How Political Correctness is Ruining the World
For those of you living under rocks, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee announced today that he would be stepping down from his post as one of the best university presidents of all time. What you’re hearing in the media is that this is in response to some jokes he made in December at the expense of Notre Dame and the SEC.
This is not the first time President Gee has made a joke that the media has turned into a Hurricane Katrina-calliber shit storm. This is, however, the first time that the Board of Trustees put him basically on probation and looked into getting President Gee a coach for his public behavior.
Really? You’re going to get TIME’s 2010 best university president, who has led five different universities (the most of any university president today) and coached countless other university presidents, a PR coach?
The reason E. Gordon Gee is so loved by the Ohio State community is because he is one of us. He goes to on and off-campus events, he takes pictures with students, he laughs and bleeds with us. He is one of the people, something leaders elsewhere would be keen to emulate. He jokes. He’s human. He’s real.
Every Buckeye knows who President Gee is. One need only see a bow tie to bring his image to mind. You know who I don’t know? Our new Interim President Joseph Alutto. Our VP of Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston, other than her yearly email telling students not to jump in Mirror Lake. The president of the University of Michigan. The president of any other school in the country.
President Gee is, as he put it to the Dispatch, “quirky as hell,” and that’s why Ohio State is in love with him. He’s the students’ president. If he ran for POTUS, we’d all vote for him.
The bigger issue, outside of this concentrated issue, is the prohibition of any kind of joking, joshing, or kidding by any sort of public figure. Adam Levine came under fire with his off-handed “I hate this country” when that country voted off one of his team members on “The Voice.” Quentin Tarantino didn’t care, but people still criticized his use of the n-word in his period film about slavery in which that term was regularly used.
Why so serious, world?
In our feel-good, plushy-gushy society where anyone who says anything that hurts someone else’s feelings is crucified by an overly-sensitive media, we forget that with our First Amendment right to free speech comes an equally important right to be offended. The truth of the matter is, no one cares if your feelings were hurt. Even less people care if you’re just saying your feelings hurt to justify your existence (I’m looking at you, Catholics who are in a tussle about Gee’s “damn Catholics” remarks).
I, for one, will choose to focus on the more important issues, like, I dunno, the Turkish government killing its own citizens for their protest of a park’s removal. Or unemployment, the debt ceiling, and the recession. Or the fact that Obama can order the death of people believed to be terrorists, even if those people are US citizens.
The exorbitant tizzy being caused by words is the biggest #firstworldproblem I’ve ever seen.
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