The power of being "offended" in order to shut down political debate
By Rachel Alexander
Has society really become quite thin-skinned, or is acting "offended" a new tactic that is being used to shut down legitimate political debate? Progressives are increasingly claiming to be offended whenever those on the right disagree with their left-wing positions. It doesn't matter what the issue is; the left will divert a legitimate political debate into an accusation that the right disagrees with them because they are full of hate towards them. This puts the right on the defensive, and removes the real debate from discussion. It then becomes difficult for the right to ever prevail with their position, because to do so would mean "hate" had won.
Try to make a joke about any of these issues with one of these thin-skinned victims and they will tear into you at best, report you to your employer or appropriate government agency at worst. We're seeing more and more people lose their jobs over simply posting an outspoken viewpoint on Facebook. The left will whip up its victims into a frenzy and have them bombard the employer with angry complaints until the employer complies and terminates the employee.
The left is expanding its victims to include almost all Americans. Now everyone has something to be offended about. Even the right is falling into this victim mentality. Fat? You're a victim. Smoker? You're a victim. Single mom? You're a victim.
The left has turned generations of Americans into wimpy fourth graders ready to start whining at any minute. At the same time, those same offended folks are walking around on eggshells at work, in public, and on social networking programs, paranoid of someone else catching them saying something "insensitive."
Using the ruse of being offended to shut down legitimate political debate is censorship. If you try to point this out, however, the left will bring up an extreme example, such as terrible words used against blacks in the pre-civil rights era. This is a red herring, because virtually no one today agrees that racial slurs are acceptable. If someone is using disgraceful slurs against someone on welfare, or against gun control proponents, that is one thing. But to merely disagree with the concept or welfare or gun control is not the same as being full of hate towards those people.
The absurdity of this concept can be seen by looking at some of those on the right. Mark Mattioli, the father of 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim James Mattioli, has been speaking out against gun control. He doesn't "hate" the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, in fact, he and his wife loved their son more than anyone. To equate him with hate merely for opposing gun control is a pretty cruel tactic by the left.
Many blacks speak up against affirmative action and are viciously attacked by the left. Blacks don't "hate" themselves; there has never been a quote by a conservative black saying they dislike themselves, nor have there been hate crimes committed by conservative blacks against themselves. The entire concept is the height of foolishness. Yet the left routinely goes after outspoken conservative blacks more viciously than they go after, say, doctors who mutilate girls' genitalia in Africa, supposedly one of their key causes and something truly abhorrent. It has become so bad that the word "blacklash" has been coined.
The latest victim of the left's attacks on conservative blacks is Dr. Benjamin Carson. Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., dared to express a few political opinions as a speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, for which he was highly praised later by the Wall Street Journal. The left has gone after him hard ever since.
The hypocrisy can be seen by visiting the White House website shortly after Carson gave his speech. The website wasn't even viewable until you clicked through a huge gun control message from Obama. There was no massive outrage, it was merely mentioned on a few conservative websites. Apparently for the left, it is O.K. for a left-wing black man to use the national government's website to promote an overtly political message, but not for a conservative black man to use the national prayer breakfast to also declare some political opinions.
The phony offensive ploys must stop. We are not a nation of crybaby fourth graders. Don't buy into the victim mentality, and call out the tactic when the left uses it. The left is not the harmless crybabies they appear to be at first. If we don't speak up now, they will bully us into giving up our First Amendment rights by threatening our jobs, licenses and reputations. As Charlton Heston once said, "Political correctness is tyranny with manners."
Rachel Alexander and her brother Andrew are co-Editors of Intellectual Conservative. She has been published in the American Spectator, Townhall.com, Fox News, NewsMax, Accuracy in Media, The Americano, ParcBench, and other publications.