What Price Sensitivity?

By Doug Hagin on Mar 06, 07

What price are we to place upon sensitivity? How much will, we, as a nation that
values liberty, sacrifice for the sake of sensitivity? Is giving up a slice, perhaps
a large slice of our freedom of speech worth it if we transform America into a
more sensitive country? We had all better weigh these questions now, because right
now, sensitivity, and those who proclaim to be interested in the cause of sensitivity,
are trying to sacrifice our history, and our cherished freedom of speech and of
thought, upon the altar of sensitivity! Are we truly prepared to pay that price?

Consider some recent examples from the news, and see if you can spot a trend.
The state of Virginia officially apologizes for slavery.

New York City issues a ban on saying the dreaded “N” word.

The Museum of the Confederacy announces it might drop the word Confederacy from
its name to distance itself from the negative stigma of that word.

A Democratic legislator in Florida announces she wants to ban the use of the
phrase “illegal immigrant”.

Ann Coulter calls Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a “f*****”.

Now what do these events have to do with each other and eroding our liberty?
Well, all of them place sensitivity over substance. All of them also seek to
either erase history, or erase words from our nation because they are, or are
deemed insensitive. I ask again, what price sensitivity?

Let us take a peek at the first example cited. Virginia’s legislature
apologizes for slavery. For some it might seem reasonable for a state, which
allowed slavery once to offer its regrets. Consider, however, that slavery has
not existed in Virginia for 142 years now. Anyone who owned a slave, sold a
slave, or was a slave is long gone. Now we all agree slavery was wrong, was
a national disgrace, and was abhorrent! No one would argue anything different.
However, ask yourself this question. What good is served by issuing an apology
142 years AFTER the wrong was committed? Does it really help any descendant
of slaves? The answer, of course is it does not help at all. It is emotionalism,
nothing more.

What of the second example, New York City decides to serve some greater good
by banning a word, albeit a divisive, hurtful word. Again, this action serves
no real purpose. No, this only does nothing except violate freedom of speech.
Yes, we Americans DO have a right to speak freely, even if we say hurtful, stupid
things. If we ban that word, what other “insensitive” words might
follow? Is it the Constitutional role of government to censor our speech? Think
about it. Which is a better country? A nation that censors its citizens in some
search for sensitivity? Alternatively, a nation that embraces freedom, even
if some people get their feelings hurt. For me I choose liberty!

Consider the third example. The Museum of the Confederacy, a great treasure
of history and heritage, might seek sensitivity over substance. Why, to appease
a few overly sensitive types who think they ought never to hear a word that
offends them? Is this great museum actually considering erasing the word Confederacy?
The history of the Confederacy is in that museum. If the word Confederacy is
so offensive, then surely the contents of the museum are as offensive as that
word aren’t they. Should the museum remove its artifacts as well? After
all, preserved there are many Confederate Battle flags. Confederate uniforms,
paintings, history, etc. are also there. Again, how far will we go in the crusade
for sensitivity?

The fourth example, that of a Florida Democrat trying to ban the use of the
term illegal immigrant, further shows how far the left will go to Liberalize
our nation. Again, we are talking here about the government banning words. That
is censorship and nothing more. That is un-American and nothing more. Americans
have fought, bled, and died for our right to speak. Are we now to spit on their
sacred graves in the interest of sensitivity? Is that the proper course for
America? Again, we must ask ourselves what other words we will allow government
to bar us from speaking or writing.

Now for my final example: Ann Coulter made a childish remark, embarrassing herself
in front of her fellow Conservatives. The word she slung at John Edwards is
a slur. There are many things to be criticized about John Edwards and his ideology.
Coulter chose not to attack him on those ideals, but chose rather to attack
him like some angry 12-year-old might. That is on her, she chose to flap her
gums, let her take the grief over it.

The word Coulter used, f*****, however, is being censored out of tapes of the
video of Coulter’s speech. Talk show hosts are perplexed over whether
or not they can use the word on their shows. Why, it is a word, nothing more.
Again, are we to allow sensitivity to hold sway here? Why is it desirable to
censor out that word? Everyone KNOWS what she said by now. Perhaps we ought
to erase that word from our language as Well. Why not allow government ban its
use too. I mean, as long as we are being more sensitive, let us really go for

I am sure we could all agree on a long list of words and phrases that hurt our
feelings. So why not ban them all, of course, after we are done sanitizing our
language, we would not likely have many words left to say. What then? We would
be more ignorant, less free, and more like pre-programmed robots, speaking only
in prepared, scripted utterances. However, that would be OK, because no one
would be offended!

What price sensitivity indeed!

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