Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
A long time ago, on a talk radio channel out of Chicago, I heard an interview with a man who described a growing phenomenon that he said would have a profound effect on American business.
I didn’t believe this new trend would ever occur. He called it “political correctness.” I had never heard the term “PC.” But as the years passed, his predictions about changing conditions and business pressures have proven to be accurate.
As a result of PC, developing clear policies is essential for the effective operation of any business, and the specific wording requires care and caution in order to be “correct” and avoid unintended consequences. But recently that caution seems to have resulted in a trend in businesses wherein the opinions and beliefs of some people overpower those of others.
Sometimes that might be only one person, but without consistent policies, a single individual can negate what countless others have valued for many years.
The pressing question is: What makes that person’s belief or position take precedence over those of others with differing perspectives? Can we operate businesses successfully and accept the notion that one point of view is more important and more powerful than an alternative point of view?
In the old television program, “You Bet Your Life,” Groucho Marx said, “Say the magic word, and a duck will come down and give you $50.” In today’s world, the magic word seems to be “offended.”
Now days the duck doesn’t produce a $50 bill, but it’s changing the names of holidays, removing decorations or symbols from work locations, censoring the names of mascots, and prohibiting wearing certain clothing or accessories in the workplace. We’ve seen the workplace and classrooms become devoid of the touches and the symbols that define the people inhabiting them.
Not long ago, it was possible to learn about a person just by entering his or her workspace — be it a small cubicle, a large private office, or a retail store. The pictures, plaques, trophies and other items on display provided insight into family status, religious affiliation and military service. My office at, RHCO INC., is a good example of what I’m talking about.
Today, those clues have largely disappeared because someone found them offensive. People working in the locations were expected to remove the items because of the sensitivities of others. Schools and businesses have come to the point where displaying certain personal items or wearing certain clothes or accessories are grounds for discipline.
We risk becoming homogenized rather than diverse — evolving into a one-size-fits-all society in which a small group of individuals determines acceptable behavior for all. The grandson of an acquaintance of mine was removed from his classroom because he was wearing (proudly) the division patch his grandfather had worn in combat during World War II because a teacher’s aide was offended by the military symbol.
By coincidence, on the same day his father was told to remove an American flag pin from his suit jacket prior to joining a meeting at his office because it might offend another participant.
How did displaying an American flag become offensive? As a side note, when I tried to purchase a few small American flags, a clerk at the store told me, “We don’t stock those things anymore.”
In businesses and schools, we now have winter and spring holidays. Pro athletic teams are being pressured to accept names that won’t offend anyone.
If the trend continues, we might see the demise of such names as the Vikings, Packers and Cowboys. And if other activists enter the forum, we might even see the end of the Bears, Broncos, Dolphins, Jaguars, Panthers, to name a few. It’s probably safe to point out that almost everything and anything might offend somebody.
So here’s something to consider when developing policies and monitoring behaviors that govern business decisions. When you hear anyone say, “I’m offended by_____,” try this. Revise that sentence by saying, “But I’m inspired by____.”
You won’t be starting an argument; you’ll be stating an equally valid opinion.
Now for those bleeding heart liberals yelling for $15.00 per hour without any concept of what they are proposing or the impact on commerce. And yes, I’m including the “Leader of The Band” in this group, Just think about these facts for a while:
For those fast food employees striking for $15 an hour, let’s do a little math. At $15 an hour you would make $31,200 annually. An E1 (Private) in the military makes $18,378. An E5 (Sergeant) (Petty Officer 2nd Class) with 8 years of service only makes $35,067 annually.
Now you are telling me, that you deserve as much as those kids getting shot at, deploying for months in hostile environments while wearing bullet proof vests and steel helmets in 100° sunshine day after day. Just keep in mind they’re putting their collective lives on the line every day protecting your unskilled butt!?
Here’s the real life deal, burger mister, you are working in a job designed for a kid in high school who is learning how to work and earning enough for gas, and hanging out with their equally goofy high school pals. If you have chosen this as your life long profession, you have failed.
If you don’t want minimum wage, you must bring something to the workplace other than minimum work skills.
Stay safe in Afghanistan while protecting the freedom of the burger misters of our society.
From The EastWing, Talking Political Correctness & $15.00 Fry Babies
I Wish You Well,