I propose a name change for this great Union of ours.
Instead of ‘The United States of America’ (USA) how bout ‘The United States of So Fucking Sensitive About Shit’ (USSFSAS).
I blame our legal system where any yahoo can claim “emotional distress” and sue almost anyone for an insane amount of money.
I also blame our stifling culture of political correctness. Nowhere is this more painfully clear than in my former field of higher education. In one of my identity classes, I remember throwing out this gem of a sentence:
“From the lens of hetero-normative behavior, I feel that the queer community tends to be vulnerable to both explicit and implicit forms of bias and tend to withdraw into homosexually-homogeneous safe spaces.”
It felt like tip-toeing through a minefield in the middle of a Prop 8 rally.
Look, almost every minority group in the history of the world has some gripe. Some, of course, are legitimate like in the case of the Tutsis or the Native Americans.
But I feel that most of the time, groups just like to weaponize their specialized knowledge to carve out their own defensive postures. Most of the time, good-intentioned novices get caught in the cross-fire.
GOOD EXAMPLE: I was shocked to hear an advocate of the hearing-impaired community (aka deaf people), argue that efforts by hearing-specialists to surgically fix, or cure deafness, amounted to genocide because it would eliminate the culture of hand-signing communicators.
Really? Genocide? That’s the word you would use right there? I would have used the term ‘Miracle cure’ or remarked that if Helen Keller was still alive, she’d at least be able to hear people tell her how much of an inspiration she was. But ok, I guess genocide works too.
In our effort to be politically correct, we often-times lose the message. I’m an ethnic minority, so I’m no stranger to political insensitivity. And I’ll be honest, it irks me. But I’d much rather have someone treat me honestly (ask me if I know Kung-Fu) than for some college-educated mid-western liberal call me an Oriental-American.
The actual inspiration for this post comes as I was trying to do some studying in the library. I was trying to get some work done but there’s a table full of the “hearing impaired” sitting directly in front of me.
At first, I was fascinated by how they communicated. A brilliant mix of hand signing, facial expressions, and body movements.
But then I realized that I was so absorbed into their conversation that I couldn’t get any work done. As much as I tried to focus on my work, all I could see was wild-hand flailing. I mean, this is a library after all. Should the ‘No Talking Rule’ apply to only those who use their vocal chords?
That doesn’t seem fair. Not fair at all.
Does anyone know what the hand signal for “Hey, can you keep it down? I’m trying to do some work” is?
Or is that politically incorrect?