Feb 082010
Authors: Josh Phillips

No doubt you’ve heard of the raging controversy generated by the “Cowboys vs. Indians” Facebook group created by Ben Margolit, a student here at CSU.

If you haven’t heard of it, suffice to say the campus has exploded in a fervent whirlwind of political correctness.

The “biggest social networking faux pas,” as the Collegian deemed it, led to a lengthy debate on the Lory Student Center Plaza as well as the Collegian’s Web site. Some said it was intolerant and ignorant. Others said it was harmless.

I’m more worried about the implications this issue carries in regard to our society as a whole. Political correctness, in all its filth and virulence, has reared its ugly head on our campus, permeating the media and tainting rationality with inconsiderate vehemence.

I agree that the notion of “Cowboys vs. Indians” is indeed polarizing and suggestive of a violent boundary between two distinct cultures. According to those offended, those who responded to Ben created the maelstrom of racism and ignorance.
Some of the comments were clearly racist, but political correctness, the social disease that has gripped our nation, has tightened its venomous coils around those who are otherwise upstanding examples of rationality. 

The mature response to these racist comments would be to ignore them. The mature response would be to treat them as the back-alley sewage that the rest of us recognized.

Instead, in the spirit of absurd behavior, those who took offense decided that it was in their best interest to compound the problem by furthering the issue rather than merely sidestepping it altogether.

The Collegian cannot contest its contribution to this veritable accumulation of absurdity. The article on Feb. 5, titled “‘Cowboys v. Indians’ event sparks tense race talks,” highlighted only the most radical and insulting comments. Instead of propagating an environment of open dialogue, it instead attempted to instill anger and a desire for retribution.

And action is the ultimate goal of political correctness. It actively seeks retribution, as displayed in the Collegian, and assumes that one group should maintain power over another while working under the guise of fairness and equality.
We are a generation that has been born under the iron fist of political correctness, which implies that we are obligated to comply with the unreasonable demands of the minority. We are expected to dispose of rational contemplation and succumb to the wishes of a few. We are expected to believe that their voices carry more weight because their ancestors suffered in a time when suffering was the norm. 

If that’s the case, then should I expect all those of British heritage to pay my family of Irish descent reparations for the atrocities their ancestors inflicted upon my ancestors? The British were notorious for engaging in slave trading during the 17th century, and the Irish were among those oppressed. 

Why is my demand any less reasonable than the demands of others whose ancestors were oppressed? 

Last week, CSU President Tony Frank sent an e-mail to the campus community, saying “Behavior that demeans another culture.” I challenge President Frank to explain exactly how wearing the garb of another culture is demeaning. This is a reasonable, rational inquiry, and if no sufficient response can be provided, I will assume that President Frank has fallen under the spell of political correctness that has overtaken our campus. 

Political correctness is dangerous for several reasons. First, it explicitly defies open debate — admit it, discussions of sensitive topics are somehow always reduced to somebody being called a “Nazi” — and second, it offers a distorted portrayal of the minorities it claims to defend.

For example, the groups claiming offense to these mostly harmless actions have subjected themselves to ridicule by using PC tactics to portray themselves as helpless victims instead of strong, resolute activists of their cause. 

I would suggest Ben Margolit keep his original Facebook group as a demonstration that political correctness cannot gain enough momentum to undermine free speech. 

After stating my argument, I fully expect to be labeled a hate-monger, a white supremacist or an intolerant xenophobe. But to me, that just means that my dissenters have reached a wall of political correctness that prevents any semblance of rationality or logic to seep through its treacherous confines.
Josh Phillips is a senior business administration major. His contempt for political correctness appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Feedback and hate mail can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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