If there’s one thing that scares me more than North Korea with a nuclear weapon, it’s the artwork in downtown St. Joseph.
There’s a huge mural on the side of a building down there—depicting the Civil War. It’s interesting and well-done. Among the Civil War symbols depicted are a huge Union soldier and…that’s it. There is no Confederate soldier. They’ve literally painted the South out of history down there. A friend of mine said this is going to make Civil War re-enactors look silly. The Union will haul out their guns and cannon and horses and start shooting at nobody, apparently.
You probably have an opinion about the South, the Rebels and the Civil War. So do I. But now, in the name of “political correctness, “ we’re starting to say they weren’t there.
As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s true. While we’re re-writing history, art in downtown St. Joseph is merely the tip of the iceberg; it’s part of a much larger issue. I think it’s at the core of something very important and very wrong in our society today. I’m talking about the nagging fear of being “politically incorrect” in today’s society.
Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? Political correctness is the conscious, designed manipulation intended to change the way people speak, write, think, feel and act, in furtherance of an agenda. It is neither political nor correct. It is cultural Marxism disguised as “tolerance.” It has been correctly defined as “tyranny with manners,” and it is a direct and dangerous assault on free speech—yours and mine.
It is one thing for me to refrain from a derogatory term because I believe it is hurtful and thoughtless. I’m sure we all wish that everyone would mind their manners. Yet it is altogether a different and dangerous thing to silence me by law or something that calls itself “correct.” Let me speak for myself here: Let’s say we disagree. If you are allowed to silence my thoughts and words, then it logically follows that your argument can be voiced without challenge. That is an Orwellian nightmare.
In previous times, free speech was inviolate, yet there were limits born out of common sense. The old saying was that you can’t shout “fire” in a crowded theatre. We were supposed to be self-regulating. Times have changed, and not for the better.
At the end of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the animals stared at the pigs who had taken over their lives. They then looked at the side of the barn, where their Seven Commandments had been reduced to one: All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others. They were vaguely aware that someone had changed the rules. As I stared up at the Civil War mural, I may have unconsciously bleated. Like a sheep.
Orwell wrote a preface to Animal Farm. It was not included in the book. In that preface, he wrote “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”