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Forums > Social Discussion > US/UK Political Correctness

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:This is something that I've been thinking about for a while. It's a bit complicated and there are lots of hot topics associated with my main point so I'll try to boil my main point down to one, hopefully clearly worded paragraph:



I find it counterintuitive that there appears to be more political correctness and sensitivity associated with Americans in some areas when examining parallel areas of US and UK society.



The US has this wonderful reputation of doing whatever it want and being generally horrible about how they go about doing it. Much of this reputation is rooted in or stems from fact and history. Yet, I am sometimes startled by some blatantly insensitive things I've seen in the UK that would NEVER be said/done by the parallel organization/group in the US.



Most of these things have to do with ethnic and racial sensitivities. I heard some things on Radio4 that made my jaw drop a few weeks ago. The topics were valid but the delivery was so insensitive. [One example I can remember was the commentators brainstorming as to why blacks are naturally more violent.] There are ways that topic can be addressed more appropriately but the language that the radio commentators used was shocking to an American like myself. I would NEVER expect to hear that from a parallel radio show in the US. The same with sitcoms, internet videos, newspaper articles. I also find it apparent in liberal communities that I hang out with in both countries. If you compare what I'd equate to be parallel communities I just don't see a sensitivity that I'm used to here in the US.



Obviously, if you compare apples and oranges, you can find a difference. I'd expect the Alabama chapter of the KKK to be less sensitive than the Sheffield Knitting Society. I'd also expect some American Shock Jock to be less sensitive than Radio4.



I'm not necessarily judging it. It just surprises me in light of the fact that the US is generally known for it's global insensitivity.



I have some theories about it but maybe I'll wait for some responses first.



[Disclaimer because this is the internet: I picked the US and UK because they are the two cultures I am most familiar with. I am only speaking from my own personal, unscientific observations and isolated incidents. I would be happy to hear of other experiences that would discredit my extrapolations. I consider the UK my second home and love many things about it. I thoroughly enjoy and support Britain, the British, and your mom.]


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:When a public school is banned from spreading the word of Jesus in it's classroom the world has truly gone mad.

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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:confused

I guess you forgot to put [/ironic] behind your post, NYC.

When a school is banned from spreading ANY religious conditioning to innocent children, the world is actually on it's way back to sanity...


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:So you'd suggest banning the Easter Bunny!

Sounds like "Political Correctness Gone Too Far!"

Next thing you'll be saying that they can't recite the lord's prayer before classes start!

wink


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Domino
SILVER Member since May 2004

UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK

Total posts: 757
Posted: Written by: Stout


Happy secular spring candy distribution festival weekend



"Mommy! Mommy! I woke up this morning and the magical Easter bunny had left me a chocolate egg!"
"That's the story of Jesus honey."

The Easter Bunny is as'bout as Christian as my shoe


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FireTom


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Posted:ubblol ditto your shoe might be much more christian than the easter bunny smile



and you're taking words outta my mouth, NYC - that's eggsactly what I'd propose smile



Think of all the poor kids of other religious communities, who have to recite a prayer for a god they do not believe in... meditate wink



However, could anyone explain to me, what "nappy-headed hos" would mean in easy-to-understand-english? umm

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1176139626)


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Ah... yes... Imus.

Nappy is generally an insulting word for messy African hair. And 'hos' are whores of course.

Here's an article on that:
http://mediamatters.org/items/200704040011

Pretty slanderous and disgusting slurs against some college students.

Then again, I am the left wing nut who fails to see the fun in derogatory racial slurs.

wink


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FireTom


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Posted:... well to me the intent behind the slur and the way it's presented plays a role, too.

I once heard one Latino call an Afro-(south)American "Oi, chocolate - dois cerveica" (in Brazil, when ordering drinks at a rave) and that didn't come across offensive (to nobody present) - maybe it was also the tone in which it was said.

Imus' statement is completely inapropriate, plain offensive and does not contain any "funny" elements or a sign of compassion. He should take responsability.

Is it right, that some afro americans call each other all kinds of derogatory names? Which would certainly not be any excuse for a white guy to do the same, however.


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Is it right, that some afro americans call each other all kinds of derogatory names? Which would certainly not be any excuse for a white guy to do the same, however.



It's a very complicated issue illustrating that context is important.


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FireTom


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Posted:a soapbox so to speak...

what context would this be then?


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:The context would be the history of African Americans in the US as well as their position today. Not something I can explain in a box on the internet.

If you don't understand the history and the position of African Americans then I could see how that would be confusing.

Again, not something I am an expert on, nor do I feel that it's of any use to explain.

I'm sure there are fantastic resources online if you'd like to learn more.


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FireTom


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Posted:umm

btw...
Non-Https Image Link


It's him saying something about "messy haired wh**es"??? Are you kidding me? He must have seen himself in a multi reflection mirror... ubblol

What is the difference, if individuals of an ethnic minority use derogatory expressions (with the intent to insult), or the same term is used by an individual of the ethnic majority? "Gangsta"-slang is cool... but not "cross-ethnies"... hmm, we live and learn, huh?

IMO The problem with "political correctness" is, that the people who use it, don't really believe in it.

 Written by: NYC

The context would be the history of African Americans in the US as well as their position today. Not something I can explain in a box on the internet.



*checks who started this thread and what it is about*

umm confused shrug ubblol


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: FireTom



 Written by: NYC

The context would be the history of African Americans in the US as well as their position today. Not something I can explain in a box on the internet.





*checks who started this thread and what it is about*









As hinted at by the title, this thread is about the general tolerance differences between the US and the UK.



This thread is not a etymology course on the "N word".



Wouldn't be the first time you completely misunderstood my entire point.



ubblol


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FireTom


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Posted:Thanks for not taking my (serious) question too serious and only dispensing politically correct statements - r u rehearsing for communal elections? umm wink hug



The "N-word" aint the only one that springs to (my) mind in this context...



[rest of post deleted for aesthetical reasons]

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1176519873)


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Ditto...I lack the life experience to make an even remotely accurate comparison between PCness in the two countries.

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FireTom


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Posted:at least in both countries it's politically correct for an Afro-American to use derogatory expressions within his own ethnic group... that much we've learned so far.

 Written by: NYC

This thread is not a etymology course on the "N word".



umm and where you find me suggesting that?

But feel compelled to make the assumption we're still stuck in past days... peace wink


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

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Posted:They use the N word ( how PC of me ) in the UK as well ?

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FireTom


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Posted: Written by: Wiki

As of 2007, the word n*** is used, without intentional prejudice, among younger members of all races and ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans and European Americans. In practice, its use and meaning are heavily dependent on context.



 Written by: NYC

The context would be the history of African Americans in the US as well as their position today. Not something I can explain in a box on the internet.



shrug popcorn?


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Great point Tom.

I have no idea what it means but I'm sure you thought it was great so I'll let you have it.

Popcorn for everybody.

confused


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

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Posted: Written by: FireTom


at least in both countries it's politically correct for an Afro-American to use derogatory expressions within his own ethnic group... that much we've learned so far.




That's debatable- some blacks actively put forward their view that habitual use of terms like 'nigger/nigga' amongst a sub-section of blacks, is harmful to black culture as a whole.


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FireTom


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Posted:OWD: and I would side that statement.

NYC, you're just sooo much provoking deliberate autism in me and I so much NOT trying to explain myself to you anymore shrug

 Written by: NYC

I find it counterintuitive that there appears to be more political correctness and sensitivity associated with Americans in some areas when examining parallel areas of US and UK society.



 Written by: Wiki

The United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, which allows political organizations great latitude in expressing Nazi, racist and anti-Semitic views.



There are aspects of psychology, which play a significant role in "racism".

And I really can't completely verify that "sensitivity" you are talking about, NYC. Maybe NYC (as in the city) and the northern regions of the US do have (historically) a different approach to the subject. PERSONALLY I experienced the south to be blatant racist.

So maybe - besides all those nice arguments you provide in the effort to prove your statement - you're just talking out of your box.

Maybe I do accept the application of general stereotypes as such (knowing that they are inaccurate on the individual level), maybe we have found a way in Europe to make jokes about the Brits and the French and Krautz but to peacefully live together. Maybe we are using these "jokes" as a ventile.

Truth is, that migration the way it is (officially) happening in Europe and especially in Germany, breeds racism. It's the migratory system and the kind of people who get attracted to come here.

But this is exclusively about US/ UK, so I spare you the DE perspective...

*sweet or salty?*


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: FireTom


So maybe - besides all those nice arguments you provide in the effort to prove your statement - you're just talking out of your box.



I said that. About as many times as I could. In fact, you JUST quoted me saying that:

 Written by: NYC



I find it counterintuitive that there appears to be more political correctness and sensitivity associated with Americans in SOME AREAS when examining PARALLEL AREAS of US and UK society.





Not only that... but I was like, wait, People like Tom are on the board, so I should put it in bold. So I did. (I changed it to caps in this post so you can find it.)

And then I was like, "Wait, wait... people like Tom are going to get confused and bring up stuff like the racist south compared to a liberal center of the UK" so I wrote:

 Written by: NYC

Again, focusing on an apples to apples comparison of communities.

[Maybe this will be another example of those not as familiar with both communities not really understanding my point.]



Then I was like, "Well, maybe people like Tom will skim the first couple of times I said it, so I should make sure to say it again as clearly as possible":

 Written by: NYC

If we limit ourselves to just the liberal centers I hang out with (OK, My friends)... I have experienced many more instances of Brits making generalizations and insensitive comments.



Then I was like, "Well, maybe people like Tom need me to explain it in more detail that I'm not suggesting that there aren't racist places in the US so I'll say it again":

 Written by: NYC

I hope you don't think that I'd ever suggest that the US isn't racist or isn't as racist as the UK. I'm quite certain that the blatantly racist US population could easily kick the crap out of the blatantly racist UK population with one hand tied behind their back. I'm well aware of the mistreatment of minorities as well. I can't imagine a country that has relied more on the exploitation of immigrants than the US... but my world history isn't all that great so don't quote me.

I'm more confused about the seemingly tolerant liberals in both countries. Whether it be the media or the hippie population.



I then kept the arguement on the liberal centers as not to confuse people like Tom (again, NOT the south) in the US by saying:
 Written by: NYC

Do you really think that educated, liberal UK communities are less sensitive towards certain cultures because they are perceived to sap the economy? I would certainly expect that from fundamentalists but it's the liberal standpoint that confuses me.



Then I was like, "Well, maybe people like Tom forgot that I was just talking about the liberal centers and will get caught up with things like the south so I'd better make sure I refocus us on the liberal centers by saying:"
 Written by: NYC

It's a shame because our liberal centers MIGHT actually have something to teach about tolerance but it's never going to get heard through all of the hate the rest of my country is exporting. And sadly, I'm not so sure, that anybody else wants to learn it.



Thinking, well, maybe I haven't said it enough for people like Tom, I'd better say it again:
 Written by: NYC

Again, I'm only limiting my conversation to the very liberal forefront of both cultures.



At this point, I'm like... "Well, people like Tom must surely get it now... but I'll say it again for people like Tom"
 Written by: NYC

YAY! Well said. Yes. And again, as always in this thread, I'm talking very generally about educated liberals.



Then, after bludgeoning the issue to death and making sure the people like Tom surely understand that I'm only talking about my own liberal centers in places like New York City and NOT conservative centers like the south...

Tom says:
 Written by: tom


Maybe NYC (as in the city) and the northern regions of the US do have (historically) a different approach to the subject. PERSONALLY I experienced the south to be blatant racist.



ubblol

Good point Tom! It would be silly to compare racism in the South to tolerance in the UK. Perhaps I should limit this arguement to only the liberal centers of both communities.

*Bangs head against computer!*

hug


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FireTom


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Posted:[edited for ... the heck of it]



Maybe this is a language-issue too, cause (honestly) in my language if someone uses "nigga" (or it's equivalent) it's meant offensive and clearly displays the racist attitude of the person putting it out - this also applies to the terms "wh**e", "b**ch", "mf" and so on. I observed Anglos to be a lot less sensitive in using them... shrug just my observation... maybe that's just a habit to (negatively) emphasise that these ppl (in fact) have nothing (positive) to say at all.



Maybe this is also a pshychological scheme, to constantly pick on ethnic minorities, because (their own life is such a misery and) they do not have a different concept to reassure themselves... shrug

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1176519964)


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sagetree
GOLD Member since May 2006

sagetree

organic creation
Location: earth, Wales (UK)

Total posts: 246
Posted:"PERSONALLY I experienced the south to be blatant racist."

where is this imaginary line that divides the tolerant northerners and the blatant southern racist? i just wanted to know so i could make sure to stay on the right side of the line and be able to avoid all those nasty southerners.


"However, NYC we may continue to read the worst into each others posts and neglect the original attitude in which they are intended... but it's not leading anywhere and is only mildly entertaining."

just for the record i found NYC's last post VERY entertaining


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: sagetree



just for the record i found NYC's last post VERY entertaining



I do it all for you. wink

And Tom, I do try to ignore most instances when I disagree with you but you have a *cough-trollish-cough* tendancy to jump into the middle of conversations and either derail it or quote me or criticize what I'm saying until I really feel that I need to respond.

This thread you did the former for a while, then the latter.


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FireTom


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Posted:be happy then wink

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:peace Peax.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

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Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:The problem is ( was? ) with this thread is that the criteria for making an informed opinion/post was so narrowly defined ( as being an educated liberal at the very forefront of liberal thought ) and really need input from people who were intimately familiar with both British and American culture, that it severely limited the amount of people who could post on the topic...In short ( to go all PC on it ) it was elitist.

NYC...that's why you found yourself waving to a parallel conversation. Maybe if you'd outlined what you were looking for in the first place, things may have gone the way you'd hoped and expected. For instance...Were you talking about contemporary culture ? or historic ? Now I assumed contemporary...Was I wrong ?

Maybe a few examples of what you were interested in discussing would have helped. For instance, The Imus thing. So he said it, he accepted responsibility and went off the air for a couple of weeks as punishment. There's the American side...Now what would have/has happened to a British broadcaster who made the same sort of racist/sexist remarks ? Do we have any examples ?? Discuss.....

Another example...The city of New Your recently "outlawed" the use of the word nigger, there's no penalty for using the word, but there is an ordinance drafted against it. Has Britain passed any such comparable legislation? Anywhere ? Discuss....

Or how about establishing what the words liberal and political correctness really mean. I tend to favour Birgit's definition of liberal, and will happily live within that framework, but when it comes to the wholesale condemnation of others for not having the "right" opinion...well..that's where I'm going to take my leave.

Take the Maori thread as an example. So Albertaboy said something "inappropriate" What happened? Wholesale condemnation with all sorts of speculation ( it's not his site) , veiled threats ( his post about phone calls ) . Not one person, save FireNix, even questioned that this guy may have been basing his post on inaccurate information ( his friends were just plain wrong ) No..it was all assumption that this guy was just being an [censored] for the sake of being an [censored] and wasn't deserving of anything remotely resembling tolerance or compassion, but should instantly be burned at the stake..so to speak.

Now why did I post that Easter bunny story without any accompanying text ? Just to see if anyone would actually read the story and see it for what it really is/was. No it wasn't a prayer in school issue ( and I would have pointed that out the next day had I not spilled coffee all over my keyboard...again ) What that was was an extreme take on the idea of separating church and state. To recap that story...an organizer rents a school gymnasium from the school board to hold a craft fair on the weekend....the Easter bunny is scheduled to be in attendance at the craft fair and, suddenly,,,the school superintendent decides that the religious symbol ( yes..the Easter bunny could be called a religious symbol..look it up ) in inappropriate...and censors the organisers of the craft fair. ( call him Peter Rabbit ) .

"So what" you say...those pesky Christians are "the enemy" ...we should censor them and their symbolism/ideals. BUT...I say, if you're willing to support censorship against one religion and not allow them to express their beliefs on public property...How about all the other religions. How would you feel if you were trying to rent out a public facility for an event like PaganCon 2007..and were told...NO...absolutely no religious symbolism on public property..period. Is this the type of society you want to live/love in ?

As to misreading posts...well..all I can say is get a grip...Hey some posts have to be read twice, three times, and maybe sometimes you need to think about what that post is actually trying to say rather than skimming it and focusing on a phrase of sentence. In the four years I've been here I've seen many many misunderstandings of peoples posts, and I'm sure I've been misunderstood myself, it's the nature of the medium. But of those many understandings I've seen, I've seen most of them for what they really were, simply because I've taken the time to "decipher" what the poster is trying to say.

Tom..I know you got this quite a lot in the first year or so you were here. ( remember the rape thread, the kids at raves thread ). You posts were a prime example of those that needed reading, and rereading, in order to get your true meaning.

I suggest we all spend a little more time reading before we post.


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:stop the cunning, I sincerely get the impression you don't mean it.



Maybe its because you're more willing to spend far more energy on perpetuating personal aversions than to focus on the topic... ??? or maybe it's because you are depending on claqueurs? (no offence meant)



"Racism" is not about skin colour or nationality, but on personality wink



If "political correctness" degrades to a mere shell, without content, then I rather prefer ppl who express their judgement straightforward, like Imus. Honesty goes so much further...



[edited]

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1176520038)


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FireTom


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Posted:double rolleyes

@ stout: hug... thanks, you saved my day... I'm not surprised, but you put out well what I was feeling, when re-reding some of his posts in this thread...


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: Stout


The problem is ( was? ) with this thread is that the criteria for making an informed opinion/post was so narrowly defined ( as being an educated liberal at the very forefront of liberal thought ) and really need input from people who were intimately familiar with both British and American culture, that it severely limited the amount of people who could post on the topic...In short ( to go all PC on it ) it was elitist.



Elitist? If you want to suggest that the US and UK are above you than that's your assertion. I'd just suggest that it's specific. And you're right. I find that having a very specific topic is the only way to have a coherent conversation. Otherwise you've got people saying things all over the place that have no relevance. If a topic is specific and you want to talk about something else, start a new topic. Don't walk into the staff moves thread, start talking about poi and then complain that all the staffers are elitist because they only want to talk about staff in their specific staff moves thread.

With that said, I've welcomed many of the other discussions that have some semblance of relevance to this topic. Attitudes towards immigration is certainly relevant THOUGH the topic of immigration as a whole might warrant a new thread.

 Written by:



NYC...that's why you found yourself waving to a parallel conversation. Maybe if you'd outlined what you were looking for in the first place, things may have gone the way you'd hoped and expected.




I had no problem with the paralel converation. I rather enjoyed it. I only waved because I had nothing useful to contribute to it.

 Written by:



Another example...The city of New Your recently "outlawed" the use of the word nigger, there's no penalty for using the word, but there is an ordinance drafted against it. Has Britain passed any such comparable legislation? Anywhere ? Discuss....




We did. I only tried to steer the conversation away from the circular and endless "Why is it OK for black people get to use a word that I don't" arguement because it's circular and endless.

 Written by:



Or how about establishing what the words liberal and political correctness really mean. I tend to favour Birgit's definition of liberal, and will happily live within that framework, but when it comes to the wholesale condemnation of others for not having the "right" opinion...well..that's where I'm going to take my leave.





I don't think that there is a 'right' opinion. But if someone in a discussion forum puts forth an opinion that is different than mine I'm going to discuss it.

 Written by:


Take the Maori thread as an example. So Albertaboy said something "inappropriate" What happened? Wholesale condemnation with all sorts of speculation ( it's not his site) , veiled threats ( his post about phone calls ) . Not one person, save FireNix, even questioned that this guy may have been basing his post on inaccurate information ( his friends were just plain wrong ) No..it was all assumption that this guy was just being an censored for the sake of being an censored and wasn't deserving of anything remotely resembling tolerance or compassion, but should instantly be burned at the stake..so to speak.





He called a group of people "barbarians". People got offended. I don't see the stretch. If someone posts "I think that all niggers should be lynched" you can feel free to post "That's an interesting idea, thank you for sharing it with us and sharing your unique perspective. Can you further develop your beliefs?" but I'm certainly not going to follow suit.





Now why did I post that Easter bunny story without any accompanying text ? Just to see if anyone would actually read the story and see it for what it really is/was. No it wasn't a prayer in school issue ( and I would have pointed that out the next day had I not spilled coffee all over my keyboard...again ) What that was was an extreme take on the idea of separating church and state. To recap that story...an organizer rents a school gymnasium from the school board to hold a craft fair on the weekend....the Easter bunny is scheduled to be in attendance at the craft fair and, suddenly,,,the school superintendent decides that the religious symbol ( yes..the Easter bunny could be called a religious symbol..look it up ) in inappropriate...and censors the organisers of the craft fair. ( call him Peter Rabbit ) .

"So what" you say...those pesky Christians are "the enemy" ...we should censor them and their symbolism/ideals. BUT...I say, if you're willing to support censorship against one religion and not allow them to express their beliefs on public property...How about all the other religions. How would you feel if you were trying to rent out a public facility for an event like PaganCon 2007..and were told...NO...absolutely no religious symbolism on public property..period. Is this the type of society you want to live/love in ?





You completely misunderstood my post and you completely misunderstand the entire concept of the "separation of church and state" in the United States. It has nothing to do with public property. I'd be happy to explain it to you as it's a fascinating and complicated topic. I'm certainly no expert but I know enough to chat about it.

 Written by:



As to misreading posts...well..all I can say is get a grip... I suggest we all spend a little more time reading before we post.



Don't those sentences contradict each other? I feel like I have a grip. I said something very clearly 7 times and it was missed. It happens, I addressed it, it's over.

No grip lost.

Now, somebody go read up on the history of the "Separation of Church and State in the US" and start a thread, or even better, on the history of the separation of Church and State in their country and teach me something.


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