Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

Political correctness is based on fear and a lack of values

January 5, 2016

Offense is ultimately in the minds of those who take offense.

A female (but far from androgynous) MP in the UK wants passports and driving licences to exclude the gender of the holder. “Gender – neutral” is apparently the politically correct term. I suppose a photograph which could be taken as an unflattering or gender-defining image could also be banned.

Maria Miller (Getty)

Maria Miller (Getty)

Passports and driving licences should not state if the holder is male or female to avoid causing issues for transgender people, a former Tory cabinet minister has said. Maria Miller, the former culture secretary and chair of the new women and equalities committee, said the Government should “strip back” talking about gender unless it was necessary.

Even the Washington Post actually finds something half-good to say about Donald Trump

Why Trump may be winning the war on ‘political correctness’
Cathy Cuthbertson once worked at what might be thought of as a command post of political correctness — the campus of a prestigious liberal arts college in Ohio.
“You know, I couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’ And when we wrote things, we couldn’t even say ‘he’ or ‘she,’ because we had transgender. People of color. I mean, we had to watch every word that came out of our mouth, because we were afraid of offending someone, but nobody’s afraid of offending me,” the former administrator said. ……. One thing is clear: Trump is channeling a very mainstream frustration.In an October poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University, 68 percent agreed with the proposition that “a big problem this country has is being politically correct.” It was a sentiment felt strongly across the political spectrum, by 62 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 81 percent of Republicans. Among whites, 72 percent said they felt that way, but so did 61 percent of nonwhites.

“People feel tremendous cultural condescension directed at them,” and that their values are being “smirked at, laughed at” by the political and media elite, said GOP strategist Steve Schmidt.

In Stockholm, the Managing Director of the Kulturhuset City Theatre overruled his Cultural Director to ban the title of a work by an artist (Makode Linde) called “The Return of the Negro King”. 
The gender axis of the human species may be a continuum but it is bimodal. Gender is part of an individual’s identity – like it or not.
Bimodal gender Blackless et al

Bimodal gender Blackless et al

I find nothing wrong in using “negro” as an adjective or in stating that women are attractive (mostly). No doubt that is sexist. “Mongolian” and “Eskimo” and “Chinese” or “Indian” are descriptive. The word gora (pink) is used in Hindi to describe white people and is primarily descriptive. Tall people remain tall and pink people remain pink whether the adjective is politically correct or not. Adjectives describe. As long as the description is not false, offense can only be taken in the minds of those offended. I am not supposed to express my convictions that while most religions can be twisted to give support to the use of violence, Islam today does that better than most. Feminism is (or should be) about combating the unfairness of prejudice not about denying femininity. Gender difference exists and cannot be legislated away. “Affirmative action” and “reservations” try to use unfair practices to try and compensate for some other unfair practice. (In actuality they only entrench either the original unfair practice or the compensating one). It is not correct to admit that intelligence is affected by genes (race) but it is perfectly acceptable to state that running the 100m is.

Political correctness is colourless, sexless, emotionless and without values. Not referring to race and gender and religion may avoid thin-skinned and frightened people from taking offense, but it does not remove the realities of race and gender and religion. The point of having values is to use them to make judgements. Political correctness is mindless. It is censure. It displays fear not courage.


Who is Charlie?

January 13, 2015


Omslaget på tidningen Charlie Hebdos nya nummer, Charlie Hebdo och tidningen Liberations redaktioner. Foto: TT/AP och Charlie Hebdo.

The cover of the new issue of Charlie Hebdo, Charlie Hebdo and the newspaper Liberation editors. Photo: TT / AP and Charlie Hebdo (via Swedish Radio)


A protestor holds a poster showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel wearing a head scarf in front of the Reichtstags building with a crescent on top and the writing "Mrs Merkel here is the people" during a rally of the group Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, in Dresden, Germany, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.

A record 25,000 attended the Pegida demonstration in Dresden on 12th January 2015 BBC/AP


Right-wing Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke

Right-wing Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke at the European Parliament 12th January 2015 BBC/Reuters

Nigel Farage the UKIP leader, who is a clown in many ways and on many issues, does have a point regarding integration (not immigration). It is not mass immigration – as he believes – but the blind worship of a soppy, separatist, “multi-culturism” which has removed the incentive and need for immigrants to integrate. The grooming rings of Pakistani immigrants and the attempted take-over of Birmingham schools have certainly been enabled – perhaps only partly – by the cowardly worship of “multi-culturism”. Like it or not, Europe is and will continue to be multiethnic. That requires the separate cultures to be subordinated to a single over-riding culture, which in turn has to be something new which evolves from the various new inputs. Immigration inevitably gives multi-ethnicity but it is the blind worship of multi-culturism which hinders integration. No doubt prejudice and racism also hinder integration but even here, the separatist nature of multi-culturism entrenches racism.

I love the fact that in the UK, chicken tikka massala has gone mainstream and I can get it at M&S and at the pub. But I am equally glad that the pub remains a pub and has not been converted into a dhaba. When I want channa – bhatura my favourite dhaba is in Handsworth, but thankfully that dhaba will never be a pub. There is a place for the dhaba to exist, but it is the pub serving the chicken tikka massala which is integration in motion.

(I shall leave my ranting about all organised religions for another time and another post).

It is not immigration but integration which is the real issue.

BBC: Mr Farage, leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party, said mass immigration had “made it frankly impossible for many new communities to integrate”.

“We do have, I’m afraid, I’m sad to say, a fifth column that is living within our own countries, that is utterly opposed to our values,” he said.

He is quite correct that in Europe, the supporters of radical Islam are self-confessed fifth-columnists (defined as any group of people organised to undermine a larger group).

Arrogant and overbearing political correctness censures Tintin from Stockholm library

September 25, 2012

See update below:

I have little patience with the “do-gooders” who always know best what is good for others. But impatience turns to an active dislike when an arrogant young man (a certain Behrang Meri) presumes that his world-view shall prevail and takes it upon himself to be a censor by removing all copies of Tintin from the shelves of the 10-13 year old library of Stockholm’s Culture Centre. Of course he claims he is doing this “for their own good”. Arrogance and coercion are the stock-in-trade of the “do-gooders” and is wide-spread in Sweden. Banning things for the “good of others” is the order of the day. Some of the coercive tactics employed – even if now coming from the left of the political spectrum – are indistinguishable from those employed by the fascists in Europe almost 100 years ago.

Dagens Nyheter reports (my free translation):

Tintin has been ejected from the Culture Centre in Stockholm. DN can report that the beloved cartoon character has been cleaned out from the library shelves. Now the staff have been instructed to look for any more books which have racist or homophobic values.

The 10-13 year old library of Stockholm’s Culture Centre has  removed Tintin books from the shelves. In consultation with their staff, the artistic director with responsibility for children and activities for the young made ​​the decision.

“That’s right. The picture Tintin books give for example of Africans is afrofobisk. Africans are shown to be a bit silly while Arabs are sitting on flying carpets and Turks smoke water pipes. The image of  the “forest Turk” is still there. It’s about exoticism and Orientalism”, says Behrang Miri, who leads efforts to develop Child and Youth Culture activities in the sections for children, “Tiotretton” and “Lava”. ……. 

Behrang Meri, the self-appointed censor in this case, was appointed to his position in February this year.

He was on the radio this morning and tried to babble his way through by insisting that he was removing the books so that children could actually go deeper into the questions of racism!!  He seemed to be avoiding all questions and merely spouting a practised defence. I would have thought that deepening children’s understanding would only be possible by exposure to the books and not by his over-bearing, over-protectiveness denying exposure to the books. In any case the Tintin serials – which I greatly enjoyed through my childhood – were written in a colonial time and had no racist intentions. It depicted the world-view that existed at the time. Censorship will not change history or cause those times to disappear.

He failed to impress and I cannot help feeling that his ego has got the better of him and his objective is mere self-promotion rather than the cultural enrichment of 10-13 year old children.


Following a storm of media criticism, officials at the Kulturhuset library in Stockholm have reversed their decision to remove Tintin comic books from its shelves, saying the move happened “too fast”.

I note that it was the head of the Culture Centre who reversed the censorship and Bahrang Meri has accepted being overruled. In spite of his vehement defence of his decision on the radio this morning this was clearly not a resigning issue. Some damage control is ongoing but damage there certainly is:

“I wanted to highlight an opinion piece about issues of discrimination, but realize now that it’s wrong to ban books,” Meri said in a statement. However, Kulturhuset head Sjöström applauded Meri for prompting a discussion about discrimination. 
“The issues of discrimination, equality and norms continue to be debated and discussed,” Sjöström said in a statement.

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