Political correctness has claimed yet another sacrifice. But this time the affronted victims calling for blood are not a super-sensitive ethnic or religious group, not of the perpetually grieved feminist persuasion, but of a type we don't normally associate with teary-eyed victimhood. This time we are talking about overweight policemen.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, you had better think twice before you offend the delicate feelings of your local jelly-bellied constable on patrol. It could cost you your job. Ask Police Chief Paul Goward.
Goward committed the impardonable sin of addressing a memo entitled "Are you a jelly belly?" to the 80-member police force of Winter Haven, Florida. Although no individual was named or singled out, hurt feelings prevailed and Goward was forced out for exhorting his force to lose their overhanging guts in the interests of better carrying out their jobs. (Remember Will Smith in Men in Black? "I AM half the man you are!") The department became the butt of fat cop and doughnut jokes. And now they can be the butt of weepy, touchy-feely cop jokes too, and they will richly deserve it.
Speaking as a fellow jelly belly, I say, "Suck it up guys!" Better yet, suck it in. Goward is right. You can't carry out your job as well with suburban sprawl creeping over your belt buckle. (In all fairness to the Lakeland police force, they claim Goward was routinely abrasive and this was the straw that broke the camel's back. But still I can't see anything about the memo in question that warranted a response other than a jog around the block.)
And to society in general I say, why on earth are we constantly looking for reasons to be outraged and offended? I am all for treating other people with compassion and respect, but I am sick to death of the prevailing mentality of reading sexist/racist/insensitive/nasty motivations into just about every word spoken in public. And it is about time that courts, governments and bureaucracies stopped enabling these perpetually offended people. I need my outrage for situations that genuinely warrant it (think Darfur and kiddy porn, just for starters) and these people are giving me outrage fatigue. Grow up and get over it and let's use that energy to tackle problems that actually matter.
Technorati tags: Paul Goward, Winter Haven Florida
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