Political correctness makes us clam up

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Living in this oversensitive, social media-conscious, politically correct world that has been created by people who get upset over just about everything under the sun has meant many fundamental changes in the way we are now required to do things.

Based on how the movement appears to be going, I'm guessing the situation is only destined to get even worse as time goes by.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines politically correct as "conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated."

Since the concept of humor is among the practices that could most certainly tend to offend "political sensibilities" I assume having a sense of humor is something that would eventually become a thing of the past.

That would mean no more telling jokes of any kind, regardless if they are dirty, half-dirty or innocent and harmless.

Apparently there are people among us who have never either told or heard a joke in their lives, especially the kind that could be construed as being slightly off-color and for that reason, they think no one else should be allowed to tell any jokes either.

Those days of enjoying a good joke, whether on the golf course, during a meal at home or at a restaurant, when playing bridge or poker, while in the stands at an athletic contest, during a phone conversation, at the barber shop or beauty parlor or when friends come over to watch a game on TV, would be gone under the new value system.

Here's more food for thought.

If you ever plan to run for public office, apply for a job, are in line for a promotion, want to join a group or a club, get married or be involved in almost any endeavor whatsoever in your lifetime, the best advice might be to begin immediately to completely disassociate yourself from everyone  and everything and begin completely from scratch.

Also, it might be a good idea if you never again wink at, smile at, go out on a date with, go on a trip or vacation with prior to taking your wedding vows, call or text on the phone, or pray tell, get romantically involved with anyone.  

Basically, just watch what you say and do and keep your guard up at all times.

Furthermore, if your kids, mainly the boys, fall in that dangerous upper grammar grades or middle school age bracket and hope to one day get ahead or be a success, make sure you instruct them to never wink at, hold hands with, carry books for, pass notes in class with or chase on the playground, anyone, but especially members of the same sex or the opposite sex.

Additionally, under no circumstances should they be allowed to join clubs with names like the "He-Man Woman-Haters Club" of "Little Rascals" fame as Spanky, Alfalfa and Buckwheat did.  

Other good advice to follow would include never again breaking in line, intentionally or unintentionally, whether at the movies, DMV office, the checkout line at Walmart or anywhere else, and above all, beware of whispering about anything or anybody.

That includes no more of those seemingly innocent comments to friends or family about the fat or ugly kids playing either for or against your son's or daughter's soccer or baseball team.

Just keep in mind if you did happen to forget and do any of the above-mentioned, someone is apt to hear you, tell someone they saw you do it or take a video of you in action that could one day come back to haunt you.

Keith Barnes, a Wilson storyteller and author, is news editor of the Kenly News, where this column originally appeared.