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Robert Lee, ESPN Sports Announcer (left) and Robert E. Lee, Confederate General (right).
Politically correct or outrageous over-reaction?
In an effort to be politically correct, sports network ESPN announced on Tuesday that an Asian employee, Robert Lee, would not be permitted to broadcast the Sept. 2 game in Charlottesville, Va. due to concerns that his name, which is shared by notable Confederal General Robert E. Lee, would cause controversy.
The announcement is the latest in a series of outrageous offerings to the gods of political correctness. Last week, a University of Southern California student group declared the school’s mascot horse to be a symbol of “white supremacy” because its name, Traveler (one L), is similar to General Robert E. Lee’s horse, Traveller (two Ls).
47% of Americans blame colleges for turning students into social justice extremists
A Rasmussen poll released on Wednesday says 47% of Americans believe college administrators and professors are more interested in getting their students to agree with a politically correct point of view, rather than in the free exchange of ideas.
This academic rejection of free speech has been glaringly evident in recent months. In May, a University of California – Fresno professor was caught on video encouraging his student to erase pro-life messages chalked into the sidewalk by a student group. who had obtained permission from the school for the activity. In a shocking revelation of his willingness to silence free speech in the name of political correctness, the professor declared, “College campuses are not free-speech areas!” The professor is now being sued for infringing on the student’s free speech rights.
The results of such prolonged academic exposure to the concept of political correctness has created a generation of thin-skinned, social justice extremists, who become unglued when confronted by anyone who stands on their principals.
In June, mobs of outraged students shut down Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington when a professor refused to participate in the forced absence of all white people from the campus in the name of so-called “racial appreciation”. The outraged students forced the professor from the campus, seized control of academic buildings, and roamed the halls threatening any white people they encountered with baseball bats. The professor is now suing the college.
Erasing history in the name of political correctness?
In the same Rasmussen poll, in May of this year, only 19% of Americans felt that “the United States should erase symbols of its past history that are out of line with current sentiments.” Watching left-dominated news media this week, however, would suggest that this idea has overwhelming American support.
Baltimore removed four Civil War statues on August 16. A statue of Roger Taney, author of the 1857 Dred Scott decision, was taken down from its post in front of the Maryland State House on August 18. Statues of two Confederate generals, Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston were removed from a Texas University on Aug. 21. In a particularly disturbing act, a mob destroyed a 100+ year old statue honoring Confederate soldiers in North Carolina while police stood by and watched: an event that was caught on video.
Stereotypes and labels: the tools of political correctness
In today’s America, recovering from eight years under the “apologizer-in-chief”, President Obama, it has become the order of the day to attack anyone who disagrees with a politically-correct idea as racist, misogynistic, homophobic, or any number of other labels.
A baker who refuses on religious grounds to create a wedding cake for a lesbian couple is called homophobic. Anyone who did not vote for Hillary Clinton is called misogynistic. Anyone who is proud of this country, despite its checkered past, is called a racist.
The fact is, none of those labels apply.
While it is true that there are still racists in America, the vast majority of Americans who refuse to destroy a Confederate statue would also willingly and openly condemn the Confederacy’s support of slavery. Most Americans who support the baker’s right to refuse to bake a cake on religious grounds, would also fight to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation. And the majority of men who voted for Trump still love and respect women.
Applying a label to someone simply for not subscribing to the politically-correct “cause de jure” is easy to do, but difficult to justify.
Political correctness is rejected by most Americans
Those who rush to embrace political correctness, as ESPN was caught doing this past week, would do well to consider the consequences to their brand, their business, and their freedom.
In a related Rasmussen poll, 88% of American voters oppose removing the names of Washington and Jefferson from public places, despite the fact that both men were slave owners.90% of Americans also oppose the closing or changing of Mount Rushmore despite two of the four presidents it honors being slave owners.
This does not mean Americans are racist. This means Americans are patriotic and are not afraid to embrace their country’s history; both the bad and the good.
Interestingly, blacks (43%) and other minority voters (42%) are more likely than whites (38%) to believe the removal of the Confederate statues will hurt race relations. – Rasmussen Poll
And despite their particular political affiliation, more than 50% of ALL Americans agree with President Trump’s statement that it is “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.” Interestingly, according to a Rasmussen poll, blacks (43%) and other minority voters (42%) are more likely than whites (38%) to believe the removal of the Confederate statues will actually hurt race relations.
Whether tearing down a statue, or removing a sports announcer because of their name, taking arbitrary action solely because it appears to be the politically-correct thing to do is never a good idea.
A coward acts when it is politically correct.
A brave man acts when it is not.
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Keywords: Evergreen students, free speech, Fresno Professor Gregory Thatcher, Political correctness, Rasmussen poll, Robert E. Lee, Robert Lee.