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Old 01-31-2012, 03:41 PM   #16
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: On Civility, Political Correctness, Honesty, and Frankness

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post

The reference to Radio Mille Collines may be a little obscure for the average North American. Of those who know what they did, not many dispute their role in the Rwandan genocide, which did not only include inciting others to kill, but specific targeting, telling mobs where to find victims, many of whom died as a result. The RTLM leaders are in prison today for their role in the genocide. There is ample documentation of their trials. For that matter, in re: your reference to Nazi Germany, surely you are aware that hate speech as well as actions was prosecuted in the Nuremburg trials.

But I can tell I'm not getting through this way, so let me try another way. My point was a very simple one: the term "politically correct" has been so often misused as a tactic to shout down anyone who wants to raise the issue of civility (or lack thereof), and so transparently used as a fig leaf for those who hate being asked to be civil towards groups that they used to disparage without consequence, that it is a poor choice for someone who claims to value civility. You might want to consider who uses the term "PC" or "politically correct" most often, how they use it, what they mean by it, who they're aiming at it, and what their goals are. In my experience, far from being brave and independent free-speech warriors, those who complain about "political correctness" are most often bravely (from behind a screen) defending their right (?) to use the n-word or the f-word or to call women bitches or hos or use some other slur directed at some other historically stigmatized group. It is a deeply tainted term, and you can't use it in a manner that isn't stained with those associations. In a discussion on aikiweb, if what you mean to say is "orthodoxy" or "conformity" or some other word, then use that word. Use the whole language, that's what it's there for. But you keep saying "political correctness", and because of the way others have used it, all I can say is: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

I think that it is safe to say that we are simply talking past one another. I have been fairly consistent in clarifying the terms that I have been using. You seem to think that the posts on this forum are somehow disparaging and demeaning to certain groups and people. The posters have clearly tried to state that they are giving honest evaluations of what they see and not see. It seems to me that the people who are being discussed do not view themselves in that manner and thereby consider the comments to be uncivil, disparaging, I don't know what ever other words you would like to use. I simply do not agree with that position.

Who here have been hiding behind their screens? Most of us here have been trying to get certain people and groups to meet. The ones who seem to be feeling slighted are the ones not wanting to get out from behind their screens. Nothing I can do about that. Ledyard Sensei's post today clearly addressed that issue.

As to people who use the "N" word, bitch, slurs against other groups, I support their rights to display who they are and say things like that. If that is how some people would like to be viewed then fine. It's funny that within the black community is seems to be alright for some to call each other by the "N" word, but they would never condone that being said by a white person. it is funny that when we are mad, we might utter some of those offensive words ourselves without really representing what those words mean in a large sense of things. Not as black and white an issue as many would like to make it out to be.

Thank you for suggesting certain words that you would prefer that I use. I will take that into consideration. At the end of the day they are still words. Please remember that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will not hurt me unless I decide to allow them to. I think that many of us should do the same.

Marc Abrams
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