Before you read another word of this article, let me assure you that this is not a parody. Every word that follows is true. You can decide for yourself whether my sarcastic commentary is merited.
In the increasingly bizarre world in which we live today, a world dictated by an all-encompassing, radical PC culture, you must guard every word you speak, lest you offend someone's sensitivities. Everything has become a micro-aggression of sorts.
You cannot dream anymore of a "white Christmas." What could be more racist than that?
Accordingly, University College in London had to apologize last December for dreaming of a "white campus"—meaning a snow-covered campus, with explicit reference to Bing Crosby's 1942 "White Christmas" song. Their official statement said, "We chose our words very poorly yesterday. ... We're sorry, and we'll choose our words more carefully in the future." How terribly insensitive!
Today, you cannot speak of "man-hours" or urge someone to "man up" or refer to "mankind" or even say, "man, oh man!" That is so sexist!
Accordingly, it was reported in 2016 that "a new inclusive language policy from administrators at Princeton University is seeking to end the usage of gender-specific words like 'man' on campus." (See here for my response.)
But all this is so antique, so 2016 and 2017. Now, at the end of 2018, we are much more woke. Our sensitivities have been sharpened, and our passions deepened. The thought police are now everywhere.
We have now learned that "Veggie Tales" is racist, as least according to some students at Cal State San Marcos. How so?
Reporting on Red State, Brandon Morse explains that, "During a 'Whiteness Forum' that looks critically at the problem of whiteness, students were encouraged to find racism in things we enjoy in order to train their critical eye. One group of students said the NFL was racist since the players were black but the coaches were white. Another group said that VeggieTales is racist because the good guys are white, and the bad vegetables are ethnic." (See further here.)
To be candid, I am not a "VeggieTales" expert and, as I'm in India right now with a busy schedule, I do not have time to watch all the episodes and offer a scholarly analysis.
I can only reprove myself for not recognizing the racist content from a distance. How else could we explain something being so popular in America if it was not, in fact, racist? Talk about the blindness of white privilege.
That probably explains why no one I've met in India has ever said to me, "Let's talk about 'VeggieTales'!" They too must recognize its racism.
But there's more.
The New York Daily News has reported that, "Vegan activists want to replace terms like 'hold your horses' with meat-free alternatives."
Yes, "Swansea University researcher Dr. Shareena Hamzah has a beef with terms that don't take into consideration 'the rise of veganism.'
"According to Hamzah, terms like 'bringing home the bacon' or 'your goose is cooked' desensitize people to 'the demand for meat,' which she contributes to poor health and climate change in an essay published by theconversation.com."
Once again, I must confess my blindness and insensitivity. I had always thought that these expressions were mere idioms, whatever their origins. I had been ignorant of the fact that, even as idioms, they were offensive to vegans and fed into a larger, pro-meat-eating, anti-climate-change culture.
Dr. Hamzah explains, "Historically, the resources required to obtain meat meant it was mainly the preserve of the upper classes, while the peasantry subsisted on a mostly vegetarian diet. To control the supply of meat was to control the people."
So, this is not only insensitive, it is classist, preserving some kind of evil caste system.
From here on, I say we "bring home the broccoli" rather than the bacon. I say we urge folks to "hold your huckleberries" rather than your horses. (I was going to suggest, "hold your horseradish," but inevitably, that would trigger the "horse" memories and cause undue pain.)
As someone who is almost entirely vegan in diet (this is actually true), I cannot believe I have been so blind for so long. Dr. Hamzah's observations were really meaty and hit the bullseye. (Drat! I did it again.)
Finally, as another indication of how woke our culture has become, Michigan lawmakers are now targeting "gender-specific kids' meal toys."
According to the resolution introduced by Michigan state Rep. Leslie Love, "This is a significant issue, as billions of these meals are sold every year, and this practice can influence and limit children's imaginations and interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls and others only for boys. While some food establishments claim to have abandoned this practice, many stores in Michigan continue to offer gender-classified options to customers."
A significant issue indeed.
I say get rid of the boy-toys and girl-toys and give the kids something generic, like a rubber square.
And when a boy turns to his father and says, "Dad, what happened to my Superman toys?", the father can reply, "Son"—actually, better to say, "Child" so as not to unduly influence his gender options—"just use your imagination. Those boy-toys were so limiting."
Thank heaven we're making such progress!
Accordingly, as we come to the end of 2018, I'll dream of a snowy Christmas that is ethnically sensitive, and when that snow comes, I'll exclaim, "Person oh person, this is beautiful!"
I'll also call for a boycott of "Veggie Tales" while discouraging anything in culture that is gender-specific, being freshly inspired by these brave Michigan politicians.
After all, there's more than one way to skin a cucumber.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Donald Trump Is Not My Savior. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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