I was watching football this weekend, specifically, the New York Giants destroy the Washington Redskins, and it got me thinking about something I haven’t heard about in a while. Several years ago, there were some whispers about the “political incorrectness” (why can’t people just say insensitivity or insult?) of calling Washington’s football team the Redskins, and some in and out of the league wondered whether it was too offensive. It wasn’t long before we all recovered, though, from our temporary brush with sensitivity and awareness, and it hasn’t been mentioned anywhere on mainstream television since.
Some people said that too many of us were too consumed by this “political correctness,” complaining, for example, that people were being too sensitive and saying, for example, that it seems as if you can’t say anything these days without someone yelling about bigotry or prejudice. Political correctness, huh? How about just plain old awareness and respect of others?
I wonder whether any one of us would be offended if we had a team called the Cleveland Brownskins, the Arizona Pale Faces, the San Francisco Yellowskins, or the Pittsburgh Rednecks. Doing the right thing isn’t about “political correctness”; it’s about doing the right thing and being aware that there are other people around you who feel just as strongly about their heritage as you do about yours.
It’s part of living in a world where you are not the only inhabitant.