Isn't it about time to ignore political correctness?

Published September 13, 2018

By Joe Mavretic

by Joe Mavretic, former House Speaker and NC SPIN panelist, September 13, 2018.

Old McDonald had a farm,

With a B-Word here and an F-Word there, and a J-word, M-Word, N-Word, Q-word, S-word

Old McDonald……..

Welcome to Political Correctness (PC) in America where the only acceptable racial slurs begin with "WHITE………

We’re getting so Prissy..

No one can speak a sentence over thirteen words without offending someone’s fragile sensibilities. Poor babies….we’re becoming a nation of sissies! Get over it! Political Correctness spits in Americas’ eye. This is the country that told a king to "stick it."

My Grandmother taught my Mother and my Mother taught me that:

"Sticks and stones can break your bones.

But words can never hurt you.

Just consider the source!"

I’ve been "considering the source" for over eighty years. I grew up being called a "WOP" from eastern North Carolina. The folks that used that term thought it meant I was Italian or that WOP was an immigration form stamp that stood for "WITH OUT PAPERS." WRONG! My father lawfully immigrated to the United States from what is now Croatia when he was five years old-so, I’m a first generation American (from Eastern Europe) on his side and a several generations American (from Northern and Western Europe) on my Mother’s side….and that ain’t all folks!

I paid some money, got a kit, swabbed my mouth, mailed the kit and found out that I’m 1.7% African, 5.2% Asian and, when combined, 93.1% European.

If I had been born when my maternal great grandfather was, I would have had that "One Drop of African Blood" that sent folks to the cotton fields. Since no one in Eastern North Carolina knew I was 1.7% African, I got to lug tobacco, pick Irish potatoes on my hands and knees for the "War Effort" and cut up chickens for the A&P store.

The Second World War taught me about "Nazis" and "Krauts" and "Japs."

I had to go to UNC-CH to learn that my childhood friend from Elizabeth City, NC, was a "JEW" and that Jews had their own fraternities. At the United States Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, my Italian classmates from New York City knew that I was a "Bohunk." I have been called a "Leatherneck," a "Jarhead," and a "Devil Dog." I had to do a tour in Texas to learn about "Spicks." I learned about "Abbos" from an "Aussie". In Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, I learned that I was a "Haole." The Commandant of the Marine Corps reminded me that, "All Marines are Green." Because I root for the Green Bay Packers, I am a "Cheesehead." Both of my learned friends refer to me as a "Redneck." During two tours in Viet Nam, the "Dinks" "Gooks" "Zips" tried to kill me and I returned the favor. When I visited Hiroshima, Japan, I was labeled a "Gaijin.".

During the fifteen years that I served in North Carolina’s General Assembly, many voters assumed, and some told me, that I was just one small step up from a used car salesman, that I took bribes, drank lots of free whiskey and would say anything to get elected. In 1989, after I was elected Speaker, some of my Christmas cards had nasty notes. Just last week, I learned that I am a "Snowflake."

The last time I checked there were over one hundred eighty (180) politically incorrect ethnic slurs, about fifty (50) politically incorrect religious slurs and each of them referred to someone in a critical, disrespectful, derogatory, pejorative, disapproving or contemptuous way. Not to focus on just ethnicity and religion, let’s not forget PC regarding disabilities, geographic regions, gender, national origin and nicknames.

Seems to me that almost all politically incorrect words, or phrases, fade away over time except the ones that get the most attention and they linger a very long time. Perhaps we should all go back to my grandmother’s tried and true way to address political incorrectness:  "You say that word again and I’ll wash your mouth out with soap!"