About a week ago, I was out at The Borough, which I have referred to so often and will continue to, I’m sure.

It was during one of our last cold spells in Raleigh. It was  about 35 degrees or so. My friends had all finished smoking and had gone back outside. I was finishing my American Spirit, which talks about an hour to smoke, standing outside, freezing. These two straight guys walked near me. One of them used the word “Faggot.” Realizing they didn’t have a lighter between the two of them, the one who didn’t use the word faggot asked me, “Do you have a light?”

I promptly respond, “I have a light for people who don’t call me a faggot.”

They then promptly tried to defend themselves. He’s from the country. He doesn’t know what he should call me. He asked, “Is gay better?” I just rolled my eyes. I hand them my lighter. They tried to make nice with me, but never actually apologize. They introduce themselves to me. I finish my cigarette, and as I walk inside, they start to heckle me. “Where are you going?” and the like. I respond, “I’m cold and done with my cigarette.”They stood between me and the door, to bar me from physically entering the building.I get around them and go back inside.

My friends are sitting at the table immediately in front of the doorway, and I tell them what happened. Carla Rae points to the two guys outside and asks, “Those two guys?” I nod, and before I can process what’s happening, she’s gone outside to tell them off. She walks outside with one of her girl friends, and the two guys outside start to bark at her vagina. The owner sees what’s going on and corrects their behavior.

We left shortly after.

While I was there, I never felt in danger. I wasn’t being called a faggot, so far as I could tell. It was just bizarre experience. I’ve been called a faggot for real. I’ve been afraid for my physically safety. I’ve been physically assaulted. That’s not what they were doing. Their behavior was just bizarre. What’s more, they seemed affronted that I would check their behavior.

Political Correctness

This got me thinking about a subject that I have thought a lot about. This idea of being: PC or Politically Correct. People use this expression with disdain, as if there’s nothing worse than being politically correct.

I have a thought. Let’s change the meaning of PC from Politically Correct to Polite Chitchat.

I have a right not to be called a faggot. My female friends have a right not to have a stranger bark at their vagina. I have a right to be treated with respect, because I’m a human being.

The other side is right. They have a right to say what they want. We leave in a free country, and I’m a big fan of that First Amendment. Please, say and do whatever you want. However, if someone says something that makes me think that they are an asshole, I have a right to call them an asshole. That’s my part of free speech.

When people complain about political correctness in this country, they are not complaining about their right to say something, they’re complaining about the fact that other people call them out on it. If you say faggot or nigger or spic, I have a right to call you a homophobe. I have a right to call you a racist. I get to judge you for that. You put it out there.

Political correctness started in this country, because it’s not actually socially acceptable to tell a woman her place is in the home and she has no right to be anywhere else. Using racial slurs is not acceptable. Using homophobic slurs are not acceptable. The list goes on. The reason that they’re not acceptable is because you sound like an asshole.

Resolution

So, I say this. We resolve to stop calling it political correctness. That’s not really what it is. Let’s call it Polite Chitchat.

The reason that I don’t want you to say whatever you’re going to say is because I don’t want to hear it. I have zero interest in you being an asshole. If you decide to be an asshole, I’m going to call you one.

So, the next time you’re out and about having a cocktail. Think about what you say, and whether someone would be able to call you an asshole for what you’re saying.

As always, happy and safe drinking.

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