Repeat after me: “I am free.” Yes, you are free. You live in the United States of America, the greatest country in the world. You live in one of the very few countries that guarantees to protect your freedom of speech, thought, religion, assembly, and press. You can post your opinions on the internet, protest the government, and engage in open dialogue. Ladies and gentlemen, life is good here.
But in the midst of our blooming society here in the United States, something’s penetrated the atmosphere. Something that seeks to restrict our First Amendment right and freedom of thought—we call that “political correctness.”
What exactly is political correctness? Political correctness is defined nowadays as refraining from doing, saying, or even believing certain things for the fear that they will be considered inappropriate or offensive to a certain group of people. Political correctness today however, seems to be defined as refraining from saying certain offensive things to one group of people, but being able to insult another.
Respect is needed, and there are probably a lot of sinful, not exactly respectful things that we think about on a daily basis. For the sake of decency, we usually decide to refrain from speaking about those things. This notion, however, seems to have taken a turn towards the extreme—an extreme that consists of a very evident and harsh double-standard against conservatives.
Director and writer Mel Brooks said it best:
“We have become stupidly, politically correct, and that is the death of comedy.”
We live in a different time nowadays, a far different time from when Mel Brooks was still directing his hit comedy film Blazing Saddles. Racist jokes aren’t funny, and never have been, period. But, make an inappropriate joke today that sounds even remotely racist, and you run the risk of losing your job—at least if its only directed to a certain group of people. We all saw this with Roseanne Barr, host of the Roseanne Show on ABC.
Roseanne Barr is far from being a conservative and a Trump Supporter. But, when she made a joke about former Obama staffer Valerie Jarrett, ABC was quick to jump right in and cancel her show for good. Barr compared Jarrett, an African American, to an ape. According to Roseanne, she was not aware that Jarrett was African American. Even after issuing a public apology, Roseanne’s show was still to be cancelled.
Did ABC do the right thing in firing Roseanne? Yes. Did Roseanne go too far with her joke? Definitely. Making sure your employees maintain a good reputation for your company is all fine and dandy, but this has to be done across the board.
The problem is not with what Roseanne said and the measures ABC took to punish her, the problem lies in people’s reaction towards the situation versus another situation that was just as vile and hateful.
Joking about the President and having comedy involving politics is fine. Just a quick click on your Google search bar and you can find an endless sea of memes about Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama, and even Trump himself. Everyone made fun of Bill Clinton for sounding like a drug addict, Obama was made fun of for having big ears, and we can never hold back our laughter when we hear a comedian do a George Bush impression. I even regularly do exaggerated Trump impressions around the house. A little bit of harmless comedy is fun, and it can even be relieving after a long stressful day. But, that doesn’t seem to be the kind of comedy we are receiving from American comedians nowadays.
Threats need to be taken seriously. But apparently, “joking”about murdering the President and scaring his ten year old son to death is considered “politically correct” and not worthy of being taken seriously. Kathy Griffin, a comedian, filled headlines and shocked the nation when she posted her iconic Islamic State-style picture of her holding a decapitated, bloody Trump head on social media.
Radical Leftists responded much differently than in Roseanne Barr’s case. The Left was very quick to denounce Barr’s actions, but praised Griffin’s. Fortunately however, Griffin received criticism from both moderate liberals and conservatives alike, urging CNN to take action. According to First Lady Melania Trump, who was at home with her ten-year old son Barron during the incident, Barron saw the picture on TV and immediately thought the fake, bloody head belonged to his father. Melania publicly denounced Kathy Griffin’s hateful act, stating that Barron was traumatized and very freaked out about the incident. CNN fired Griffin from its New Year’s Eve broadcast due to increasing backlash, a good move on CNN’s part. Initially Griffin apologized, but has recently revoked her apology and taken to attacking other members of the Trump family with vitriolic rhetoric.
I used to love Johnny Depp. I can’t seem to forgive him about one thing—last year, Depp made a joke about assassinating Trump in front of a cheering crowd in England. “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” Depp asked. The crowds went wild. After making headlines, Depp later realized his mistake and issued an apology the next day. However, he was not fired from future projects by Disney or from the current job he holds. I would never think that Johnny Depp, an iconic actor loved by children and young fans around the world, would go so low as to make a joke hinted at assassinating an American president. Are these the kinds of people that our society should idolize and revere?
Another comedian, Samantha Bee, took a jab at Ivanka Trump back in June during the so-called immigration crisis. Bee pinned the crisis on Ivanka, and called her a “feckless c*nt” on her show Full Frontal.
Ok, let’s cool off for a bit. That was a lot to take in. That vile word is just about the worst insult you can use against any woman. Ivanka Trump, a woman of class, sophistication, and honesty, did not deserve to receive such a disgusting insult. Samantha Bee issued a forced apology shortly after, but kept her job.
In the most disturbing case thus far, star and actor Peter Fonda suggested that Barron Trump should be raped and “thrown into a cage of pedophiles.” At the time Peter Fonda tweeted this, he was working on an upcoming filmed named Boundaries for Sony productions. Even though Fonda apologized after receiving backlash, Sony did not fire him for his comments. Needless to say, mama bear Melania was not pleased with an old creep like Fonda attacking her little boy. Melania requested that the Secret Service immediately investigate Fonda, after which he issued his apology.
Now imagine if Peter Fonda had tweeted that Malia or Sasha Obama needed to be lynched—Sony would have fired Fonda in the blink of an eye. No attack or threat on the president’s child, whether it’s Malia, Sasha, Barron, or Ivanka, should be tolerated by anyone. No company, no corporation, and no individual should be letting this happen. No matter how much you dislike Donald Trump, it does not give you the excuse to make such vile and disgusting threats upon his children and family.
Barron and Ivanka aren’t the only members of the Trump family to be attacked by leftist comedians and celebrities. This string of attacks has made its way to members of the Trump cabinet as well. During the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year, the media decided to invite comedian Michelle Wolf.
Normally this would be fine, as having a comedian making everyone laugh could definitely ease the current tensions between the mainstream media and the White House. Things took a turn for the worst when Wolf sank her claws into White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Wolf proceeded to make disgusting jokes on Sarah’s appearance, asking “What’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women?”, and commenting on her “smoky eye.” Michelle Wolf, you guessed it, received no repercussions. She is still a comedian and running wild with her new abortion jokes.
Unhinged comedian Jim Carrey has also taken to attacking Sarah Sanders for her appearance. Numerous times, Carrey, describing himself as as artist, has drawn caricatures depicting Sarah Sanders as an ugly, fat monster. On his Twitter account, Carrey stated, “This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous!” Carrey did not apologize for his actions.
There was silence from the Left. How would have the Left reacted if Carrey had instead painted a racist caricature of an African-American or an Arab? The media would be in full crisis mode because that’s not “politically correct.” But calling an innocent woman ugly and fat, especially if she’s a member of the Trump cabinet, is considered “politically correct.” It is absolute hypocrisy, absurdity, and a double-standard to the highest degree.
Is this what is considered “politically correct?” Thanks to Kathy Griffin, Peter Fonda, and Johnny Depp, Barron Trump probably fears for his life. It sickens me that a ten-year old boy, who has done absolutely nothing to hurt anybody, probably has to go to bed every night worrying whether or not he’ll see his father dead the next day. This is what “entertainment” has become in America.
What do people like Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffin, Samantha Bee, and Johnny Depp all have in common? They all stand of the left side of politics. I wonder if the media and these television companies would have reacted the same way if any of those individuals were conservative.
Besides murdering the spirit of comedy and entertainment, political correctness has taken another victim: patriotism. We’ve seen patriotism on a steep decline for the past several years, but it peaked with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest of the American flag in the name of “social justice.” Another thing ruined by political correctness—professional football, which was once perhaps the most patriotic sport in American history.
I personally witnessed someone I know commit a disgusting, hateful attack on the United States military on social media. This person accused the American military of committing genocide and made a vow to never respect the military and never stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. I was shocked, hurt, and saddened of how someone could feel so enabled nowadays to attack the people and the country that sacrifices so much for them. Now, it is “politically correct”, or “normal”, to disrespect the flag of the United States and to insult the military and the police. Burn an American flag today, and you would probably find that many people wouldn’t care.
Black Lives Matter yelling insults at police officers and stomping on the American flag is perfectly ok. Linda Sarsour speaking at American universities is fine, because she’s not a white supremacist—just an anti-white, Anti-Semitic bigot, and that’s ok. If you wouldn’t let Richard Spencer speak at your university, then why in the world would you let somebody like Linda Sarsour speak? Both promote hate against certain groups or people, so isn’t that reason enough to ban both of them?
Not for the Left. Because Linda Sarsour is a minority, it is acceptable for her to do that. Because the Black Lives Matter movement is made up of African-Americans, it’s acceptable for them to step on the flag and insult the brave men and women who fight every day to keep their streets safe; all in the name of political correctness. We’re too afraid of being labeled as bigoted or racist, so we let people like Linda Sarsour spit hateful rhetoric and let movements like Black Lives Matter run wild.
Speaking of schools and universities, what happened to saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning? Besides embedding itself in our society, political correctness has infiltrated our educational institutions. I remember in elementary school, every morning we said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang patriotic songs such as “America the Beautiful” and “I’m Proud to be an American.” Nowadays in the public school system, you’ll be lucky to say the Pledge at least once a week.
Perhaps one of the most notable victims political correctness has claimed is Christianity. The United States is described as a secular nation, but a vast majority of the population follows Christianity.
Christianity is a laughing stock for the Left now. Joy Behar, one of the hosts for the T.V. show, The View, called Christianity a “mental illness.” If Joy had switched the word “Christianity” with “Islam” she would have been thrown off the view and into the gnashing teeth of a leftist twitter mob. Respect should not be given where you want it to be given—it should be given to all peoples, regardless of your views on what they choose to follow. If we are to respect the religion of Islam for the sake of being good people, then I would expect the same amount of respect in return to Christianity.
We’re even seeing political correctness work it’s way through social media. Facebook and Twitter, the two big brothers of Silicon Valley, have taken to adopting a trend of silencing conservative accounts on their media. So a conservative is worthy of being silenced for “hate speech” but terrorist groups like ISIS, Hamas, and Hezbollah are free to post about their genocidal intentions? Holocaust deniers can post hateful things on Facebook and get a free pass from Mark Zuckerberg’s thought police?
Ayatollah Sayyid Khamenei can tweet “Israel must be wiped off the face of the Earth” from the comfort of his corrupted throne in Tehran, but the biggest threat we face is a conservative possibly disagreeing with someone and breaking their fragile sense of mind? Senator Ted Cruz of Texas had some harsh words for Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, during his congressional testimony. Cruz accused Zuckerberg of silencing conservative accounts on Facebook, including censoring conservative African Americans Diamond and Silk on accusations of hate speech. In the age of technology, this is what conservatives should fear—the inability to speak their opinions both publicly online and offline.
Everything is offensive towards somebody in one way or another, and the solution society has given us is to keep our mouths shut. But, we, both liberals and conservatives, can’t give into this. We need to tear apart political correctness from the ground up and make sure that there is something valuable in society left for the coming generation.
There is a double-standard in American society, and its presence has been made quite clear. Is this what we call “social justice”? Because if it is, God help us all. Social justice is not a political weapon—it is a means of giving everyone the right to express their opinion without the fear of being ridiculed. It should not be acceptable for the rights of certain individuals to end where the feelings of others begin. Instead of political correctness, how about we take the “political” out of it? As human beings, let’s just show some sense of respect and decency to each other for once without turning it into a political firestorm. Political correctness is not respect or decency—it’s a weapon to silence those who tell the truth.
Elliot Avigael is the Editor-In-Chief for theDailyLead.