When I was a little girl, I grew up in a small town on Vancouver Island. The town, population about 40,000, is situated at the junction of an ocean fjord and a river, and it is a beautiful area. My life was rather Rockwellian I suppose, and even then our culture was very diverse. My friends were the children of people who had come to Canada from all over the world after the Second World War. My best friend's family was from Denmark, and I had friends from France, China, Italy, Japan, Russia, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Yugoslavia, India, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the British Isles, and even that most foreign of distant lands, Quebec. Canada is a land of immigrants, and in some way, all of us are a minority. My mother was from South Africa and my father's family was from Scotland. I remember my friend Sonja, whose parents were from Finland, always had the most wonderful cookies and cakes in her lunch at school. I loved going to her house and watching her mother bake, and inhaling the delicious aroma. My friend Loretta was from Yugoslavia, and her mother cooked fabulous pasta sauces that simmered on the stove all day, again with a lucious, mouth-watering aroma.
In my small town we all grew up with a certain Canadian culture. Yes, Canada has -- or I should say, had -- a distinct culture. It was an amalgam of these various cultures that my friends' families brought with them. We celebrated each other's cultures, but we didn't try to eradicate them. We knew on a instincual level that that would be wrong. And even I, this boring little Canadian girl, had a distinct culture, and it connected me to the other people in my culture. It was a thread that bound us together, just as any culture binds the folks in that culture. But my culture is being taken away from me and from the other people in it. Removing my ethnic culture removes the bonds between me and the rest of people who practice my ethnic culture and weakens us as a group. We are slowly but surely expunging our traditions. This is cultural genocide.
The definition of cultural genocide is "the process of undermining, suppressing, and ultimately eliminating cultures". And we are allowing it to happen to us and, in fact, with our political correctness run amok, we are hastening the process.
My friend Russell has a wonderful post today about a school in Iowa that has taken political correctness to a place of complete and utter insanity. I was gobsmacked when I read it.
I remember reading George Orwell's 1984 when I was in my early 20s, and I could not believe a society such as that would ever exist, but it does, and it has happened in my lifetime. We are ruled by political correctness and the Thought Police.
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?... Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?... The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness." - George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 5
We are so afraid of "offending" other people, that we have completely lost our identities. We have taken all the fun out of everything. Lighten up, everyone. Think for yourselves. There is always going to be someone who is offended by something. That's just human nature. Where's George Carlin when we need him...?