I keep hearing about all this sensitivity training political correctness everyone must take to understand the feelings of others. Really?
Have we become too fragile to not be able to take a few rude disparaging statements? Can we only handle warm and fuzzy?
Growing up with skinned knees and ragtag ruffian, people just threw around inappropriate slurs and everyone laughed and took it on the chin.
Tall kids were called “stretch” and smaller kids were called “shorty” or “runt”. Husky kids were called “fat” and thin kids were called “stick”. They became nicknames and badges of courage.
At the same time, we overheard our parents and society in general use terminology that just became familiar to our vocabulary.
Old kids would pants or give a noogie to the younger kids and that was just part of the growing up experience. Offensive names and behavior was part of being a kid.
Then like learning how to smoke or drive, we started learning how to be prejudiced against people who were not accepted in our community units.
Kids of other cultures or religions became “wop” or “hymie” or “kike” or “chink” or “cracker” or “redneck” or “hillbilly” or “jap” or “jungle bunny” or “pollock” or “sambo” or “spic” or “wasp” or “white trash” or worst.
The poor female gender got a pile of demeaning descriptions as “slut” or “whore” or poo-tang” while guys always focused as genitalia with “weenie” or “hung”.
The N-word has several variations depending on the age of the person saying it. Though the words were not in the dictionary, they were used everywhere, even in church.
Whether like going through battle or just accepting it as a right of passive, we became thick skinned until we became cultured enough to understand manners and proper behavior.
So now any slight or even vague interpretation of a slur or unacceptable statement becomes a “charge of bigotry” or “civil rights offense” or “sexual harassment” or any array of pubic or private offensive court cases.
Back in the day, if you offended another person might come to fist-a-cuffs but after the smoke cleared opponents would shake hands, apologize, and walk away the better for it.
Tomorrow’s lesson: How can I sue you?