Is it time to reclaim free speech?
EDITOR Steve Etwell penned: "Surely there are people out there with an opinion" (TC, 02/06).
With political correctness being the way it is, who is really game to put pen-to-paper without fear of being taken to task, censured, reprimanded, publicly humiliated, censored or otherwise?
No longer are people free to give an opinion that describes or tell things as they are, for what they are.
Even though it is in your face, white is no longer white, and black is not black. What you see is a matter of politically correct edicts.
What we are allowed to say must be neutral, but it's vague and non-specific - irrelevant at the best of times.
Inept and nonsensical opinions and descriptions of people, places, things, and events. It's crazy.
Everything we want to say has to be dumbed-down, fit within, and conform to the new socio-political norms of the day.
No longer can people say precisely what is on their minds and express their opinions as accurately and vehemently as they would like.
What you can say, and how you say it, has to be politically correct rather than clear-cut and direct.
For instance: Years ago, when a crime was committed by an individual, news purveyors would provide an actual, useful, and relevant description of the individual being sought that would invariably result in the soonest apprehension of the person concerned.
Today, we hear descriptions like "a person is wanted for questioning by police in relation to a home break-in in Toowoomba".
With all due respect, what the hell does that tell us about, or of anything? Nothing.
Freedom of speech was once the inherent right of every individual to speak their mind, to make a statement or to express an opinion without fear or favour.
Today it is shoved down our throats that our language, and its expression must be more inclusive and gender neutral. Neutral, in the days of old (like a few years back) meant negative, or opposite.
Language, we are now told, cannot promote discrimination; what we say, write, and convey is supposed to promote equality of the sexes, fairness and egality.
No more Mister, Misses, boy or girl; it is pronouns for all - him, her, person, or citizen.
Phrases denoting the masculinity, femininity, or otherwise of an individual are now considered homophobic: man, woman, heterosexual, homosexual, gay.
Now it is same-sex, other sex, gender neutral, whatever.
No more can you refer to a person as blind or deaf, even though some quite literally can't see or hear. You have to refer to the blind and deaf as visually, or hearing challenged.
As a deaf person I am not hearing challenged - I can't bloody hear and that is a fact!
Really, if a person is fat, they're fat.
If you tell a person they have the breath of dog they might be encouraged to wash their teeth; maybe for the first time in their life.
If you tell a person they are fat they might be encouraged to start a diet, or dress appropriately.
We have to rebel against political correctness and stop telling people falsehoods, that they look good when they really look like shite!
It is time to reclaim free speech and tell it as it is!
GEORGE W. HELON, Kearneys Spring