Thursday, April 22, 2010

Political Correctness is the New Prejudice

All too often in this world, there is someone ready to be offended on someone else's behalf. And that is wrong - very wrong. Because it often leads to embarrassment, bad feeling and misery.

Take the example of Roy Amor.

He joked with a friend. It was his friend that he joked with. His friend was not offended because his friend knew it was a joke. They were, in the great Australian tradition, mates. Unlike many Australians, Roy was not afraid to be friends with others. The fact that his friend was a different colour to him did not affect their relationship. It wouldn't because neither Roy nor his friend were racists.

Yet Roy is now dead.

The reason Roy is dead is because of racism - don't doubt it. But not his racism.

A passerby overhead Roy's joke with his friend. And while his friend laughed with Roy as mates do - genuinely and with affection - the passerby did not. The passerby elected to be offended on behalf of Roy's friend and raised the joke as the act of a racist and Roy was thus the subject of an investigation.

Roy, the non-racist, whose friendship with others cared not for their race, colour or creed, felt so intimidated by the allegations of racism that he committed suicide.

The passerby, for whom colour was obviously an issue yet who considers themselves non-racist, must now consider the degree to which they are responsible for Roy's death.

Roy should not has committed suicide. It was not a reasonable thing to do. Plainly, he must have had other problems, other concerns on his mind. Clearly, there was much in Roy's life that influenced him. This case of political correctness gone mad just pushed the balance.

But that's the problem with taking on other people's 'offendedness'. Being offended on someone else's behalf might well be a good thing - we should all be offended at racism. But it is important to do so only when there is good reason. In other words, when there actually is a victim who is offended.

Many years ago, I worked with a close knit group of people. An obviously faked performance report was created for one in the group in a manner calculated to create much merriment with the person. It did. They were ecstatic and very pleased. A manager saw the report and the 'victim' was extremely embarrassed by the fiasco that followed which involved the flaying alive and severe tongue-lashing of the 'culprits'. Needless to say, the 'victim' was very upset. Not by the joke of which they fully approved, but by the result of the manager offended on their behalf. A manager who didn't even have the brains or consideration to talk to the 'victim' about it.

In Roy's case, as has been said, there were probably other things going on in his life or his mind that contributed to his death. But think about it - we all have other things going on in our lives. Who else will die because someone projects their own special variety of prejudice on someone else?

You cannot generalize in such situations. Humour, especially, is a very subjective thing. It is not something you can legislate on. If John (very tall) Cleese makes a joke about short people, a thousand people will be offended on behalf of the short. Yet if Ronnie Corbett tells the same joke, no-one is offended. Steady Eddy could see the humour in his disability - or at least in what others with prejudice call a disability. Should we stone him? What if he was 'normal' - can we stone him then?

Racism - like most ISMs - is not right and should not be tolerated. People, especially in the workplace or the school - should not be subjected to racism, bullying, sexism or any other discriminatory treatment. We need zero tolerance.

But we need to be zero tolerant to discriminatory treatment. In Roy's friend's case, there was no discrimination. Except against Roy.

Political Correctness surely is the new prejudice.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Sick Australia

I am sorry to say that I am rapidly become disenchanted with Australia.

But it's not the people, per say, and definitely not the country. It's the government - which includes the bureaucratic thieves and other criminals who treat Australians with contempt.

Consider then, the case of Rebecca Doig and her family.

She has early onset dementia. I am not going to go into the details - read the above link.

What I will say is that Australia is failing these people as I personally know it has failed many others. Pensioners live in their own faeces because those with the power to change it sit back on their fat behinds picking their noses with one hundred dollar bills that they have 'earnt' in their so-called social security jobs.

People are run into the ground caring for others - and receive nothing for it. I saw a wonderful t-shirt the other day. It summed the situation up beautifully.

  • No Overtime
  • No Public Holidays
  • No Annual Leave
  • No Long Service Leave
  • No Superannuation
  • Hours - 24x7
  • $1.73 per hour

    The biggest rub of these is the 'No Superannuation'. Not only do carers lose their present - they lose their future as well. And our government doesn't give a damn.

    And Rebecca Doig doesn't even get a pension.

    I curse them all for lining their own pockets while letting those in need suffer.

    It is the Sick Australia.

    And if you don't like it - then start lobbying Centrelink, as a starting point, for change.
  • Friday, April 9, 2010

    Earth - The Planet That Eats Children

    Perhaps 'eats' is not right, but let's face it, we come pretty close in terms of our sick behaviour to children. We rape them, we beat them, we murder them and we leave them to starve. You doubt it?

    Take the case of Sangeeta Persaud who suffered from convulsions. Now convulsions are a terrible thing to experience and especially for a child. So what medical treatment did she receive? Well if you followed the link you'd know. She received an exorcism to get rid of the naughty demons that were possessing her. She died as a result of that exorcism. Unfortunately the only demons were those who were allowed to kill her through their own ignorance.

    Then, there is the case of Garsha Wilson. How did the world treat this poor young thing? She was raped, strangled and then buried alive. Twelve years old and subjected to this.

    But it gets worse. Ilham Mahdi al Assi was forced into marriage at just 13 years old and split open internally by the sexual invasion of her husband. It was rape. Some religious groups do not consider forced sexual intercourse to be rape when the criminal act is perpetrated by the woman (or in this case, child's) husband.

    Quite apart from these incidents - not isolated incidents either - there are also the 24,000 children who die every day - needlessly.

    The biggest crime here - and the reason for my title - is that the world sits smugly back and lets it all happen. We feel token outrage - sometimes - but don't lift a finger to change it. We let religious groups perpetrate astonishing cruelty because we somehow feel that they have some God-given 'right' to do so. And we stuff ourselves stupid with chocolate Easter eggs when a child dies every four seconds.

    We might as well be the planet that eats children. We certainly take no real trouble or effort to protect them.

    Planet Earth, I am ashamed of you.