Sunday Reads: On political correctness run amok in the U.S. and the Canadian Senate

There is far too much political correctness in America these days.

That’s the unpolitically correct opinion of David Marcus, a writer/columnist I respect a lot and who is a Twitter acquaintance/friend of mine.

David feels people are apologizing too much. They’re “prostrating ourselves for words or actions that some people find offensive or over which we have absolutely no control,” he writes in an article in the Culture section of The Federalist, citing these examples, among many others:

Over the past few years apologizing has become the new American pastime. Of late we have seen a student body president at the University of California-Los Angeles apologize for the white privilege he displayed in flashing a gang symbol in a photograph. Veterans have gotten on their knees to beg forgiveness from Native American tribes. A feminist journal has apologized for running a peer-reviewed essay that is allegedly insensitive to the transgender community, and the city of Philadelphia has apologized to Jackie Robinson for acts of racism committed more than a half a century ago.

… all of these apologies in one way or another are a cop-out, a way to put an incident behind one without doing the hard work of discussing differing opinions and views. The gang sign was a joke, not an egregious act of cultural appropriation. Twenty-first-century veterans do not have the agency to apologize for acts committed long before they were born. The feminist journal is apologizing for presenting controversial material, and Jackie Robinson has been dead since 1972.

He says “It’s time to stop apologizing and start fighting back against forces in our culture, on all sides, who demand mea culpas as a way to disarm those they disagree with and avoid nuanced dialogue.”

The latter point is the crux of his case: Too often, apologies almost always shut down important dialogue, and he points to the forced apologies some have to make in totalitarian regimes as political correctness taken to the extreme.

He also cites some recent examples of American politicians who have refused to apologize, including Bill Clinton, and of a couple of university professors, including Canadian Jordon Peterson.

David Marcus is one of the finest commentators in America today, no matter where his columns appear. I may not always agree with everything he writes, but I want to read almost every word.

David is also the Artistic Director of Blue Box World, a Brooklyn-based theatre project.

Check out his article, and feel free to disagree — with no apologies.

Speaking of not being politically correct, Canadian Conservative Senator Betty Unger found her pleas to make a one-word amendment to Bill C-16 falling on deaf ears this past week.

The bill aims to provide federal protections for transgender people in Canada. In an article titled Committee rejects reasonable amendment to transgender law, Senator Unger argues that because of one sloppy word — “or” instead of “and” — the bill will, in fact, “grant transgender rights to non-transgender persons.”

Her amendment proposed to change “gender identity or expression” to “gender identity and expression” in the Canadian Human Rights Act .

She says “Bill C-16 must not disconnect gender expression from gender identity because to do so means that people who don’t even believe they are transgender will have have access to transgender rights. … this amendment would address concerns that Bill C-16 will permit non-transgender persons to inappropriately access gender-segregated spaces.”

Her argument seems reasonable to me, but the politically correct Senate committee rejected her amendment and the whole Senate is poised to pass the bill, which in my opinion is more about protecting gender fluidity now (see my recent piece On gender neutral pronouns and the future redundancy of transgenderism).

About Sunday Reads posts: This is a weekly feature giving us all a chance to point to an article or two or three that we found interesting in the preceding week, or the morning of. They can be offbeat, humorous, weighty commentary, whatever. So, if you have any recommendations, please point to them in the readers’ comments section below.

— Jillian

Photo credit: Wikipedista DeeMusil (Wikimedia Commons)

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