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Editorial: Hogwash to cancel culture, political correctness

As I get older, my arms are getting shorter. My walk, once straight, elegant and determined – is now choppy and awkward. My speech is more likely to come out as mumbles and growls rather than a coherent statement understood by all.

As I get older, I’m turning into a dinosaur.

I’ve seen it happen to others and told myself I’d never be like that. But I am.

It happens.

While I’ve spent my life trying to be politically correct in writing news articles, I’m beginning to realize that political correctness isn’t correct at all. It’s ruining our society. And being politically uncorrect makes you a dinosaur – or someone living in the distant past in their minds.

Take this one. Why is it policially incorrect to call COVID-19 the China Virus, but it is OK to call a new version of the virus the British variant? Can China not take a joke and Britain can? We already know, thanks to Gary P. Nunn, that the British sense of humor “is drier than the Texas sand,” so that argument goes out the window.

I’ve got to be careful here. I’ve been called out before for quoting satirical song lyrics. There’s no place for satire in a politically correct world. That’s sad.

There’s no such thing as tongue in cheek any more, either. For those of you confused, tongue in cheek is when you make fun of someone or something without it being racist or sexist or inappropriate. It’s just a joke. Laugh and move on. Or if you think it’s not funny, just move on without hard feelings. Sorry, but we can’t do that any more. It might be politically incorrect.

I once wrote about those awful Yankees trying to take over our hallowed southern ground. I suggested putting up toll roads heading south, but let them go back home for free. It was a joke with a hint of truth. I wasn’t saying Yankees are bad. But they took it that way.

Then I wrote about those Yankees from closer to home. Those Yankees from across the Yadkin River in Forsyth County. Hey’ it’s further north than Davie County, right? It was a joke with a hint of truth. I wasn’t saying people from Forsyth County were bad. But they took it that way.

I love jokes, and once had a quite the repertoire. I told them at will. That was until someone said they were offended. No more jokes at the office, someone might be offended. It didn’t matter that those offended were often the ones asking for a new joke.

It all makes me wonder if because of all of this political correctness, will comedy ever make a comeback?

Now, the newest buzzword for these types of behavior is cancel culture. The funny thing about cancel culture – pretty much a boycott of something or someone because you don’t like what someone said or did –  is that it has become political, but then, what hasn’t.

People quit watching the NFL because of players kneeling to make a political point. That’s cancel culture.

People quit watching NASCAR because they banned the Confederate flag. That’s double cancel culture.

People quit watching certain news channels because an anchor gave an opinion they disagree with. That’s cancel culture.

People quit buying pillows because the guy who invented them sticks to his political convictions. That’s cancel culture.

People have even canceled their subscriptions to the Enterprise Record because of something that came from the back of my mind and made it into print. That’s cancel culture gone too far, way too far.

I guess I’ll just take my stubby legs and waddle over to the sofa, then take my short, little dinosaur arms to reach a bag of potato chips, and watch a baseball game on television. What? Major League Baseball moved its all-star game because of a state law on voter ID and I shouldn’t watch them anymore because that would make me a flaming, liberal Democrat who thinks everyone dead or alive, legal or illegal, should be able to vote.

Wrong.

That makes me a baseball fan. I don’t care about their politics, I just wish they’d keep them to themselves more often.

But hey, that’s just a dinosaur’s opinion.

– Mike Barnhardt