For many years I’ve been very conscious of using the “wrong” words to describe individuals with whom I disagree, or had confrontations, or disliked in general. Some would say I have been a practitioner of “political correctness” or the belief that some words should be off limits in our daily discourse because they evoke racist or bigoted images, and are likely to elicit anger and possibly violence from those against whom they are aimed. Words like “nigger”, “coon” or “wetback”, or those like “ho”, “slut” or “bitch”, or like “faggot”, “fairy” and “butt buddy” (to name but a few of the right wing’s favorite slurs). And indeed these are hateful words. Words with the power to demonize, stigmatize and divide people. Words that are ugly, uncivil and uncouth. Words which, when they are used, often do lead to violence, hatred, and the worst of human impulses.
But then, I realized something. No matter what we do, how we act, conservatives, racists, right wing radio talk show hosts, and all those who demand that they be allowed to use such vile and venomous language will never listen to any reasonable argument against their use, will never accept that their fondness for such words is cruel and disgusting, will never agree that any limit on hate speech is legitimate. Let’s face it. We live in an era, in a society that prizes the right to be stupid, rude and foul mouthed.
Now this doesn’t mean that I intend to employ the particular ugly words cited above myself. I abhor them, and those who either use them in their own speech, or find their utterance by others the height of humor and the epitome of witty repartee. And, to be perfectly honest, there’s not much anyone can do to stop them. We have a first amendment after all, and if, for example, “comedian” Rush Limbaugh want to make “clever use” of such words to amuse his slavish and sycophantic listeners, well he’s certainly entitled under our Constitution to do so:
It is funny to watch — and, ladies and gentlemen, a final observation here. Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton — have you noticed, it’s Obama versus the Clintons? Two against one. Obama campaigning against both of the Clintons. I wonder how well Mrs. Clinton would hold up if the shoe was on the other foot. That is, if she had to run against an ex-president and a senator. I think she’d cry and complain about the unfairness. For all of her BS about being a victim and piling on, Obama is holding his own against both of them, doing more than his share of the “spadework,” maybe even gaining ground at the moment, using not only the spade, ladies and gentlemen. But when he finishes with the spade in the garden of corruption planted by the Clintons, he turns to the hoe. And so the spadework and his expertise, using a hoe. He’s faring well.
You see what I mean? How he inserted “spade” and a homonym for “ho” into his comedic routine, words with clear racist and sexist connotations? Oh, what a clever man he is, to slightly modify the famed song lyric by Emerson Lake and Palmer. Isn’t he amusing? Isn’t he quite the wit? I can just imagine his audience members spitting out their coffee and laughing themselves silly in response to such a humorous riposte, can’t you?
And after reading of his verbal ingenuity, I had my own epiphany. Why should Rush Limbaugh and the dark denizens of the right have all the fun? Can’t those of us on the Left also enjoy a politically incorrect “joke” now and again? For example if I wanted to say that Rush reminds me of a slimy piece of worm-ridden filth, I should be able to do so, yes? Or if I want to describe him as a leaky, colostomy bag of liquid shit, I shouldn’t have to fret that I will have offended his delicate sensibilities.
I shouldn’t have to worry about whether calling him a Neo-Nazi Racist asshole hurts his feelings. Nor should I have to concern myself over whether calling him a constipated Hillbilly Heroin junkie with delusions of white supremacist grandeurr might be pushing the verbal limits of civility. After all, he doesn’t concern himself with my feelings when he “jokes” about killing liberals, or those of African Americans when he broadcasts song parodies like “Barack the Magic Negro” or the pain Cindy Sheehan must have felt when he labeled her the equivalent of a con artist. So why should I hold back from expressing my first amendment protected opinion that he is no better than a “motherfucking, viagra gulping, child raping, scum bag cocksucker?”
There. I feel much better already. Thank you Rush for liberating me from the cage of political correctness that was crushing my spirit. And may you rot in hell for all eternity.