whittling away at the very foundations of freedom and democracy in the West. Dictatorships and police states can just as easily (and more sinisterly) emerge from good intentions as from evil designs.