Politically Correct

Imagine sitting down to tea in a lovely covered patio.  Your host and hostess are chatting amiably, when you notice that an elephant is coming around the corner, and it begins to munch on the potted plants.  You are sure they saw the elephant as soon as you did, and being the diplomat you are, you try to be matter-of-fact.  You ask where they acquired such a beautiful elephant.  Amazingly, they become immediately angry with you and deny the existence of the elephant.  The wife looks distressed, and the host gets in your face, demanding you apologize and admit you are wrong about the elephant.  You are quite shaken, and attempt to say you have no problem with elephants, you are culturally sensitive, and its fine with you if people keep elephants in the garden.  Your host demands the apology again, and insists you have upset his wife by your implication that she is somehow inferior to you in how she runs her house.  Again, you are totally puzzled as to what is going on here, and how can you deny the presence of the elephant who by now is so close you can smell its breath!  Then your host amazes you by again demanding you admit you are wrong in what you saw, apologize for offending his wife, and do it immediately or you will be escorted from the premises.

This is a picture of political correctness.  Not only must you deny what you see, you must apologize for seeing it.  The official denial of its reality leaves you feeling confused.  The punitive response toward your truthfulness may tempt you to compromise your integrity.  In some cases, you may be wondering about your own sanity.  Now if you were in China, the smog may be so bad as to actually obscure your vision enough to make you wonder if you really saw the elephant or if it was just a shadow that looked like one.  But you had better be quiet or you’ll be in the same situation as above.  The smog doesn’t officially exist either.

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