It seems that people everywhere are offended by something. A case in point: Over the 2006 holiday season, a Seattle rabbi threatened to sue the Sea-Tac airport for having a Christmas tree inside the lobby. He said it was offensive to all Jews. Later, after tons of mail criticizing his actions, he withdrew the threat and the tree was reinstated. Another case in point: A Paris court stopped a charity from distributing soup to the poor because it contained pork. And we all know that pork might be offensive to Jews and Muslims. So it would be better to let everyone of the Parisian poor starve than to even offer them some soup. And what if they were Jewish? Couldn’t they politely refuse the soup or discard the pork pieces? No, says the court. So now no one of the poor of any religion can have their soup. Good for them. Anyway, I suppose if they changed over to beef soup they would offended the vegans.
Regarding the holidays, the White House can’t send out Christmas cards any more. Everything is now designated “Holiday” to include Chanukah and Kwanza. We have President’s Day to include all presidents, rather than the old Washington and Lincoln’s Birthdays. It appears that even the dead are offended by some things. We are particularly sensitive to race and ethnic backgrounds. I’m still confused at times. Do we refer to Afro-Americans, blacks, or people of color? Orientals or Asian-Americans? Jews or people of David? Hispanic, Mexican-American or Latino? It’s not that easy, as you can see.
Speaking of seeing, the blind are now “sight-challenged” and the poor are “economically disadvantaged.” Therefore the art of labeling specific groups has become a full-time job. The elderly are known as “senior citizens.” Those born at certain times can be “baby-boomers” or “gen-xers.” In the world of business, we travel in coach instead of economy, which might have offended those on the cheap side of the aisle. Stewardesses gave way to “flight attendants.” Garbage men became “waste disposal engineers.” “Salesmen” are always “consultants.” You can surmise that we try to seek the vaguest of terms that might cause the least amount of controversy.
Every segment of society is affected. We now have “inmates” or “incarcerated individuals,” instead of mere “prisoners” or worse yet, “convicts.” We don’t want that group upset, right? The police have migrated from the lowly “cop” to “enforcement officers.” The army no longer has “recruits,” but rather “enlistees” and even our President is referred to as the “Chief Executive” of the land. If we confront a woman of unknown marital status we need to use “Ms.” Lesbians have “significant others” as mates. And did I say “lesbian?” Sorry, I meant those that have chosen an “alternative lifestyle.” That covers gay men as well, okay?
In these uncertain times, we have to be “PC” or “politically correct” or risk lawsuits or even violence. The illegal Mexican immigrants hold massive rallies to protest their portrayal as illegal immigrants. They prefer to be called “undocumented immigrants” So, for Pedro reading this article, don’t you feel better about your status already? Gracias. I suppose I offended his whole nationality and should reprint this again in Spanish, just to be safe.
But I’m sure I have already left out many of you reading this. So, if I can address the rich, (I mean the economically fortunate), the fat (calorically challenged), the ugly (attractively diminished), the Atheists (religiously deficient), the boring (ennui-fulfilled), the stupid (cranially maladjusted), and the dwarfs (vertically confronted), I can perhaps begin to heal the wounds and scars many of you minorities (lesser-majority) bear. It was never my intention to slight you, but rather than to rectify the years of abuse you have endured. Perhaps we can all learn to get along in this new and wondrous age where everyone is defined as a good and capable person. If you, however, are still offended by the way the world treats you, then you might consider forming a new religion. After all, who ever heard of someone of faith ever getting persecuted or misinterpreted? Unless you were thinking of that guy on the cross a few thousand years ago (I’m not going to mention his name upon fear of offending a whole bunch of people again).