Is there such thing as too PC?

Leslie Silverman

The Washington Redskins are no more. Sigh.

Not that I care about football. But I do care about this gone too far PC (politically correct) world in which I suddenly find myself.

No, being PC isn’t new. But the extreme PC that has been oddly around since the zombie apocalypse is way out of my comfort zone. In fact, I am offended by it! And that’s my right, right?  I mean because suddenly what is or is not offensive has become a huge deal.

I grew up in the 1970s. I watched “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son,” “Good Times,” “Chico and the Man.” Every one of these shows was offensive. Was it offensive when George Jefferson called his neighbor a racial slur for white people? Yes. Did anyone seem to mind? Not really.

Watch most movies from that time period and women are objectified and second class. I was not offended in the slightest by this portrayal. It was entertainment and I had a choice to watch or listen to it. I made that same choice when I chose to listen to George Carlin on Richard Pryor. No one censored my right to pursue that type of comedy.

Yes, there were measures to censor some heavy metal back in the day. And there were movements to put  “offensive” or “PG-13” as a way to “ protect” the young. But these things were not banned. Now, however, what I am seeing is blatant censorship. I’ll give you a personal example.

I log all of the climbs I do on a website run by a large outdoor store. Climbs are named by the first ascensionist...the person or persons who first put the climb up. A person can name a climb anything he or she wants. Or so it was.

The large outdoor store (let’s call them RUY) is now choosing to contact first ascensionists in an attempt to change the names of climbs they deem as “offensive.” They literally have stated on their website that “offensive names will be flagged and will be changed.” Some of these names date back to the 1930s. And yes, some are likely offensive. And I have never really once thought about it.

I don’t sit there and say I won’t climb something based on its name. And when I log my climbs I don’t ever think twice about its name. What I care about is how safe the climb is, how fun the movement is and whether I can finish it without falling or pulling on gear.

What this large outdoor store is doing, or forcing, in my opinion, is blatant censorship. They are dictating what is or is not offensive. That scares me. What happens to our personal freedoms when we lose the right to name something what we want to name it?

I’m not saying certain names might not be offensive to certain people. What I am saying is that isn’t this country built on freedom and independence? If I want to call my female dog a word that starts with a “b” instead of a canine, do I not have that right? Yes, it is an offensive word to some, but it is also technically correct to do so.

In the past few weeks I have heard of the repeal of Aunt Jemimah, “Gone with the Wind” and the stripping of firearms from a cartoon character. Enough, I say!

We are slowly morphing into a “Brave New World,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “1984” society. And if we don’t take care to watch our rights we may one day find them gone forever.

So props to RUY for deciding that climbing is so serious that any reference to gender, race, creed, color or religion will “ no longer be tolerated” when naming rock climbs and that you single-handedly have the right to determine what is or is not offensive.

‘merica….land of the PC and home of the complain.

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