Po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect and proud

The Covington News - - Opinion - Nat Har­well Colum­nist

And a pleas­ant Sun­day morn­ing to one and all. I’ll make this one short, sweet, sim­ple and to the point.

Come along for the ride, won’t you?

I’m a white, het­ero­sex­ual, South­ern, Chris­tian male. I was raised in a small Ge­or­gia town dur­ing the last days of seg­re­ga­tion, a mem­ber of the very last class of this state’s pub­lic high schools to be grad­u­ated be­fore the Fed­eral Govern­ment en­forced manda­tory in­te­gra­tion in the fall of 1969.

I am well aware of what life was like in Ge­or­gia dur­ing the days of “Jim Crow,” not only from my own ex­pe­ri­ences, but by virtue of be­ing raised by a South­ern fam­ily steeped in tra­di­tion dat­ing back to when the first Har­well ar­rived in Vir­ginia from Eng­land in the 1700s.

I spent my en­tire pro­fes­sional life as a teacher and coach in the in­te­grated pub­lic schools of my na­tive state.

Hav­ing also been gain­fully em­ployed in the pri­vate sec­tor, I’ve worked with peo­ple of vary­ing na­tional ori­gins, creeds, eth­nic­i­ties and race.

I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced the full spec­trum from seg­re­ga­tion to in­te­gra­tion, and watched as our ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem vir­tu­ally col­lapsed and Amer­i­can so­ci­ety was vir­tu­ally taken cap­tive by the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of Af­fir­ma­tive Ac­tion poli­cies fil­ter­ing through both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors of our nation.

In the air­line busi­ness I saw mi­nor­ity mem­bers pro­moted to po­si­tions of su­per­vi­sory ca­pac­ity with­out re­gard to qual­i­fi­ca­tion, the out­come of law­suits de­mand­ing the right for mi­nor­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tion in com­pany man­age­ment.

In the school busi­ness I’ve seen the pad­dle taken out of the class­room teacher’s hand as law­suits in the 1970s sought to en­sure that white teach­ers did not pad­dle mi­nor­ity stu­dents dis­pro­por­tion­ately.

I’ve seen schools forced to pro­mote mi­nori­ties into ad­min­is­tra­tive po­si­tions, re­gard­less of qual­i­fi­ca­tion, sim­ply to pro­vide rep­re­sen­ta­tion of racial di­ver­sity in ad­min­is­tra­tive ca­pac­i­ties.

I’ve seen and lived and ex­pe­ri­enced life in pub­lic schools since I be­gan teach­ing and coach­ing in 1973, and have watched as mi­nor­ity mem­bers were al­lowed to wear cloth­ing dis­play­ing atro­cious, dis­parag­ing re­marks against white peo­ple, while at the same time white chil­dren were sent home if they wore any kind of cloth­ing to which mi­nor­ity mem­bers took of­fense.

I’ve seen the word “ Dixie” re­moved from vir­tu­ally ev­ery slo­gan, ev­ery advertisement, ev­ery ref­er­ence to life in the Deep South.

The Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia Dixie Red­coat Band had to change its name in or­der to be po­lit­i­cally cor­rect.

Bands, cho­ruses, choirs and the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion shy away from per­form­ing that grand bal­lad of the South, “Dix­ieland,” in or­der to be po­lit­i­cally cor­rect.

Our her­itage, our his­tory, con­tin­ues to be eroded on a daily ba­sis by those who would re­vise his­tory, erase any­thing of­fen­sive to spe­cial in­ter­est groups, and our of­fi­cials do noth­ing for fear of law­suits or dis­as­trous pub­lic out­cry which could end their ca­reers.

When he was a can­di­date for our nation’s high­est of­fice, thenSe­n­a­tor Barack Hus­sein Obama made a speech in which he called for an hon­est, forth­right, open dis­cus­sion about race in The United States of Amer­ica.

His speech was hailed far and wide as the pre­sen­ta­tion which de­fined his can­di­dacy, which would bring forth a bright new day in Amer­ica, which would al­low us all to talk hon­estly about the deep-seated is­sues of race which sim­mer just be­low the sur­face in vir­tu­ally ev­ery walk of life in this nation, par­tic­u­larly in the Deep South.

But then the can­di­date Obama be­came Pres­i­dent Obama, and things sud­denly changed.

Any­one re­mem­ber the pres­i­dent ac­cus­ing po­lice of act­ing “stupidly” when they ar­rested a black man re­ported to have bro­ken into a house, who would not iden­tify him­self nor co­op­er­ate with the white po­lice of­fi­cer?

The pres­i­dent later apol­o­gized for the pre­emp­tive strike be­fore get­ting the de­tails, but his knee-jerk re­ac­tion put the lie to the thrust of his grand speech.

Now the big news is that Mark Twain’s works are be­ing “san­i­tized” to re­move all dis­parag­ing workds re­fer­ring to African-Amer­i­cans.

Ap­par­ently it’s OK for black co­me­di­ans like Chris Rock and Tracy Mor­gan to use the “word” and spout vul­gar­ity left and right, of­fend­ing any­one with even a rudi­men­tary sense of de­cency, but it’s not OK for a white per­son to use the word.

Well, guess what. That’s just wrong.

Just as I re­sent that tele­vi­sion pro­grams bleep out four-let­ter vul­gar­i­ties, but al­low God’s name to be taken in vain, I re­sent the fact that a black per­son can call an­other black per­son the “word” and get a laugh, while a white per­son us­ing the same term is branded a racist.

That’s just flat out wrong, you see.

It’s a dou­ble stan­dard and it’s wrong.

Free­dom of speech ap­plies to ev­ery­body, white peo­ple in­cluded, or to no­body.

But what do I know? I’m just a white, het­ero­sex­ual, South­ern, Chris­tian male.

And I’m just sayin’.

Nat Har­well is a long­time res­i­dent of Newton County. His col­umns ap­pear reg­u­larly on Sun­days.

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