How Liberals are Continuing to Fall into the Trappings of Political Correctness.
Almost a week has gone by since left-wing satirist Bill Maher inscribed into the national limelight a pejorative by which he, and HBO have stumbled to address in a manner befitting the few (and yes they are few) calls to have his show canceled.
In case you missed it, here is a brief snip of a larger conversation on the show:
“Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house nigger. No, it’s a joke.” – Bill Maher
The mainstream media, to which so many members of the conservative right have fought furiously to subjectively label as leftist, railed Mr. Maher as inappropriate and inexcusable. Is it though?
Taking such a stance as to slam Mr. Maher as a racist becons forth imagery and references to the shaky ground with which race relations in the United States has built its foundation . Those whom are quick to enforce their stance on such a shifting and fluid subject as ethnic nomenclature or its associated lexicons often point out that the utter use of offensive words by someone not affiliated with the ethnic group affected by the word are perpetuating a negative stereotype. With this I fully agree, it is a travesty that some ethnic slurs are used so recklessy.
However, there must be a reminder that our 1st Amendment right to free speech even includes hate speech. To this point, Mr. Maher did not use or intend (the really important part here is intent) to be hateful or demonstrative of any offensive behaviour. Indubitably Mr. Mahers behaviour here is demonstrative of exactly what so many need a gentle reminder of: Satire, while it may be offensive or questionable at times, is protected speech and a fundamental aspect to the communitas of our democratic society. Punishing those that help a free and just populous question our own sense of what is key to our societal relations because it is not completely socially acceptable only serves to bring that system closer to authoritarian rule. Should he be censored? Only if the system wishes to continue and prolong an awkwardness between the ethnic groups and their associated stances.
There are interestingly, Liberals that incite a strong sense of politically correct speech in this matter. Using the modern means of online massive media presence, they in turn force a surge of emotionally based and relatively biased pressure upon their media icons. Those who add to, re-post or even agree with this methodology must be aware of the consequences of their own means of thought / speech censorship. If utilized in its entirety, the social structure of a free and just society may seem to be such, yet, will fall short of the goal itself, in that it would create a social authoritarian elitist popularchy, where speech unaligned with the “educated and tolerant” majority opinion (sound familiar?) is stricken down as evil. It would be in truth a form of evil more associated with the nationalistic evils of recent history that it is trying to eradicate, than with a mutually beneficial societal move forward. This is where the Politically Correct Elite seem to have a driving force of social media and mainstream media attention focused, though it can not be corroborated due to its affects not running the course of human involvement over an expansive enough period of time to allow for the gestation of the consequences of such a political schema, there is still reason to stand out against such a potentially damning societal structure ever taking place.
Humanity has, as long as we have written record for, implicated and crucified those that spoke out in a means unfitting that of what is considered the social norm. When society, or in this case an ideologically elitist sector of society, begins to persecute those who challenge the communal whole’s use of language, especially in a satirical manner, the structure of that societies tolerances begins to wither at its base level, which may lead to a society lead and founded by a severely limited sense of freedoms, beyond the level with which the United States now experiences such limiting factors. The dangers associated with such are clear, and may result in a dramatic turn towards a human experience devoid, or even engineered to be free from what many would call radical or not politically correct thought.
There is no better time or place to debate the use and importance of difficult conversation than on a program where humor is the key to the audiences engagement and education of their current social/political station. (in point of fact humor is key to understand many difficult topics) To this Mr. Maher is owed a great deal of appreciation and respect (for his use of a word claimed by one ethnic group as only theirs, a clearly elitist and demonstrably racist statement to which should be evaluated along the same lines as the topic of this work). Bill Maher should show face and confront the issue at hand, and demonstrate his ability to overcome adversary, to which he has championed before, or at least be allowed the opportunity to on his own program.