And as an example, of the RACIST!™ paintbrush we have this report that Ted Nugent is suing over being accused of making RACIST!™ comments. He’s suing because one of his concerts was cancelled over the accusation, and he’s suing “the City of Muskegon; Mayor Stephen Warmington; City Manager Bryon Mazade; Meridian Entertainment, the concert’s promoter, and others as defendants.” Money quote:
“In a world of political correctness, there is no more reputation-destroying term than racist,” Nugent said in the statement. “And the alleged statements falsely attributed to me could not have been more inaccurate or misleading, completely counter to what I stand for.”
A May 5 interview on Denver radio station KRFX-FM’s morning show was cut short because DJs Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax said Nugent went too far when he used several racial slurs.
The interview focused on guitars until Nugent used the word Jap, to which Lewis and Floorwax immediately protested, The Rocky Mountain News reported. Nugent then used another Asian slur and the DJs called him on that.
Nugent next used the n word when talking about comedian Richard Pryor’s humor and said that, years ago, one of the Funk Brothers used the term to compliment Nugent’s guitar playing.
On this topic, let me refer you to Bill Whittle’s most recent essay, Responsibility:
To be Politically Correct these days, you must accept the collectivist belief that words are like weapons, endowed with their own internal, innate power, and this power, like that of a chambered bullet, cannot be trusted to be used responsibly and so must be outlawed and banished from the community.
PC advocates have strict rules for what they call Hate Speech, and using such speech essentially makes you a criminal.
So much for the First Amendment. But the Bill of Rights never meant much to these people; indeed, they see it as an impediment to human progress.
Implicit in this belief is that I have the power to harm you by my use of language. Notice that all the responsibility falls on the speaker; the listener, the subject, is completely powerless, and has achieved the highest status with the group: victim. Note also that this worshipping of the victim, is in essence, the elevation of the most powerless and the least responsible to divine status. It is a very basic sleight of hand, that allows the controlling elites to maintain that they are only trying to help the poor and downtrodden, when in reality their actions are clearly nothing more than a naked grab for power that would shame the most ruthless corporate CEO.
Who decides what is hate speech? The group decides. If one person in the group seriously finds something offensive, then that term or phrase or entire concept is added to the list or proscribed terms, and this is how we get to office memo’s being critical of the term “brainstorming” as being offensive to epileptic co-workers.
If we buy into this idea of Political Correctness, we do several things, all ruinous: we give other people the power to demean us, we remove any chance at reasoned debate on any issue, and most importantly, in a group of 290 million professionally offended people, we come to a vocabulary of perhaps twenty or thirty words that have been so bleached of potential offensiveness and meaning that language itself becomes worthless.
If you have not read 1984 by George Orwell, you have deprived yourself of an entire education right there. There lies the eternal dictatorship, the ultimate all-pervasive Superstate. And how did such a monstrosity come into being? By controlling language. Not only controlling what could be said, but by so simplifying and infantilizing language that entire concepts become literally unthinkable because there were no words for them. Here we sit talking about Freedom, Liberty, Responsibility and all the rest. What if the act of speaking one’s mind was described only as “ungood.” What if the only adjectives applied to a life of subjection and servility were “double plus good,” the very words subjection, slavery, servility, submission banished generations ago?
You look out into the street and see someone tearing down a poster of Big Brother; the offender is hauled away, never to be seen again. How do you describe such an action without courage, audacity, rebellion, resistance and freedom? You can’t. You can’t describe them to others, and you can’t think about them yourself. Ungood behavior. You’re a prisoner of your limited, puerile language, and that is precisely where the Politically Correct movement wants to take us, to a world where language and thought is rigidly controlled – by them.
To those who want to limit speech they see as hateful, I can only utter these simple words of protest: Go straight to fucking hell you miserable authoritarian cocksuckers!
Forgive me, I know that offended some of you. But remember this: words are words. They are encapsulated ideas, and the only harm they can do us is the harm we ourselves allow them to do us.
How much better, how much stronger and healthier are we, when we dare anyone to use whatever terms they chose, and rather than sitting as powerless victims, rise in angry and righteous indignation to fight the human filth that use words like nigger, spick, gook, mick, kike, dago, and all the rest? How much more secure, how much more inoculated, are we when we can hear these words knowing that those who use them are discredited and terrified infants so out of ideas and argument that they must resort to such childish tactics to reassure themselves? What words can hurt us when we refuse to be hurt by words? What simple and powerful wisdom is bound up in Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me?
I have been called a few choice names in the course of these writings, and I have quickly learned that I do not want to be admired and respected by totalitarians, willfully uneducated idiots, smug and jaded suburban revolutionaries, and apologists for dictators. If people like that agreed with me I would be ashamed of myself. I’m proud to anger those people, and whatever names they choose to call me I consider a badge of pride, considering their source. We can indeed judge ourselves by the loathsomeness of our enemies.
The defense against hate speech is not to put our hands over our ears, our eyes, and someone else’s mouth. The way to fight this human virus is to do what we have been doing: hold those who use such language up to ridicule and scorn, to use our own words as a people blessed with freedom of speech, and to let such archaic and diseased notions and epithets die a quick death in the marketplace of better ideas.
It is a far more dignified, self-respecting and adult way to deal with life’s travails than crying and stamping your feet when someone calls you a bad name. Those people will always exist, even within the competing factions of a PC universe. If we have free will, we can control our own hearts. And if we let mere words hurt us, we have abdicated this responsibility, and given it to someone else.
It is tantamount to surrendering an impregnable fortress without a shot being fired.
“Jap” is a slur? I’m married to one! As I mentioned below, my wife and I went to see Bad Boys 2 last Sunday. The scene I commented on where Will Smith and Martin Lawrence haze a young man, Will Smith uses the “N-word” repeatedly. It’s not a slur when blacks use it, but anyone outside that group will be immediately painted RACIST!™ for doing so, regardless of context or intent.
Ah, the power of words.
Is Ted Nugent RACIST!™? I don’t know. I doubt it. He seems to strike me as the kind of guy who takes the measure of the individual, not the group. Is he “insensitive” – Politically INcorrect?
He’s also a staunch defender of the right to arms.
So of course he’s a RACIST!™, right?
UPDATE to the UPDATE: Dateline 8/25/03 2:20 PM
I found another article concerning precisely what Nugent said here (though how long the link will be valid I don’t know.) Here’s the pertinent part:
The Nuge, never one for his subtlety when it comes to politically incorrect views, recently made some disparaging remarks about Asians while on Denver morning show program Lewis and Floorwax.
Reportedly he began to talk about guitars, complaining that they used to be made by “Japs”. It gets worse.
Kathy Lee, Lewis and Floorwax’s producer, is Korean-American. Instead of an apology to Lee, Nugent said “Maybe she’d prefer the term gook?” and asked her to “Go get me some sweet and sour,” according to host Rick Lewis.
Nugent has said that his words were not harmful as his intentions were only in jest. He then went on to compare his statements to those of other minority artist such as N.W.A. and Richard Pryor – then bandied about a derogatory word about African-Americans.
Ahem. Let me repeat Bill Whittle’s words:
How much better, how much stronger and healthier are we, when we dare anyone to use whatever terms they chose, and rather than sitting as powerless victims, rise in angry and righteous indignation to fight the human filth that use words like nigger, spick, gook, mick, kike, dago, and all the rest?
Nuge? You’re an idiot.