Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 11, 2008 / 8 Tamuz 5768

The black hole of extreme political correctness

By Jonah Goldberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At a recent meeting of city officials in Dallas County, Texas, a small racial brouhaha broke out. County commissioners were hashing out difficulties with way the central collections office handles traffic tickets. Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield found himself guilty of talking while white. He observed that the bureaucracy "has become a black hole" for lost paperwork.


Fellow Commissioner John Wiley Price took great offense, shouting, "Excuse me!" That office, the black commissioner explained, has become a "white hole."


Seizing on the outrage, Judge Thomas Jones demanded that Mayfield apologize for the "racially insensitive analogy," in the words of the Dallas Morning News' City Hall Blog.


Houston Chronicle science blogger Eric Berger notes that everyone should be "very glad that the central collections office has not become a white hole, a theoretical object that ejects matter from beyond its event horizon, rather than sucking it in. It wouldn't be fun for Dallas to find itself so near a quasar."


Maybe so, but speaking metaphorically, if it were a white hole, that might suggest central collections was actually doing its job, ejecting paperwork in a timely fashion.


Call me nostalgic, but there was a time when this sort of stupidity actually generated controversy. Remember the Washington, D.C., official who used the word "niggardly" correctly in a sentence only to lose his job? That at least generated debate.


But these days, stories like this vomit forth daily and, for the most part, we roll our eyes, chuckle a bit and shrug them off.


Obviously, there's something to be said for ignoring the childish grievance-peddling that motivates so much of this nonsense. But the simple fact is that ignoring political correctness has done remarkably little to combat it. Meanwhile, people who make a big deal about it are often cast as the disgruntled obsessive ones.


The only people allowed to take political correctness seriously are the writers for "South Park," "Family Guy," "The Simpsons" and the like. Of course, they take it seriously because it's their bread and butter to mock the absurd pieties of daily life. But nearly everywhere else, the rule of thumb is that we should either defer to this stuff or quietly ignore it.


Now, I don't want to paint with too broad a brush. There is stuff that gets labeled political correctness that is entirely defensible. Because of the erosion of traditional authority that has marked the last half-century, for good and ill, society has been forced to re-create what defines good manners largely from scratch. Women, blacks and other historically marginalized groups have finally and deservedly gained an equal place in society. Treating fellow citizens with respect and dignity shouldn't be lumped in with the more radical agenda that also exploits political correctness.


For example, ditching the word "colored" from the vocabulary when it comes to describing blacks might have been seen as political correctness by many in the 1960s (though the phrase wasn't widely used), but that in no way means it wasn't the right thing to do. Or consider the idiots who shouted "iron my shirt" at Hillary Clinton (assuming it wasn't staged to help Clinton burnish her victim status). That's not bravely fighting political correctness. It's just rude and stupid.


But there's a separate agenda that parasitically clings to the more defensible aim of crafting new good manners. The left uses Western society's admirable desire not to offend to bludgeon competing ideas and arguments. Inconvenient facts are ridiculed as "insensitive." Refusal to go along with the multicultural agenda, for example, is cast as a sign of backwardness and bigotry. We're told we must have a frank conversation about race, but when conservatives take up the challenge, they are immediately demonized for the insensitivity of their honesty.


One of my favorite recent examples is when Newt Gingrich argued last year that bilingualism makes it more difficult for Hispanics to learn English, which has the unfortunate result of leaving some Latinos trapped in the "ghetto." He was immediately denounced by the usual suspects and forced to issue an apology, which he promptly did.


Harvard President Lawrence Summers was tarred and feathered after merely hypothesizing about the data on cognitive differences between the sexes.


In Britain this week, the National Children's Bureau advised that day-care centers treat aversion to unfamiliar foreign food by children as "racist." It was also reported that two children were punished for their bigoted refusal to kneel and pray to Allah in a religion class.


This strikes me as something beyond mere tolerance. This is will-to-power masquerading as tolerance. This sort of thing needs to be resisted, because there is no end to where thinking like this can lead. Indeed, if it doesn't cause too much offense, one could even say it's a black hole.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column click here.

Jonah Goldberg Archives

© 2006 TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles