Political Correctness – again – and Charlie Hebdo

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I’ve written about Political Correctness before, and I’m about to do so again. If this is not your thing,  I won’t get offended if you swiftly move on.
Right, are you still with me? Okay, good.
Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, published an article a few days ago. Contrary to their usual stuff, it was a “serious” article, no satire involved. You can read said article here: How did we end up here?

Basically, it deals with political correctness, and the fact that people are fearful to discuss or criticise anything having to do with Islam for fear of being branded hislamophobe…and the insidious devastating effects on society as a result. I believe this article is crucial because it is a fact that political correctness has now gone too far. I believe that nothing, no idea, no religion, no philosophy, no anything should be above discussion and criticism. We are human beings with brains, we should be able to use them. And yet, to do so nowadays is akin to wearing a sign round your neck that says “abuse me”.
It is a frightful state of affairs when people can’t express an opinion without being vilified.

This particular Charlie Hebdo article has had people frothing at the mouth. “How dare they?” they say. They’re “showing their true colours…they have been revealed as bigots and racists.” Well, no actually. This article is not about bigotry, or anything of the sort, it’s about the kind of society that develops when people aren’t allowed to emit opinions anymore. Of course the virulent reaction to the article perfectly proves the point it is making, but blindsided people will not, refuse to, see it.

This is one example of what happened on Twitter when I questioned the views of one politically correct person: I have to admit that after being shot down by quite a few people before this one, I maybe wasn’t as tactful as I could have been when I replied to his original tweet…but the condescending and patronising tone of it got to me.

I’d like to pre-empt anyone saying that “I shouldn’t bother interacting with those people” and that “I must have too much time on my hands” by replying that: I can’t help it sometimes, it’s the journalist (and INFJ) in me. I cannot bear misrepresentation of people or their ideas, and that’s exactly what happened with this article. Twitter got inflamed with it, summing it up as: “Charlie Hebdo thinks that the lack of ham sandwiches threatens Western values”. I mean, it would be funny if it wasn’t all over the net, and actually taken seriously. Someone has to speak out, otherwise where will it all end? We are in dire need of people fighting back the PC brigade who are unfortunately supported wholeheartedly by the media. 

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I just couldn’t quite believe that he spoke to me like that, why swear at people?! I am guilty of swearing quite a bit myself but it’s more like: “where are my f*****g keys?” and “what the f**k is this?” – swearing as I’m speaking to myself… I do not swear at people I know or even strangers for no good reason. 

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So anyway, I promptly got blocked by this guy, which is funny really as he was the one who was abusive and got personal. If anybody should have done any blocking, it should have been me, but obviously I’m more mature than he is.

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Then somebody else who had followed this “conversation” tweeted him to say that maybe he should be more articulate rather than swear at people but that person got blocked as well after that one single tweet. This crazy dude blocked everyone (who disagreed with him obviously) involved in the “chat”…even though none of us were abusive.

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So there we have it. The PC brigade is out there, making sure nobody but them is allowed to express opinions. And once again, they scream and shout for tolerance, while showing none themselves, as is always the case. They call us “haters” for having an opinion we express calmly and yet they’re the ones spouting hate words and acting like raving lunatics. Oh, the irony.

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68 thoughts on “Political Correctness – again – and Charlie Hebdo

  1. Spot on post. Couldn’t agree more with you. We need to be able to discuss things without this crazy shit going on. Discussing issues with Islam or with Christianity for that matter does not mean one hates everyone who practices those religions. I’ve serious issues with the extremists in both those faiths, but I certainly don’t hate someone just because they practice them. Well, as long as they don’t feel entitled to suppress others or kill them in the name of their “faith”. That I’ve a major issue with. If you want to see hate speech delivered blindly and idiotically at Muslims and several other groups, simply listen to Donald Trump’s rhetoric. Saying there are problems with certain people who practice a religion in a certain, read dangerous, way, is not the same thing as generalizing and saying everyone within a certain group is exactly the same and needs to be condemned. Crazy world we live in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry not much on the big read, nonetheless i see the you favoured a comment,
    so within my curious childlike mind i wanted to see…

    This post wasn’t for me, however looking through your menu,

    i’ll be stopping by again…

    chris

    Like

  3. Alas, this is human nature. Long before the PC madness and Twitter mania, people have been cajoling or outright brutalising one another into adopting the “correct” views. PC is just another controlling mechanism for free speech and nothing more. I think you were spot on with this.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Since the entire article appears to based on NO evidence but a fairly obvious prejudice , it’s hardly surprising that people have no time for it.

    Placing the debate on political correctness on a fallacy that the butcher, the baker and lady next door are the tip of the iceberg because they happen to share the same religion as a terrorist is poor logic.

    There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that the Islamic Terrorist beliefs are NOT the way the vast majority of Muslims feel about Islam.

    People who claim that being “politically correct” is making people not say that there are problems seem to want to deflect the fact that what they are saying is illogical.

    When what you say is based on evidence, I doubt if political correctness is much of an issue.
    Logic is not on your side on this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People have no time for it because they refuse to understand it. Or maybe they are unable to, I don’t know…but the result is the same. The article is not based on “a fairly obvious prejudice”, I cannot see that at all. Yet again, and I keep saying it, it’s not *really* about Islam or terrorism, it’s about people being unable to articulate their thoughts, feelings, fears, etc…because they know they will be judged and condemned…hence this insidious drain on society as a whole.

      “And yet, none of what is about to happen in the airport or metro of Brussels can really happen without everyone’s contribution. Because the incidence of all of it is informed by some version of the same dread or fear. The fear of contradiction or objection. The aversion to causing controversy. The dread of being treated as an Islamophobe or being called racist. Really, a kind of terror. And that thing which is just about to happen when the taxi-ride ends is but a last step in a journey of rising anxiety. It’s not easy to get some proper terrorism going without a preceding atmosphere of mute and general apprehension.”

      Can you really not see what they are saying here? It’s pretty obvious to me. Nobody is saying or has said that: “the Islamic Terrorist beliefs are the way the vast majority of Muslims feel about Islam”, again this is NOT what the article states, it’s not what *I* state.
      I, myself, think logic is totally on my side on this – I think the virulent opposition to this article clearly shows a lack of logic and common sense from its detractors. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps you should quote me the parts of it that say what you are saying it says. Because I don’t see that.

        I see Tip of the Iceberg before or after each description of friendly muslim person. Which I interpreted to be a suggestion that Muslims living among us are making us blind to the potential terrorist that is lurking in the dark. Making us not see him.

        That our fear of saying anything that might be linked as racist is making us afraid to name a person who might be a terrorist.

        Except if we name a person based on them being muslim – that is racist. If we name them based on their actual behavior and possession of potential tools of terror – NOT racist.

        Evidence – its the difference between racism and reality.

        I think that what you term as political correctness is keeping us civilized. Keeping us from becoming a mob of unthinking fearful perpetrators of horrors. Because those social cues remind us to stop and think. To remember that we are all humans and to treat each other with respect.

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      2. As it happens I read a great post about this article yesterday. Instead of giving you a long reply, I will re-direct you to it, because it is perfectly aligned with my own thoughts: https://thesecularbrownie.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/the-charlie-hebdo-editorial-my-take/

        As for Political correctness, it *should* be what you say it is, except it isn’t. What my experience (and other’s) have been of it, is a lot of hate directed towards people who dare to think for themselves and question the views of the majority. The media is a powerful agent when it comes to PC and too many people who do not wish to educate themselves just follow it blindly. I refer you to this person on Twitter yesterday: was I abusive to him? no. He swore at me and insulted me with a rage I found unsettling. Why? Because I disagreed with him…and in his mind I was NOT entitled to that, because he *believes* himself to be on the side of righteousness. It is wrong, it is disgusting, it is appalling to talk to anyone like that, I personally think the guy is an arsehole now, because of the way he reacted when I challenged him, NOT because of his views which I thought were wrong. Whether you believe yourself to be right or not, you RESPECT others, let them speak, engage in debate if you want to, or not. But the PC brigade has a habit of abusing and silencing with hate, that’s not what PC SHOULD be about.

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      3. I read it. I think his blog is certainly saying what you mean – but I don’t think that’s what the original article conveys. If that is what was intended it was very poorly written.

        I still don’t quite agree with the secular brownie. I wrote as much in his comments. To criticize an act that hurts others is to my mind not a cause for anyone to say “islamaphobia”.

        To suggest that women shouldn’t wear burqas because that doesn’t match your values or they might be hiding a bomb – that is prejudice.

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      4. I will give you that the writer was too clever for his own good and wrote a very interesting but rather too obscure (judging by the reactions) article. I agree, after having read it a few times, and taking into account how it was received, that it just wasn’t clear enough.
        The article didn’t suggest though that women wearing burqas may be hiding bombs. I don’t think people who oppose burqas are worried about bombs. They’re worried that some of these women are being forced to wear a garment they don’t want to wear, they don’t like that a silent message is being conveyed that women should be kept hidden to prove their moral worth, hence a girl walking in the street wearing a miniskirt or whatever, is going to feel judged, silently, but judged nonetheless. They are many reasons why these things should be discussed, it is NOT wrong to discuss them. What the PC brigade doesn’t seem to understand, is the fact that stopping people from questioning things breeds resentment…and from there on we find ourselves only a small step away from outright racism and islamophobia.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I am doing really well. I can’t complain. Thank you so much and hope you are doing well too. Judging by your great writing, you must be in good shape! I like that you don’t hold back and let that journalistic side of you express itself! 👍👍👍👍👍😙😙😙😙😙👏👏👏👏

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m great too Natascha, thank you!
        What a nice thing to say, I can very rarely be accused of holding back 😜😂
        I’m pleased life is treating you well, have a great day! 💜😘

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you wrote this. The remedy for those who wish to block speech is more speech. I’m unsure why speech is only perceived as hate speech in the context of race or religion etc. That guy sounded pretty hateful based on your difference of opinion to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laine. I agree that we have to keep the dialogue open, especially if people are trying to silence us. Although when I say dialogue, there was none yesterday on Twitter…this is the point you make: no matter which side of the argument you’re on, there is no need to be abusive and resort to personal attacks…the way I see it, you automatically “lose” if you react like a nasty child instead of articulating your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s how they silence the opinions of the majority. I know that I’ve been in discussions whereby I was called a racist for disagreeing with the policies of Obama. Sigh. It’s so frustrating when a well thought out dissent is trivialized by saying it’s racist or sexist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, it’s perfectly fine if you thought it was too long, I genuinely (contrary to the PC brigade) don’t mind criticism and differing opinions as long as the person offers his/her views in an intelligent and respectful way 😉

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  7. Though I disagree with SOME of the things in this Charlie Hebdo article – especially the ham sandwich argument – one thing is certain, nothing constructive has ever come from name calling.
    Sadly what has been lost in this world is the ability to disagree respectfully.
    ANYONE on ANY side of ANY debate who can’t understand, respect, and allow for dissenting opinions truly does not understand the concepts of democracy and freedom of speech, and by the same token anyone who uses the argument of infringement of their religious freedoms as an excuse to silence the views of others need to be vigorously opposed.
    As for putulant a**holes on twitter, well that’s a whole ‘nuther subject 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I did read and commented. Being the troll that I am I just couldn’t help myself 😉
        Maybe we can debate it in person one day over a drink and a good ham sandwich 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yes, what a troll you are Norm, I am actually appalled 😉
        I would love to debate this over a drink and a good ham sandwich; I do like my ham AND there is so much to talk about on this subject 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Sadly people like @fotocub have no understanding of how free speech is being eroded and the word Islamophobic makes me laugh, nobody is scared of Islam, just the mental cases with bombs. If people can’t debate without firstly a strong argument and secondly without swearing and blocking people like children then they are complicit in encouraging the end of free speech.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is good that we are more tolerant, nobody disputes that but we have to draw a line and not let these people walk all over us, people like @fotocub will be the first to kick off when he realises our rights have been eroded whilst missing the point that he encouraged it.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I absolutely agree with you!

    Being scarcely furnished in the brain, poor grammar skills & a permanent internet connection has always been a bad combination 😉 “Good” thing is, as long as those ignorant creeps are busy spreading their propaganda via keyboard and monitor, they don’t hurt anyone for real. Sad thing is, by “only” blogging we won’t change the world either – granted we feel a little better afterwards, but we have to really leave the comfortable desktop zone in order to “move” something … Let’s ignore the creeps, before they actually receive the attention they intend to.

    Avec tous mes remerciements,

    Amitiés, Micah 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great comment, thank you for that. You are absolutely right in everything you say. Hence why I have always tried to do more than just blog or write about causes I’m passionate about.
      Ps: Le Lann, c’est Breton? Ça sonne breton 🙂
      Merci pour la visite et votre opinion
      Amitiés – Nathalie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent blog Nathalie.

    I’m so sorry for this ignorant guy who treated you with disrespect. You don’t deserve someone talking to you in that manner.

    Speaking of free speech.

    I actually have written about Charlie Hebdo last year. Unfortunately, I haven’t posted it or I can’t. The reason I can’t is because, nowadays, we are restricted to say anything and we humans are too sensitive to touch on anything that we feel is going wrong in this world. I too, have been silenced by people around me in real life and here on WordPress. Maybe some day I’ll post what I got to say about the world today. It just comes to show how sensitive people are (metaphorically speaking) they are part of Big Brother. They are programmed to silence us free-thinkers of saying what we feel is wrong with our world. Next week, I will be posting a poem that is based on a true story about something personal that happen to me. And I’ve done lots and lots of research on this topic. It’s about the hardcore extreme feminist. I don’t say anything bad about them…but I use the idea of them being bitter and they never let anything speak, they shut people out, You’ll see next week. It rhymes too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Charlie! I’m sorry you’ve had to censor yourself in this way, it hardly seems fair. I find it appalling actually. As for the hardcore extreme feminists, *I* will say something “bad” about them! I find them repulsive, they are the reason women with common sense don’t like to call themselves feminists anymore…because the hardcore herd has given us all a bad name – they are man-hating, unreasonable shrews, bitter, and quite frankly, vile. There, I’ve said it and it is my right to say it because it’s true 😂
      I look forward to your poem! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. wow! You have my respects. Thank you Nathalie, I don’t feel alone anymore on this subject matter. You’ve expressed your truth in the right way. I can’t wait till next Monday when I post my poem. I hope you like it, I did a lot of research and I have shared an awful experience with a close feminist who she is extremely bitter and is always angry. That poem would be directed towards her but in the general sense all the other feminist. I can’t wait, I think you’re going to really, really like it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I am an American, and as such may miss some things about French culture, but I read the essay as also looking at how this type of “political correctness” is also a type of shutting down the dialogue and introspection that might lead a non-Muslim French citizen to move past Islamophobia. The essay addresses that there are innocent Muslim citizens. The article seems to address a perspective people may have of feeling frustrated that the deli doesn’t have the ham they want (we have ham and pork free Muslim delis here in New York City too. If this is what you want, get a sandwich at a different shop.) or feeling “uncomfortable” by someone else’s hijab. I don’t think Muslims should be harassed or subject to violence, or that the antidote to political correctness is insulting them at every turn.Hell, beyond Europe, a good many of ISIL’s terror victims are other Muslims. But I don’t think this gets solved by not talking about it. I think maybe by going one further and asking WHY one feels uncomfortable over a hijab or going to another store for ham, and maybe move past a need to make scapegoats of innocents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly!! Thank you for this because everything you just said is/was my point all along. When you shut down dialogue, it breeds resentment…resentment can very easily turns to racism and islamophobia…how can the PC brigade not understand this?? It’s absolute common sense. For people to get along, they have to be able to understand each other, respect is not freely given (even though it should be but it isn’t) and only by being able to question and ask and talk, can there be progress. It’s plain common sense really.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A lot of these kids are living outside of our society, dealing in stolen goods and drugs, I don’t think political correctness reaches them hardly at all. White kids in that situation just go listen to death metal, or go insane, kill themselves or grow out of it, these kids who are brought up with all these stories of the old spiritual homeland and the inheritance they lost in our godless society (blah,blah,blah) twists their tiny minds – they think they are tuning into something bigger than themselves.

    Certainly it needs debate, but wether it would reach the ears it needs to? Its a really big problem for sure

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    1. It is a really big problem and it *does* need debate, people need to be able to question things and discuss, that’s the only way to learn and progress: simple common sense.

      Like

  13. He is so not worth anyone’s time. You are entitled to your opinion just like everyone else. I too, have noticed that disagreeing with someone nowadays, means one is racist. It is an absolute joke that some think they are entitled to freedom of speech, whilst others are not. He’s just a hater. You handled it well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that! I just think that people should be able to talk when they are in disagreement, without resorting to personal attacks. How are we to understand and respect each other if we can’t conduct conversations in a civilised manner?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I must admit I was taken aback and slightly upset when I first read them…but it’s over now, I’ve forgotten it 🙂
        Thank you so much for your understanding, it’s greatly appreciated 🙂
        I’m having a great week, thank you! I hope the same can be said about you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I had somehow missed your post “Anais”. I am dumbfounded. Though not surprised at all. That is part of the war I have been commenting on a few times before. No argument. Insults. Finkielkraut has just been insulted and spat on at “Nuit debout”, Place de la République. Actually it now goes beyond PC or Political Incorrectness, it has to do with a growing hatred of… let me put it in a single bag (“Amalgame”): true democracy, the west, freedom for women, Voltaire, or Hobbes, Maillol’s statues (Roman statues were veiled in Rome a while ago for the visit of the Irani president), etc. If someone says: there are many “moelenbeck” in France he is immediately accused of Islamophobia. And so forth and so on. I personally have received direct testimonials of the situation in France and it is a growing issue. I mean, Sciences Po, in Paris will organize a Hijab day tomorrow. Voltaire! Voltaire! Réveille-toi, ils sont devenus fous.
    Anyway. Thank you for your post. Disregard the idiot tweeter. But. I am increasingly worried that something needs to be done in an “educated” way. I’ve been thinking of launching a new blog on that. Maybe you have ideas?
    Bonne semaine.
    Brian

    Like

  15. Wow..this was such an excellent post! I have long felt that society has become weakened by political correctness, that we are stagnating in our fear of offending when constructive, critical, well informed opinions are given a deaf ear and we lose our ability to learn. And that ‘person’ who was so offensive just proved the point that as a society we cannot handle when someone disagrees with our point, our opinion. There is no embracing of debate, or exchanging of ideas and that is sad and pathetic.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Being registered blind, I am in an interesting position in that political correctness is supposed to protect people with disabilities (among other groups). However I find myself frightened to voice an opinion on occasions.
    I recently used the word “nutter” in a jocular manner and was told by someone I like and respect that I shouldn’t use it. The individual in question has, I think suffered from mental health issues and feels that the word degrades those who have experienced such difficulties. Now if one aims the word “nutter” at someone who is mentally fragile (knowing they have suffered from mental illness), this is cruel and something one should never do. However to purge language and say the word “nutter” should never be employed is political correctness gone mad, (oops, I shouldn’t have used the word “mad)!
    I actually possess residual (mobility vision) so I am not, in absolute terms blind. However I have no problem with being so labelled and frequently describe myself as such although, in truth visually impaired would be a more accurate description.
    Having said all that, I wouldn’t use the “n” word to describe a black person because it is offensive to most black people (although a small number do use it among themselves).

    The above does not pertain to Islam but is, I hope a useful contribution to the debate.

    Kevin

    Like

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