Thursday, August 27, 2009

Political correctness

My not-too-recent and “difficult-to-forget” experiences of daily life in southern Africa still makes me cringe whenever I hear the words “politically correct”. It brings back memories of people with personal agendas and con-artists who abuse these terms for personal gain.

In the first place, how can any political position on any issue be “correct”? Isn’t politics supposed to be about a difference of opinions? Are we not claiming to live in a society where we are tolerant of each other’s belief systems and opinions?

How can I then be “politically correct” without being a traitor to my own beliefs? Where is that magical line that defines the boundary between subjects that are in the category where political correctness have to be applied, and subjects that are just opposing views from different personal political points of view?

Now I have myself confused.

Anyway, what started this chain of thought was a little joke that I received in a recent email. It showed a screenshot of someone googling “white people stole my car”, with Google giving a suggestion stating “ Did you mean “black people stole my car?” ”


I found this extremely funny. Not because I’m a racist, but because it shows how a machine’s mechanistic way of trying to solve problems by stating the obvious, can cause a situation that is “politically incorrect”. All the machine does is to analyse search patterns and make suggestions based on facts and algorithms. It has no emotion, no political point of view, and it shows no remorse. Just like the Terminator.

But the human brain immediately connects facts in a different way, and adds a lot of emotion.

The first thing I did, of course, was to open Google and type the words “white people stole my car.”

In stead of getting the screenshot I expected, I was shown hundreds of sites where this whole issue was being debated. Apparently, the statistics on Google multiplied exponentially since this joke started making it’s rounds. It is now one of the most searched phrases on the web, and some people actually claim that Google is being spammed.

Others claim that clicking on the links you find under this search term will bring you to websites that will infect your hard-drive with swine-flu and make your memory stick HIV positive.

And then there is the whole political can of worms that this situation opens. Obviously every left-wing fanatic in the world will jump on the bandwagon and make sure that white guilt is under pressure and performing well. Obviously Google has already done the politically correct thing, and you won’t see those suggestions anywhere. I couldn’t get them, anyway. (And I really tried hard.)

And this brings me to this South African bloke who won the ladies 800m event. In stead of facing the issue, taking the gender test and then seeing where things go from there, every Tom, Dick and Harry in South Africa jumps on the racism bandwagon and converts the whole thing into a political rally.

So I wondered what would happen if I typed in “white man participates in ladies athletic event”?

There was an amazing array of categories that was suggested. It seems that there are quite a few white blokes out there who have tried to participate in events like “track and field championships”, pole vault, running events, Olympic events, health events - the list just goes on and on and on.

I decided not to look any further. I’ve had enough of athletics. What a stupid sport, anyway.

Or was that a politically incorrect statement?

1 comment:

boerinballingskap said...

Goed gestel. Ek het sommer nou lekker gelag! :)