Politically Correct

It’s popular to make fun of being “Politically Correct” nowadays. It works for Donald Trump but will it work for Princess Jasmine?

Princess Jasmine (R) vamping with another First Grade princess.

Princess Jasmine (R) vamping with another First Grade princess.

In an example of politically correct overreach, my Japanese-Caucasian granddaughter’s Princess Jasmine costume created a pre-costume-screening stir in the first grade, as did a little boy’s Bruce Lee outfit. Would the costumes offend any Arab or Chinese parents?   Was it all right for a Caucasian boy to outline his eyes so they would look almond-shaped? (Even though Bruce Lee’s eyes were almond-shaped?). In what could have been an  episode of “Portlandia,” parents debated in the hallways. The school’s Diversity Justice Alliance got involved. My first reaction was, “Give me a break! They’re SIX YEARS OLD!”

Eventually, reason prevailed and Princess Jasmine and Bruce Lee paraded without any problem. The justification for all the scrutiny was the desire not to offend anyone. That is probably impossible; no matter the situation, there is usually someone who takes offense. By trying to accommodate all of the outliers of common sense, we do ourselves a disservice. A more useful rule of thumb would be to disallow hateful, contemptuous or condescending behavior no matter the form it might take. That would be not only politically but also humanly correct.

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About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.

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