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Mini-Rant : PC and Loathing in L.A. - Micole Khemarrica
khromat
khromat
Mini-Rant : PC and Loathing in L.A.
You know, it's one thing to educate an ignorant populace about word connotations that are prejudiced. Only a black person can say "nigger" and get away with it, for example. But it's a completely different thing to demand the revision of history for the sake of appeasing the politically sensitive. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and revising history does not change it.

Removing all evidence of slavery and subjugation in the continental US is denying an important part of how we got here. It's not necessarily nice, it certainly isn't pretty, but wiping it clear from memory is more a disservice to those who lived and died in those times than any derogatory behavior today. And, while I approve the Jeffersonian ideal of keeping religion out of secular government, that doesn't mean every referential instance that even implies a religious link needs to be removed from government seals and such. That's denying that religion had any part in the history of our country, and that's just outright bull.

I grew up in the shadow of Los Angeles County and later had residence there, so even if I've not lived there in a decade I still keep an ear out for news. Here's two pieces that lead to my current frust:

The cross that changed a 53-year old government seal

Politically Charged Words of 2004

Now, the first is a case of that religious-secular split, where the ACLU threated a lawsuit against the Board of Supervisors because of a *tiny* cross in the seal -- never mind that the major figure in the seal was a greek goddess, or that a Masons symbol was also on the seal. At least when the Board folded to the pressure to ammend the seal, they did it right and looked at all aspects of it and changed more than just the cross.

The second is a case of Political Correctness gone overboard, with a purchasing department of the same Board of Supervisors banning a common term of a computer component in all documentation, just because they get the heebie-jeebies over the term Master/Slave (for the primary and secondary IDE items on a chain).

Folks, nobody is calling a Primary Drive a 'cracker' and it's dependant secondary drive a 'nigger'; they aren't being labeled to hurt their feelings. These are non-living, non-sentient, machine parts for stars' sake! And to think that calling a piece of silicon and metal a 'slave' is somehow striking out at the African-Americans' slave ancestors is ludicrous. The terms 'master' and 'slave' were not chosen randomly, but neither were they chosen to malign anyone. It describes the hierarchial relationship of a dominant (high priority) component and its dependant (lower priority) component. Period. End of story.

I have to wonder, though, when the ACLU is going to start hitting cities for their religiously-based names... you know, San Diego, L.A. ("The City of the Queen Of Angels" is a paraphrasing of the city's full name), St. Louis? Are Purgatory, CO and Hell, MI and all the other towns like them going to be required to change their names? While the obvious answer should be "no", for some people it's not as obvious... and that bothers me.

Current Mood: pensive pensive
Current Music: Blue Man Group - Sing Along

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Comments
twentythoughts From: twentythoughts Date: December 3rd, 2004 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)
If people were sensible about political correctness, there wouldn't -be- something called "political correctness" :) At least the cartoons are getting less PC again these days.
doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: December 3rd, 2004 11:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, most of us here in L.A. have been going WTF over this as well.

Of course, there's just as many examples of stupidity in the other direction.
shockwave77598 From: shockwave77598 Date: December 3rd, 2004 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I've long said that people who cause a ruckus over such little things don't have enough to worry about. Here in Houston, there's a woman threatening to sue the elementary school because the song "Redneck Christmas" has the words "Dixie Flag" in it. Waah! Racism! Waah!

kagur From: kagur Date: December 3rd, 2004 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

ACLU

I didn't care for the ACLU's attack on the seal of the city of Redlands, and their subsequent attack on the seal of L.A. County. These seals have harmed no one, and it cost money L.A. County could ill afford to spend on changing the seal. The ACLU took the division of church and state too far, in my opinion. I would rather see such money helping people than spent bowing down to politically correct zealots.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 6th, 2004 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome to the world of "word magic", Lisa.

-- N. C. Shapero (who is just who you think he is).
slothpuck From: slothpuck Date: January 21st, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I think you're right with the removal of religion from politics: if one religion is attached to policies, it means anyone who does not believe in that religion can no longer obey the law. In effect, it is an indirect way of pushing one religion onto others, something which is a bad thing.

The whole "slave/master" thing sounds a little silly to me to be honest, as the terms slave and master can have other meanings. It dosen't just refer to slavery.

The symbol however of a cross I don't think is right purely because symbols can be very powerful, evocative and decisive things. Just look around you: how many symbols can you see? How do you relate to them? If you go out and eat "fast food", can you name or describe the resturant's symbol? What meaning does it have? In a lot of cases symbols have a great deal of meaning, so I can understand why others would indeed be offeneded by them.

SP
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