Tag Archives | Political Correctness

Sarah Silverman: Anger Over “Political Correctness” is a Sign of “Being Old”

“To a degree, everyone’s going to be offended by something,” Silverman said in an interview with Vanity Fair’s Krista Smith. “So you can’t just decide on your material based on not offending anyone. But, I do think it’s important, as a comedian, as a human, to change with the times. I think it’s a sign of being old if you’re put off by that.”

h/t AlterNet.

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Stewart Lee on Political Correctness

From 41st Best Stand Up Ever (2008). Commentary over the video is from Lee’s book, “How I Escaped My Certain Fate: The Life and Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian.”

“If political correctness has achieved one thing, it’s to make the conservative party cloak its inherent racism behind more creative language.”

“Even in my carefully filtered crowds, to which I attempt to apply the most thorough social-screening procedures, there could be trouble. When I did this bit in Hastings, where a sixteen-year-old Qatari student was randomly murdered by a white gang in 2008, some guys started shouting out ‘rag-heads, rag-heads’, and it was hard to plot a course back to the core of the routine as I saw it when the vibe of the room had been thus altered. They apologised, embarrassed, at the end, and I think they were just overexcited.”

“I’m absolutely sick of people blaming the restrictions created by health and safety culture, itself exacerbated in turn by a trend towards increased litigation, on the political and ideological doctrine of political correctness.… Read the rest

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Trigger Warning: How the Language Police are Perverting Liberalism

Jonathan Chait takes on the PC police and their trigger warnings in a lengthy article for New York Magazine:

trigger warning

…After political correctness burst onto the academic scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s, it went into a long remission. Now it has returned. Some of its expressions have a familiar tint, like the protesting of even mildly controversial speakers on college campuses. You may remember when 6,000 people at the University of California–Berkeley signed a petition last year to stop a commencement address by Bill Maher, who has criticized Islam (along with nearly all the other major world religions). Or when protesters at Smith College demanded the cancellation of a commencement address by Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, blaming the organization for “imperialist and patriarchal systems that oppress and abuse women worldwide.” Also last year, Rutgers protesters scared away Condoleezza Rice; others at Brandeis blocked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a women’s-rights champion who is also a staunch critic of Islam; and those at Haverford successfully protested ­former Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau, who was disqualified by an episode in which the school’s police used force against Occupy protesters.

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In Solidarity With a Free Press: Some More Blasphemous Cartoons

Glenn Greenwald writes at the Intercept:

Central to free speech activism has always been the distinction between defending the right to disseminate Idea X and agreeing with Idea X, one which only the most simple-minded among us are incapable of comprehending. One defends the right to express repellent ideas while being able to condemn the idea itself. There is no remote contradiction in that: the ACLU vigorously defends the right of neo-Nazis to march through a community filled with Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Illinois, but does not join the march; they instead vocally condemn the targeted ideas as grotesque while defending the right to express them.

Some of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo were not just offensive but bigoted, such as the one mocking the African sex slaves of Boko Haram as welfare queens (left). Others went far beyond maligning violence by extremists acting in the name of Islam, or even merely depicting Mohammed with degrading imagery (above, right), and instead contained a stream of mockery toward Muslims generally, who in France are not remotely powerful but are largely a marginalized and targeted immigrant population.
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