Monday, March 18, 2013

“Political correctness gone suicidal” – an editorial

This is a tragic story in which the inadvertent use of a politically correct euphemism led office workers to ignore a death threat against one of their co-workers:

“In early April this year [2007] a man walked into an office of the University of Washington and killed his ex-girlfriend and then shot himself. She had been stalked by the guy for over a year. She filed one report to the police for a restraining order which was useless because nobody could find him. She wrote an email to her office coworkers, ‘I have a stalking issue,’ she wrote. A stalking issue? The young woman could only describe in the gentlest terms that she was probably going to be murdered. This is political correctness gone suicidal. What prevented her from writing, ‘Dear Coworkers, some guy is trying to kill me, and I won’t let him and you’re going to help me because I don’t want to die.’ We know the reason. The same one that made people tip-toe around the killer at Virginia Tech. Everything must remain normal until the slaughter.” (Source)

In a later article:

“Later that year, the State Department of Labor and Industries issued the University of Washington a $2,100 fine, saying employees at the College of Architecture and Urban Planning were put in danger due to the university’s failure to follow its own workplace safety rules.” (Source)

The Takeaway: If you ever need to ask for help to protect or defend yourself, do not use any politically correct words or phrases. People are likely to interpret them as meaningless filler, fail to understand that you really need help, and fail to help you. Political correctness is a childish fantasy that the whole world is safe and comfy and cozy. Taken at face value, this fantasy can get you raped, maimed or killed. Please be careful: When you really need help, say what you mean.

See disclaimer.

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