Political correctness. What is it, and what should it be?
And what about free speech?
Technically, being P.C. means being unyielding in not speaking, writing or acting in a way perceived as insulting, injuring, marginalizing or excluding groups of people society has treated badly.
In recent years, it has been seized upon by some as preventing them from saying whatever they want and is a term used derisively, even angrily, by many Americans.
Many voters said they voted for Donald Trump with relief because he is not politically correct. True. He insulted the disabled. He lied. He called political opponents by derogatory names. He called Mexicans rapists and murderers. He called for a ban on Muslims. After a woman was killed during a riot involving white supremacists, he said there were good people on both sides of racism. He scorned women. He scorned judges who disagreed with him. He keeps insulting Sen. John McCain, a war hero, although Trump avoided the draft.
Trump has proven himself repeatedly to be a bigot, a misogynist and a racist. He is without class. He exults in behaving badly.
After Roseanne Barr rebooted her situation comedy on ABC, while continuing her well-known racist, anti-Semitic, bigoted tweets, Trump congratulated her. He said it was a top-rated TV show because it was about "my people."
Then Barr insulted Valerie Jarrett, who is African-American and a former top aide in the Obama White House. Barr called her the product of a union between the Muslim Brotherhood and "Planet of the Apes."
As the nation gasped, Barr apologized for a "bad joke." Later she said it was the result of the drug Ambien, a sleep aid. The makers of the drug said it may cause side effects but not racism.
ABC yanked her show off the air. The head of ABC immediately called Jarrett to apologize to her.
Trump responded petulantly that ABC never apologized to him for the "horrible things" said on the network about him. What horrible things? We will never know. (Everything is always about Trump, even if it's the fact that his government's response to the two hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico killed 4,600, not 64, even though he threw paper towels at a few of them and said his response was a "ten." Trump seemed surprised to learn that Puerto Ricans are Americans.)
Back to P.C. Did ABC act in an aggressively P.C. way, taking away a popular sitcom that often appeals to the lowest common denominator with a cast headed by a classless, pathetically insecure racist?
No. ABC did the right thing morally and business-wise. Calling out pure racism is not being P.C. Racism is not acceptable in any form. Roseanne's show got a swift death as opposed to a long agonizing one that would have sullied the network for years.
Also, unlike Trump, most decent Americans do NOT want to see or hear the downtrodden, the different, the diseased or any minorities mocked and denigrated.
So let's examine Trump and the National Football League. Trying to distract national attention from the legitimate probe into how Russia meddled in the 2016 election, he attacked black players who took a knee before games during the singing of the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Trump characterized the players' non-violent, free-speech protest as disgusting and anti-patriotic. He said protesting players should be fired. He demanded a boycott of the NFL, 78 percent of whose players are black. Millions of white Americans stopped watching or attending games.
Vice President Mike Pence went to a game just to walk out. (Pence is the sycophantic, slavish, spineless opposite of being P.C. He gazes at Trump with unfathomable, unnerving adoration.)
Now the NFL's bobbleheads have declared that players who do not stand during the anthem, moist-eyed with hand on heart, will be punished. The opposite of P.C. and free speech.
Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes. Proof is incontrovertible that Russia worked diligently and illegally to help Trump win the Electoral College.
The swift repudiation of Roseanne Barr's abhorrent tweets is encouraging. By hook and crook and because millions held their noses to vote, Trump is president. He is not who we are. And patriotism is more than standing for a song.
– Ann McFeatters is a columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at email@example.com.