Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 9/03/18
We seem to have lost all sense of reason. “Reason,” to me, is about common sense, sanity, and logic. I think it also involves emotions. But “reasonable people” are able to synergize these elements into effective responses.
For example, I’m an animal lover, contribute to animal welfare, and abhor animal cruelty. But I think PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) engages in violence that is unreasonable. I think that the image of those three firefighters raising a flag over the ruins of the World Trade Center is indelible and a symbol of our enduring strength. But I find the position of some who want to replace two of the participants in the photos with different ethnicities to show diversity as an unreasonable pursuit which neither supports a historic moment nor promotes diversity.
Political correctness today is too often an unreasonable set of expectations because reason is abandoned. Telling college students that the phrase “you guys” is a “micro-aggression” is absurd, when TV reporters do it every day. It’s appropriate for me to include male and female references and pronouns in my writing, but it’s unreasonable for someone to tell me to refer to them, for example, as “ye” or “um.”
Maybe I’m behind the times, or maybe I’m just fed up with people who demand that their cause, their grievance, their approach to life must be recognized every minute by everyone else and that their cause allows the abandonment of reason. “Polarization” implies two sides, but I observe that we often have scores of “sides”—which leads to fracture.
Are we in an Age of Enlightenment or simply a repeat of The Dark Ages? The latter lasted 400 years.
Let’s face it: Every campus has its share of students who can’t quite comprehend that extreme political correctness is often born of the same intolerance and anti-intellectualism as standard-issue bigotry.
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