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Diversity, Equality & Other Four-Letter Words I Disdain

Is being politically correct always the right way?


Every time I write a column with political overtones, I swear I won’t do it again. Then, the response is so consistently good that I think, “Gee, maybe I should just become a political commentator.” Then, very quickly, I come back to reality with the honest self-reflection that I just don’t have the chops for it like many of the great political writers I admire such as Thomas Sowell or Michael Medved. However, I still have opinions, so I do take the opportunity now and then to express them, especially when they relate to parenting.

Our kids are growing up in a politically correct environment everywhere they go, from school to the work place. They are often indoctrinated in views that school districts adopt, such as the zany re-writing of history that California has legislated so that every group gets representation in history classes, regardless of the truth or reality of who did what, when and where.

During the Presidential Election of 2008, both my boys faced teachers advocating, either directly or via public class, mock elections, a particular candidate and/or political party. In the situation of the high school case, it was so egregious that I wrote a letter to the local paper and went to see the principal. The principal only saw me after he felt the strong reaction to my Letter to the Editor and the hue and cry that followed.

He did not defend that teacher’s actions, thankfully, and promised to send out a memo to all teachers to refrain from any political advocacy.

Now, that same son is hearing similar agendas in his first year at college. It’s so pernicious that it is simply inescapable. I believe it adds to a parent’s burden, or challenge, in raising children because now we have to be sure the values we believe in are understood by our children and we have to monitor what they read, see or watch at school. How ironic.

Obviously, the same applies to all the forms of music and mass mainstream entertainment. There are the occasional movies like Zero Dark Thirty, that make you proud to be an American, but then there are the usual political diatribes that pass for objectivity that too often come out from la-la land like the recent Matt Damon movie against fracking. The list of Hollywood’s output with a blatant left-leaning agenda overwhelms the occasional honest film. Oliver Stone’s entire career has largely been about de-constructing the truth of American history with the notable exception being his terrific post-911 film.

So, let’s return to the two words that inspired this column. The two words at the top of my political-correctness list that I perhaps dislike the most. Frankly, the list is endless, as the politically correct police have sheared so many words off their meaning. Rape is a heinous crime, but in many circles it is applied when a woman regrets having sex after the fact, such as in a college environment when a young woman gets drunk and/or high and finds herself the next morning in bed with a young man she regrets having slept with.

Be CLEAR that I am not advocating that real rape – when a woman is involuntarily attacked or doped and sexually assaulted – isn’t a heinous crime. But, regret “after the fact” is not rape.

The same conscription of terminology happened to sexual harassment. It used to mean when a (largely) male boss demanded sexual favors from a (largely) woman subordinate in exchange for a raise, a promotion or even continued employment. Now, a Victoria’s Secret calendar placed in a man’s own workspace is grounds for the use of the term 'sexual harassment' and potential discipline at the hands of HR.

So, let’s talk about diversity then. A definition I found online is: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety. Yeah, that’s what it’s always meant to me. Now, the definition also contains: the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization. I wonder when THAT was added?

Today, every left-leaning aka Democratic politician talks about diversity as if it were a new concept in America. Hello? America was built on diversity. Why is it now a contemporary value in politics and at school? When did it become something that is legislated and part of changing our history books in school? Why has diversity not included diversity of thought on our campuses? Ugh, I can’t stand hearing that word anymore.

Another word that used to be a hallmark of America and our history was equality. It’s all over our founding documents. But it now seems to mean something more like Robin Hood – take from the rich and give to the poor. Our President made much of his second campaign about this new idea of equality. And he was re-elected on the promise of redistribution of wealth.

Again, I say HELLO? Since when is the American ideal that we’re all equal, regardless of what we do to earn it? “Earn” is like a bad word today, isn’t it? Phil Mickelson gets castigated for publicly declaring he may want to leave California because he’d like to keep more than 37% of his income? Why can he not declare that opinion and have the free choice of where to live when Hollywood celebrities regularly and vocally support their cause and/or candidate of choice.

I don’t know. It all seems upside-down to me. What do you say?

*This is an opinion piece and the views expressed within don't necessarily reflect the views of Patch or its editors.

About this column: Bruce Sallan is an Agoura Hills stay-at-home dad who is raising two teenage boys. Bruce’s first book, A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation is available at Amazon and the store at BruceSallan.com: http://brucesallan.com/index.php/store. Bruce Sallan’s column, “A Dad’s Point-of-View,” is carried in over 100 newspapers and websites worldwide. Please listen to “The Bruce Sallan Show - A Dad’s Point-of-View,” his one-hour radio show, which is available anytime, via live stream, or to download for free on BruceSallan.com

Karen February 05, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Wow. Finally an honest assessment of what is happening in America, and particularly in California. The CSU and UC systems in particular blatantly push a far left agenda, rather than teaching students to think, evaluate, and make their own conclusions. Equality and diversity now means put anyone of color in front of the line. The problem is that the left-wingers march, protest, and control the government, while people with common sense roll their eyes and stay quiet. Thank you for voicing your opinion.

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