Friday, April 11, 2008

Stupid, stupid, stupid

The political correctness police were summoned again this week, and they brought along the real cops. The Associated Press reports that Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski, a local elected official and Obama delegate from suburban Chicago, was issued a $75 ticket for disorderly conduct after using the word "monkeys" to describe black children playing in a tree. The two kids, under the supervision of their parents, were climbing in a tree next to Ramirez-Sliwinski's house. She expressed her concern because of fears about the boys' safety and the fact that the small magnolia tree was being damaged. The father of the kids told her to butt out, and Ramirez-Sliwinski said she replied that "the tree is not there for them to be climbing in like monkeys." That's when the mom of one of the kids called police and, if you can believe it, an officer issued Ramirez-Sliwinski a ticket under an ordinance that bans conduct that people might find disturbing or alarming. According to the AP, one of the kids told police he was scared by Ramirez-Sliwinski's comment. Are you kidding me? I guess I shouldn't be surprised. We've been headed down the path to the point where everyone is offended by everything for quite some time now. A friend and former co-worker, while working at the O-R, once quoted a police officer who said a couple of dumb gas station robbers "showed the intelligence of a box of raisins." It wasn't long before a black gentleman called to complain because one of the robbers was a fellow "person of color." He must've made some connection to those noted black icons, the California Raisins. A few years later, the same friend, in another job, wrote a story about the increasing use of the Internet by automotive engineers, and he used the headline, "Gentlemen, start your browsers." A female engineer quickly e-mailed him a complaint stating that his "callous headline" had effectively "ignored half your readership." Being the fun-loving sort, he sent her a smart-ass reply and, fortunately, never heard back from the dolt. I don't know whether to laugh hysterically or be very angry about the recent incident in Illinois. Monkeys do climb in trees. I've seen it on National Geographic Channel. And sometimes kids - white, black, red and yellow - swing around in trees like ... MONKEYS! This whole Ramirez-Sliwinski thing has released some repressed memories of my own. When I was a kid, I now recall that my parents referred to me as a monkey when I was tree-climbing. I really should retain legal counsel and sue their asses off. The fact that Ramirez-Sliwinksi is a supporter of a black man who is running for president, on its face, makes me doubt that she's a virulent racist. I really don't believe she intended to suggest that the children in the tree were descended from apes, any more than we all might be, but if this is the route we're taking, I'm issuing my own warning. A few years back, some scientists reported that all mammals, including humans, are descended from an aardvark-like creature. So if one of my co-workers compares me to an aardvark when I'm rooting through the mess on my desk, I'm calling the law.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ardvark,huh? Edgar Snyder Jr. will be calling you to talkabout your snide, abusive comment about the size of my nose. Fascist bigot!

April 11, 2008 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Tracy J. said...

I agree the whole political correct thing is rediculous. Most often the people that are offended are the problem, too sensitive. We can be called names to discibe our pale skinlike cracker and we don't get offended.I also distinctly recall being called a monkey quite often as a child whenever I was climbing on the furniture or in trees. Our society is going beyond rediculous on unimportant issues and let the important things fall by the wayside.

April 11, 2008 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Scott Beveridge said...

Words are powerful tools. There's nothing wrong with thinking before you speak, that a word you chose might hurt someone's feelings.
But calling the cops.......

April 11, 2008 at 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The excessive energy spent by most Americans in watching what they say has becoming mind numbing. It is also destructive to our society, as it is leading everyone to be afraid of saying anything. Words are not the problem, the belief that everyone has a right not to be offended is the problem.

April 12, 2008 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Park Burroughs said...

That climbing apparatus in the school playground has just been renamed "victim bars."

April 16, 2008 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Mark my words: Political Correctness will lead to the ultimate demise of this country.

April 20, 2008 at 7:04 PM  

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