Thursday, 2 November 2006

Don't offend jelly bellies

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.

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SUZANNE said...

***wild applause***

If you get outraged over little things like this, by the time you reach major issues, like Darfur, your outrage is spent.

And quite frankly, the alleged offense was innocuous. It sounds like some people haven't graduated from kindergarten, on an emotional level.

waterroots said...

We've reached the scary point where we are starting to censor ourselves because of these 'touchy-feely' people. Everything has become some type of 'offense' to 'someone' ‘somewhere’. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of the 'politically correct' generation of people with their constant whining, nagging and complaining about something or other - real or imaginary. We believe in free speech as long as we’re not doing it in public and as long as we edit it first so as not to say the ‘wrong’ thing and offend someone, somewhere...

Adrian MacNair said...

I would hope police have thicker skin than that. You wanna know what the blacks have to say about about the po-po?

Anonymous said...

Try and comment and not have a heart attack:

Governor general worked for the billion dollar a year CBC and studied her French seperatists for CSIS, so maybe we should do this for 'Celine' Dion?

GG took that huge trip to find herself anywhere but Haiti and the bill is classified. So, it may not be a bad deal for Dion, but, if he gives up France to be PM it will ruin the big plan to keep Quebeic out of the PM. GG is worth it really. She honors Canada's dead every day.

Tully said...

Walrus, Walrus, wherefore art thou, Walrus?

I hope that all is well with you.


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