Wednesday morning I awakened to news that at least two Islamic terrorists shot and killed at least 12 people at a publication office in Paris. The offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical publication, were under “police protection”, which consisted of a few unarmed cops. When these helpless police realized that the bad guys had shotguns and AK-47’s, they could only run and ask for support from armed special police units. By the time armed support arrived the perpetrators had fled. While the policing failed, French officials were spot on by referring early and often to this incident as Islamic terrorism. Meanwhile, President Barack Hussein Obama referred to the Paris gunmen as “the few”.
I’m saddened and disappointed that in many parts of the world, with the tacit approval of governments, universities, and the media, specific groups of people are virtually exempt from criticism. The unfortunate result of this political correctness is that members of the “exempted” groups and the society at large are missing out on tremendous opportunities for mutual communication and the establishment of peace and tranquility. While there are many examples of damage caused by exempting a group from criticism, I’ll select just a few.
Muslims: You can criticize and satirize Protestants and Catholics, but you’d better think twice if you insult a Muslim. In our politically correct world Muslims are exempted from criticism. One of Hebdo’s crimes was to publish anti-Islamic cartoons, for which Hebdo’s offices were fire-bombed several years ago. The media and politicians are reluctant to use the term “Islamic Terrorism” to describe situations where radicals of the Islamic faith indiscriminately kill innocent people. The media coverage of the Fort Hood massacre was a prime example of political correctness gone bad. The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have declared war on the Europe, the United States and Western Culture in general. They have bastardized Islam and continue to kill or injure thousands of people each year (ironically most of them innocent Muslims) all over the world. We didn’t call Hitler’s people “misguided Germans” and we shouldn’t call Islamic Terrorists “the few”. How can we expect millions of faithful Muslims to have the courage to stand up to the terrorists in their midst when the President of the United States can’t muster the political courage to speak the truth?
African Americans: Of all minority groups in the United States, African Americans are least likely to be openly criticized in public. If you are not black, criticizing an African American can have serious career and personal consequences. You can lose your job in an instant by simply uttering just one misinterpreted word or phrase, let alone a derogatory term. Many African Americans, however, use the same despicable terms in their speech and in various music genre. The result of African American exemption from criticism status is predictable; whites no longer want to talk to blacks at the risk of being labeled racist. This is unfortunate because white people and African Americans would benefit greatly if we could honestly discuss what can be done to improve our culture and our country.
Jews, Israel and Women: If you criticize a Jew (or the nation of Israel) you do so at the risk of being called anti-Semitic. Like slavery for African Americans, the Nazi holocaust should not be forgotten and should never be repeated, but these past atrocities shouldn’t exempt Jews or African Americans from criticism going forward. Feminists often degrade stay at home Mothers, but they can’t take what they dish out. Universities have entire majors that emphasize the victimization of women at the hands of males.
I’ve got a New Year’s Resolution idea for 2015. Let’s pledge to talk more honestly and stop playing the “religion” card, the “race” card, and the “gender” card. We will probably find out that we actually like each other.