What happens when a society becomes more concerned with political correctness than with accepting people truthfully acknowledging their different views? People are branded as racist bigots, denigrated, and may even lose their jobs.
Juan Williams is a prominent public example, due to his honest statement of his feeling worried when he is on an airplane with individuals who prominently identify themselves “first and foremost as Muslims” (1). Mr. Williams began his statement by saying he was not a bigot, and explained that his feelings were a result of September 11, and the comments by the Times Square attacker at his sentencing. It is important to read the whole transcript or watch the video (2) for the entirety of his appearance on “The Factor,” as Mr. Williams continued on to say that Americans need to be aware of stereotyping, on guard against violating others’ Constitutional rights, and to not make rash jumps to judgment.
What was so offensive in the statements Mr. Williams made? Perhaps this quote, “Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality” (2). He was honest about his feelings – feelings which are shared by many others around the world. The feelings of apprehension are not solely the result of September 11. There have been many attempts at inflicting mass casualties on American soil in the past nine years:
Fort Dix Six – 2007
JFK airport / fuel lines / grenade launcher plots – 2007
Goose Creek, SC (SPAWAR and brig) – 2007
Bronx Synagogue bombing plot – 2009
Najibullah Zazi – 2009
North Carolina Boyd cell – 2009
Arkansas recruiting station – 2009
Fort Hood murders – 2009
Underwear bomber – 2009
Threat by Revolution Muslim against South Park creators – 2010
Times Square bombing – 2010
Also, the international news coverage of the bombing in Bali, bombing in Spain, the Beslan school massacre, the murders of Theo Van Gogh and Pim Fortunyn (3), the London 7-7 bombings, the attempted car bombings of a London nightclub and Scottish airport, threats and attack on cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and his granddaughter, and the travel warnings issued by the US State Department are in the minds of many Americans. These events all have one thing in common: a particular religious ideology. Are people wrong to openly admit feeling apprehensive by prominent displays of Islam? Does political correctness make the problem disappear? Should we all just ignore our feelings, and place complete trust in our government bureaucracies to keep us safe? Would that work?