The young Circuit City clerk saw jihadists screaming “God is great” in Arabic and firing guns at a Pennsylvania target range. This alarming scene appeared on a video recording that bearded Muslims had handed the clerk for him to duplicate. His reaction: “I don’t know what to do. Should I call someone, or is that being racist?” After waiting a full day, Brian Morgenstern decided to alert the authorities.
Had political correctness won out, the Fort Dix terror plot—to kill soldiers with assault rifles and grenades—might have become reality. Rather than realizing the bearded Muslims’ religion supported his suspicion, he actually considered their Islamic connections a reason not to report a possible terror plot.
This incident was no aberration. Politically correct thoughts and procedures often take precedence over preventing crime. Political correctness focuses on the crimes of the majority—many of which are virtually concocted out of thin air—and explains away the crimes of all types of minorities. Minority status of any type can serve as a shield for a whole host of bad behaviors.
This fact has profound consequences in societies. Law and order break down as a direct result of placing political correctness above equity and truth.
One of the main minority groups political correctness has adopted is criminals. It is not so much that people want to support criminals—it is that they fear a police state. Self-interest groups, taking advantage of positive reforms in the law originally designed to prevent abuses, have sought ways to favor the minority over the majority. Thus, impartiality is removed from a law intended to mete out equal justice for all.
Citizens in every country react to improper police action with extreme disgust—and rightly so. Experience teaches us that abuses do happen. When they do, this can invoke memories of “Big Brother” and the tyranny of fascism, Nazism and communism.
But political correctness goes beyond condemning outright wrongdoing. It teaches us that we should fundamentally mistrust authority and extend boundless mercy to perpetrators—especially minority perpetrators. The result is a profoundly weakened legal system and police force.
Numerous u.s. court cases contributed to this problem. Escobedo v. Illinois (1964) made it illegal to continue to question a suspect once he or she requested a lawyer. This ruling wasn’t necessarily unreasonable, but it could be considered the first step toward favoring criminal rights over victim rights. Miranda v. Arizona (1966) made it illegal to question a suspect at all without first reading a verbatim script specially designed to talk the suspect out of providing any useful information. Confessions in New York County fell from 49 percent to 14 percent in just one year as a result of this ruling. Economist Richard Fowles and federal judge Paul Cassell released a study in 1998 estimating that “as many as 136,000 violent crimes and 299,000 property crimes go unsolved each year because of the Miranda procedures.” In Brewer v. Williams (1977), Robert Williams, after being warned by three officers and two lawyers that he had a right not to talk, led officers to his 10-year-old victim’s body. The courts deemed all the evidence found as a result of his cooperation inadmissible.
Today, police know that criminals’ rights will often be held above victims’ rights. As a result, police must cope with procedures specially designed to prevent criminals from admitting their crimes, with evidence procedures designed to prevent officers from looking where evidence might be, and with a virtual ban on profiling the characteristics of a likely criminal during the search. The result is that police become timid.
The problem isn’t limited to the United States. In Hamilton, Ontario, on February 10 a fugitive identifying himself as Corey Rogers called to turn himself in, saying he was the city’s most wanted man. The call-taker gave him the option of simply walking to the station. Rogers never showed up, but he did murder two teenagers a week later. After the murders, the police finally arrested him—at the same address he had given them a week earlier.
Political correctness also suggests that it is wrong to punish a criminal at all; rehabilitation alone is the answer. Accordingly, one major target of the pc brigade is the prison system. This system undoubtedly has many shortcomings, but its opponents generally have no realistic alternatives. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark summed up the pc view of prisons best when he argued, “Prisons are usually little more than places to keep people—warehouses of human degradation.” The result: a continuing effort to release violent criminals from prison. Britain has just announced plans to reduce the number of people in prison. In South Africa, the transport minister said, “Those wanting more prisons are sending out a message of desperation and hopelessness. By doing that we are killing our nation.”
The media continually print articles lamenting the state of prisons and the supposed shortsightedness of imprisonment. In one example, the Sydney Morning Herald printed an article on May 14 titled “So Many Jailed, and the Key of Compassion Thrown Away,” which called prison “expensive, discriminatory and ineffective.” The New York Times published an article in 2000 titled “Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction.” Presumably, author Fox Butterfield would expect fewer crimes if the prisons were empty.
Since the best way to empty prisons is to release criminals, or to never convict them in the first place, that is often what happens. Judges often try to give even the most deranged criminals the shortest sentence possible. This is why we hear horrifying tales of child rapists put back on the street and murderers freed only to murder again.
The power of political correctness is especially evident in Britain, where a training manual instructed magistrates not to have prejudice against black youths who commit violent crimes but, rather, according to the Salisbury Review, to “think of them as quirky Lenny Henry characters”—referring to a black English comedian. The Sentencing Guidelines Council says teenage muggers should not be jailed. Those who defend themselves when criminals invade their homes, however, are regularly jailed. One woman was ordered to remove barbed wire from the roof of her house because an intruder could be injured. Dr. Ian Stephen gave the following advice at Glasgow Caledonian University: “If you attack the burglar, or react in an over-the-top manner … you will inevitably end up on the receiving end of a prison sentence that will far outstrip that imposed on the intruder in your own home …. Direct contact should be avoided whenever possible. If unavoidable, the victim should adopt a state of active passivity ….” One must show proper respect for the criminal!
While actual crimes are often treated lightly, politically incorrect comments can result in jail time. Former tv presenter Robin Page gave a speech that included: “If there is a black, vegetarian, Muslim, asylum-seeking, one-legged lesbian lorry-driver present, then you may be offended at what I am going to say, as I want the same rights that you have already.” He was arrested, held without counsel, and ultimately warned that he would be watched.
Contrasting with that behavior, 300 Muslims who gathered to burn a cross in front of London’s U.S. Embassy in May 2005 were not prosecuted at all.
The u.s. has a special application of political correctness as it relates to racial profiling. The idea that police might be able to more quickly locate criminals through racial or sex profiling has become abhorrent to many even though it is a statistical reality that, for example, most terrorists are Muslim males.
Columnist Walter Williams observed that when a woman is raped, searching for her attacker among only males is sex profiling; yet detectives will still restrict the search. Not so in airline security. Even though the vast majority of terrorist actions have been carried out by Muslim males, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta has made a special effort to assure the public that “the system does not disproportionately select members of any particular minority group.” This is why tax dollars go toward screening your grandmother as she goes through the security checkpoint. One family reported that their 4-year-old son was questioned at length by Transportation Security Administration and fbi officials because he had the same name as someone under a terror alert. The minutest possibilities are accounted for while the enormous probability that the next terrorist will be a male Islamist radical is ignored.
That attitude trickles down to the general population—perhaps even more so since the so-called “flying imams” sued both passengers and the airline for calling attention to their flagrantly suspicious activity on a flight late last year. The more people adopt the attitude that possible threats should be ignored if race might be a factor, the more likely it becomes that the next Fort Dix terror plot will succeed.
We can see a similar phenomenon on the international stage, where political correctness teaches us that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Both leave equally dead victims; the difference with a freedom fighter is his shield—the impenetrable, all-powerful barrier of political correctness that renders law, morality and even common sense inoperative on contact.
Consider the reputation of a few of these freedom fighters:
He is the greatest hero of our day: a minority warrior who stood up for the little guy against the great white oppressor, and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Even Vice President Dick Cheney, who once opposed Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, now says, “He deserves an enormous amount of credit for the transformation of South Africa,” and that Mandela is “a great man.” Remember, though: Mandela achieved that “transformation” largely by engaging in “freedom fighting” activities that destroyed government property and killed those unlucky enough to be present. In his own words: “The people of South Africa, led by the … communist party, will destroy capitalist society and build in its place socialism. … One must … be a revolutionary and not a reformist.”
Yasser Arafat could be accurately described as an arch-terrorist, yet he also received the Nobel Peace Prize—just one year after Mandela. Perhaps most notably, he helped found the Fatah movement, whose “freedom fighting” has killed numerous Israelis. When Arafat became leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1969, Fatah—the plo’s largest faction—launched 2,432 guerilla attacks on Israel in just one year. Since he too won the peace prize, consider his definition of peace as he stated it in 1980: “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel.” He also commented in a speech to the United Nations in 1974: “I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter’s gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.” He gave the speech while wearing revolutionary garb and with his peace-loving, freedom fighter’s holster strapped to his side.
Betty Williams, a former member of the Irish Republican Army, is a less-famous recipient of the top peace prize. In 2006, she commented: “I have a very hard time with this word ‘non-violence,’ because I don’t believe that I am non-violent. … Right now, I would love to kill George Bush.” Her equally peace-loving audience responded with claps and cheers.
Political correctness protects men and women like these from ridicule or censure. In fact, the list above suggests that having a history as a terrorist greatly improves one’s chances of winning the Nobel Peace Prize!
These absurdities demonstrate the extreme degree to which the minority is shielded by political correctness. Thus, prisons are viewed as inhumane torture facilities that serve no valuable purpose instead of as a way to protect society from violent criminals and deter further crimes. Terrorists are deemed oppressed heroes with a religious cause instead of as suicide bombers bent on mass destruction. Our legal systems exchange victims’ rights for criminals’ rights and allow misguided compassion to nullify judgment.
Accordingly, when Arabs fire guns in preparation for terrorist actions in Fort Dix, an internal debate rages as to whether anything should be done. As Westerners, we ask ourselves, Don’t they have the right to fire guns? Don’t they have the right to hold their Islamist beliefs? And, ultimately, don’t they have the right to hate the United States—even to wish to destroy it? The terrorists are, after all, an oppressed minority.
God is filled with love and mercy, but He also exercises proper judgment—one thing political correctness will never accept. The story of the Fort Dix terror plot has a positive ending; ultimately, the clerk made the right decision. But how often do people make the wrong decision? How often do our governments and law enforcement agencies allow political correctness to triumph over our security, safety and peace?
At His return, Jesus Christ will pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28). That spirit of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) will transcend the ideological considerations of today. He will establish a pure language (Zephaniah 3:9), one with no equivalent for the term “political correctness,” that everyone will speak as society learns to love our Creator.