22 January 2007

The Danger of Political Correctness

This is a long post, but consists of an op-ed that I felt needed as much exposure as possible. Mr. Ed Hooper, editor of the Civil War Courier, was very gracious to grant permission for me to post his most recent editorial in its entirety exclusively online here. I strongly urge readers to take the time to read it. Given the flood of poision pc statements that surrounded Robert E. Lee's birthday last week, I find Mr. Cooper's piece most timely. And, if you don't already subscribe to the Courier, I would encourage you to do so. It is an excellent and highly respected monthly publication in newspaper format with WBTS news, book reviews, preservation efforts, and all things related to the "late unpleasantness." Regardless of your area of interest in the Civil War, you will find much in it to like. I look forward to receiving my copy each month.

Today’s Politically Correct mentality is too dangerous to American freedoms

by Ed Hooper


Civil War Courier

As editor of this publication, I often get the opportunity to talk to publishing houses and their representatives about new book releases. At a recent meeting with a publisher regarding the publication and release of a book dealing with a particular state’s military history, I was told their company had enjoyed little success with “counter-culture” material and were being cautious as to how they approached marketing this new book. Being a writer for most of my life, I was used to hearing phrases such as “there’s no interest,” “no market for it” or “not our specialty,” but saying a collection of stories on the individual accomplishments of citizen-soldiers was “counter-culture” came as a shock to me.

How many generations were raised on stories of the biblical David, Samson and Gideon, the story of Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Al Saladin, Admiral Nelson, George Washington, Patton, and so forth? The stories of their individual accomplishments and lives have been rather definitive of the cultures we became or a result of it – not counter to it. The sad fact is political correctness, which has gripped the United States in force for the last ten years, is destroying this nation and threatening every fiber in the parchment that is our Constitution. It is an Orwellian prophecy come true almost and a developing weakness that is spreading like a virus. If it was a truly local phenomenon, it would not be of concern, but U.S. influence is felt around the world and the disease is worsening.

This past September Mongolia decided it wanted to erect a statue of Genghis Khan outside their embassy as a symbol of their nation. They take pride in Genghis Khan, whom they regard as Mongolia’s most famous contribution to the world and, by all accounts, they are correct. Who could deny this little nation in noting it had once been a major world player and gave rise to a man, who will live forever in the annals of human history? The U.S. political correctness machine is the short answer to that question.

It was a firestorm among college and university professors interviewed by news organizations. They claimed it improper for Mongolia to choose “that man” as a national mascot because of Genghis Khan’s “ruthlessness and imperialistic” attributes. He killed thousands they said and individuals such as that do not deserve recognition. The story of Genghis Khan starting off in life with a couple of ponies and a sword and ending up controlling most of the known world of his time is a story of incredible individual and military achievement. The Mongolians will hopefully ignore what’s been said and move forward with their project.

The academic distaste for military heroes has been evident in this nation since the anti-war protestors of the 1960s and 70s started moving into the ivory towers and becoming professors and teachers. There has been some “scholarly” work over the years, but it has been marginalized in many corners. In fact, according to surveys many professors say and have informed students of the philosophy “had there never been a Genghis Kahn or a George Patton, a George Washington or a Thomas Jefferson history would have created one therefore their stories are less important than the social movements of the era in which these men lived.” It is such a wonderful collectivist mentality that strips away the essences of individual achievement and truly strikes at the heart of this nation’s identity. We have even allowed the word “hero” to be redefined as anyone who puts on a uniform of any kind or has a good thought. It no longer describes a man or woman who faces adversity and overcomes incredible odds and circumstance to succeed.

This “P.C.” mentality, which is so prevalent among modern scholars and their students, is dangerous and threatens our very existence. It is time for the nation to sit up and start putting our historical house back in order. We have one hell of a story to tell the world and, if we let it sink into the mire of politics and academic intolerance, it will be lost forever.

Thank you, Mr. Hooper, for your words of wisdom and warning. ~ RGW


Lawrence Underwood said...

This is a salient and timely article. Thank you for posting it. It grieves me to see our history being shredded on an almost daily basis. I recently met an individual, educated in our government school system, who was unaware that the during the WBTS any Confederate victories ocurred. Additionally, he had been taught that President/General Washington was at best a second rate battle field commander. His veiw was that barring foreign generals he would have never been able to direct forces effectively.

This warping of reality moves far beyond the study of history. We live in a day in which the study of language is wrapped in nihilism; rendering effective communication almost impossible. Students are being taught that grammar is a plasmic standard that may be adjusted to meet their own interpretation of language.

Personally, I fear for the future of our nation and culture. We are being eroded from within at an incredible rate.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Yes, things are moving along at a pretty good clip. But remember Lee's words: "It is history that teaches us to hope." - RGW

Lawrence Underwood said...

That is an axiom worth framing. Let us hope that we have some young leaders, and not so young, who are very aware of history. It also points out how important the accurate study of is to the future.