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Political Correctness and reverse intimidation

By Michael Keane - posted Monday, 6 June 2016


Having to continually tread on eggshells for fear of doing something that will ruin your life, family or career, even something that no-one could ever reasonably predict would be wrong, is a well-known form of intimidation and causes chronic psychological torment. We could use the jargon of Human Factors Engineering or behavioural psychology, but it's obvious. We've heard of reverse discrimination, but political correctness is causing a sort of reverse intimidation and is damaging both individuals and society. But it's no good just whining about it. We have to boldly and confidently take on PC activists on their own turf; demonstrating the ethical, scientific, psychological, humanitarian and sociological basis of why PC runs so opposite fairness and justice.

What is political correctness? There is no exact definition. PC has become an ideology. Trying to rigidly define such a phenomenon falsely creates simplicity where life is complex. But PC has a number of features. PC is irrational, completely lacks common sense and ignores the truth because a protected group can't be challenged. Perhaps the children's fable about the Emperor's new clothes was an example. Even though it was a fundamental truth that the Emperor was starkers, nobody could utter the truth because they were told they were ignorant fools if they didn't believe the prevailing politically correct view about the Emperor's new clothes. In our modern society, the fear of reverse intimidation at the hands of the aggressive, intolerant and oppressive PC activists leads people to not speak out about the truth of society's ills.

A classic example of reverse intimidation concerned the basketballer Alice Kunek who did absolutely nothing wrong when she dressed up as Kanye West for a fancy dress party, including putting black paint on her face; Hello! Kanye West is an African-American rapper. But her teammate Liz Cambage claimed this was racist. Kunek had to apologise and face the threat of sanction. This was an outrage. Instead, Basketball Australia should have immediately suspended Cambage for workplace intimidation of Alice Kunek.

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Australians are by-and-large helpful, compassionate people who give somebody a fair go. But chronic reverse intimidation predictably builds stress which can lead to resentment against the protected group.

And, unfortunately, it has become acceptable to callously sacrifice people on the altar of PC when these poor individuals are inconvenient to the aims of the protected group or ideology. Real social justice warriors should stick up for these individuals, but we all know that social justice warriors of today have no regards for justice when it comes to non-trendy, non-PC people. True compassion involves helping people unjustly harmed no matter what their background.

So be proud and be a real social justice warrior and speak truth to PC-power and tell the Emperor that he has no clothes. There are many examples.

For instance, booing Adam Goodes was a statement by fans AGAINST racism, in that Goodes always wanted to divide people by race, talking about "my people". So if my three little girls ask if they are "his people" because they are Australian too, they would be disappointed to learn that no, they are not the right race according to Adam. Martin Luther King's famous dream that his little girls would grow up in a world where they would be judged by the content of the character has all but gone in a world of PC quotas. The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court famously warned that if you want to stop racial discrimination then you have to stop discriminating on the base of race. In other words, most 21st century Australians are well and truly over race. But if you continually discriminate on the basis of race with racial quotas, separate flags, separate clinics, separate scholarships, this will breed racial resentment. We are not racist against aboriginals. Show me the evidence from ethics, sociology or psychology that the many problems of the aboriginal community are due to racism from without. Just the way there can be a failed company or failed State, the poor indices of aboriginal socio-economic standing are representative of a failed culture from within. Hello, the Emperor has no clothes!

The only constitutional change we need is to enshrine freedom of speech, not racial segregation.

The same goes for sex discrimination. We're not sexist either. Yet if anyone calls out, for example, the nonsense of the domestic violence lobby the are pilloried. We constantly hear that it's 100% women that are the victims… as if. We'll never solve difficult problems with extremist solutions. Blokes Lives Matter too. By demonizing men as a group, radical and extremist feminist PC is adding the fuel of complete hopelessness, despair and seething injustice to the fire of family disputes. With no legal due process (even murderers and terrorists get due-process of being heard before a court) the intervention order system has gone crazy and is creating an absolute tinderbox waiting to explode.

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Political correctness is also causing an epidemic of lack of personal responsibility. If you are drunk every day, not working and destroying your life and your family's as well, that's not because you were influenced by a beer ad during the cricket. Absolutely, let's help those that try to do the right thing when they are battling their problems in life. But the PC trend of excusing chronically violent, selfish thugs as merely the vulnerable victims of the disease of addiction, is destroying our society's fabric. It's clear from an ethical, scientific or biological perspective that you can't equate "addiction" with a disease like diabetes or cancer, that's absurd. My favourite saying in life is "there but for the grace of god go I". We all make mistakes in life! And we should have an enlightened, kind and understanding society to prevent these mistakes from having catastrophic outcomes. But the political-correctization of continued and repetitive violent, selfish and antisocial behavior, using neutral non-prejudicial euphemisms, is destructive and makes life harder for the real vulnerable majority who are terrorized by the violent and destructive few in difficult socio-economic communities..

Instead of identifying those who do the wrong thing, the PC approach is to ban everything because it's really the fault of big corporations who try to "influence" supposedly helpless people who, we are told, have no control over their own behaviour. This is the logic of the public health lobby and it represents the very essence of how political correctness fails. The elitist public health lobby, like the Emperor, tells us we we can't identify the obvious truth. A simple analogy is instructive: If you get pulled over on the Monash Freeway doing 150kph the police officer is not going to let you off because a tailwind was "influencing" your speed. We all have a "life speedometer" and we have a responsibility to know when to slow down in life. Oh, after banning alcohol, the next thing on the PC agenda is to ban sex because "problem sex" causes "sex related harm". It's an addiction after all!

And PC is most egregious when it harms the truly vulnerable such as innocent children. Sorry, but if you can't look after yourself and couldn't get a dog license because you have such a chaotic life, then no you can't have 3, 4 or 5 kids to 5 different fathers and expect the "govmint" to look after them with evermore "services"; your only qualification for being a government-sponsored professional child-rearer is being too dysfunctional/reckless/drunk or drug-addicted to take responsibility for birth-control. Ditto for deadbeat dads.The Emperor has no clothes. But because our politicians won't declare the obvious because they are too scared of being accused of violating a woman's "reproductive rights" (which is is meaningless term in the field of ethics) we have let a generation of children suffer the resulting epidemic of child abuse in these dysfunctional families. It is a national disgrace. Where are the real social justice warriors to help these children?

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About the Author

Dr. Michael Keane is Adjunct Associate Professor with interests in ethics, human factors engineering, health economics and substance abuse; adjunct lecturer in public health; specialist anaesthetist.

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