Oh, Come On Already: Nit-Picky Political Correctness
I tend to lean left. If you’re a regular here, you’ll know that about me by now.
Let it be said, too, that this left-leaning I do is done in a sea of right leaners. The pushback can be intense. It’s also a lonely lean at times, but lean I must.
See, I strongly believe in women’s rights, in common sense gun control, in reversing the damage we humans have done to our poor, put-upon planet, and in treating everyone regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, and sexual preference with equality, dignity, respect, love, and a helping hand when needed.
And when I see a case of blatant racism, misogyny or general disrespect, I’m the first one to call the offender out on it.
HOWEVER . . .
I’m a moderate on a few issues as well, and one of those issues happens to be nit-picky political correctness.
Are you surprised?
Let me explain with an example.
I ran across an article yesterday, written by a white author, that slammed this advertisement from Gap Kids for being racist.
Do you see why some folks are outraged?
No? Neither did I.
The thought goes that while the white girls are showing off their awesome yoga skills, the lone black girl is being used as an arm rest.
Okay, if that was intentional, that’s nasty. But was it intentional? It seems to me that The Gap, of all companies, is pretty fair-minded. They have Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. Their ads usually reflect a diverse group of people. And they sell clothing to girls with words promoting female attributes that would put a smile on even the most ardent feminists’ faces: “Adventure”, “Epic”, “Sports”, “Creative”, “Strong” with nary a single “pretty-in-pink princess” reference in sight.
So what gives?
My interest piqued, I Googled Gap Kids ads and found the advertisement below from last year about which I don’t remember hearing even one, single, solitary outraged peep.
To my knowledge, there weren’t masses decrying the intentional racism displayed by a black girl using a white girl as an arm rest.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s because no racism was intended.
As a white woman, I see six fierce girls dressed in casual clothing ready to kick some skateboarding butt.
What I don’t see is a black girl suppressing a white girl by indicating that her place in life is to hang out in her armpit.
I mean . . . come on already!
These photos are worlds away from Trump labelling undocumented Mexicans murderers or rapists or Ted Cruz suggesting we perform 24/7 surveillance on the homes of an entire religious group within our country. Despite what Trump claims, his hateful rhetoric has nothing whatsoever to do with political correctness. It crossed that line a mile back. As far as I’m concerned, these men’s messages are truly offensive and, given the position of power that both of them are seeking, they’re dangerous as well.
It seems to me that calling these Gap photos racist is looking for a fight when one simply doesn’t exist.
Calling them racist is also like the boy crying wolf. If we keep taking exception to relatively innocent things, our voices will go unheard when we call out truly harmful actions.
Perhaps instead of political correctness, we should focus on equal dignity and respect for all.
You know, one day when I’m feeling particularly feeble, you hold up my arm with your head, and I, yours, the next.
Perhaps, when we look at a Gap photo, we should begin with the thought that no harm was intended.
Perhaps we should all lighten up a bit.
What do you think?