George Carlin: Politically Correct Language

George Carlin's critical thinking on pc language, still relevant today.
George Carlin

I know I’m a little late with this, but I’d like to get a few licks on this totally bogus topic before it completely disappears from everyone’s consciences.

First I want to be really clear about one thing: as far as other people’s feeling are concerned—especially these “victim groups”—when I deal with them as individuals, I will call them whatever they want. When it’s one on one, if some guy wants me to call him a morbidly obese, African-ancestored male with a same gendered sexual orientation I’ll be glad to do that. One the other hand if he wants me to call him a fat n*gger c0cksucker, than that’s what it will be. I’m here to please.

If I meet a woman who wishes to be to be referred to as a motion-impaired, same gender-oriented Italian-American who is difficult to deal with, fine. On the other hand, I am perfectly willing to call her a crippled, Guinea dyk3 c*nt if she prefers. I’m not trying to change anyone’s self image. But! But! When I am speaking generally, and impersonally about a large group of people, I will call them what I think is honest and fair. And I will not try and bullshit myself.

Okay, so, who exactly are these victims? Well, first of all, I don’t think everyone who says he is a victim automatically qualifies. I don’t think a homely, disfigured, bald minority person with a room temperature IQ who limps and stutters is necessarily always a victim. Although I will say that she probably shouldn’t be out trying to get work as a receptionist. But maybe that’s just the way it oughtta be.

I’m more interested in the real victims. People who have been fucked over by the system. Because the United States is a Christian racist nation with a rigged economic system run for three hundred years by the least morally qualified of the two sexes, there were bound to be some real victims. People who have been elaborately fucked over.

The way I see it, this country has only four real victim groups: Indians, blacks, women and gays. I purposely left out the Spanish and Asians, because when you look at what happened to the Indians and the blacks, the Spanish and Asian people had a walk in the park. It’s not even close. Not to downplay the shit they’ve had to eat, but in about one hundred years the Spanish and Asians are going to be running this country, so they’ll have plenty of chances to get even with the gray people.

Let’s get to some of these other non-victims. You probably noticed elsewhere I used the word fat. I used that word because that’s what fat people are. They’re fat. They’re not large; they’re not stout, chunky, hefty, or plump. And they’re not big-boned. Dinosaurs are big-boned. These people are not necessarily obese either. Obese is a medical term. And they’re not overweight. Overweight implies there is some correct weight. There is no correct weight. Heavy is also a misleading term. An aircraft carrier is heavy, it is not fat. Only people are fat. That’s what fat people are. They’re fat. I offer no apology for this. It is not intended as criticism or insult. It is simply descriptive language. I don’t like euphemisms. Euphemisms are a form of lying. Fat people are not gravitationally disadvantaged. They’re fat. I prefer seeing things the way they are. Not the way some people wish they were.

I don’t believe groups deserve extra-special names. For instance, midgets and dwarfs are midgets and dwarfs. They are not little people. Infants are little people; leprechauns are little people . Midgets and dwarfs are midgets and dwarfs. They don’t get any taller by calling them little people. I wish their lives were different. I wish they didn’t have to go around starring at other peoples crotches, but I can’t fix that. And I’m not going to lie about what they are. The politically sensitive commandos would probably like me to call them “vertically challenged”. They are not vertically challenged. A skydiver is vertically challenged. The person who designed the empire state building was vertically challenged. Midgets and dwarfs are midgets and dwarfs.

Also, crippled people are crippled. They are not differently-abled. If you insist on using such tortured language as differently-abled, then you must use it on all of us. We’re all differently-abled. You can do things I can’t do. I can do things you can’t do. I can pick my nose with my thumb. I can switch hands while masturbating and gain a stroke. We are all differently-abled. Crippled people are crippled. It’s a perfectly honorable word. There is no shame in it. It’s in the Bible: “Jesus healed the cripples”. He didn’t “engage in rehabilitative strategies for the physically disadvantaged”.

So, leaving women and gays aside for a moment, I’ve narrowed it down to blacks and Indians. Let’s talk about what we ought to call them. And remember, this has nothing to do with the people themselves, it has to do with the words.

And, by the way, when it comes to liberal language vandals, I must agree with there underlying premise: White Europeans and their descendants are morally unattractive people who are responsible for most of the world’s suffering. That part is easy. You would have to be, uh, visually impaired, not to see it. The impulse behind political correctness is a good one. But like every good impulse in America, it has to be grotesquely distorted beyond usefulness.

Clearly, these are victims, but I don’t agree that these failed campus revolutionaries know what to do about them. When they’re not busy curtailing freedom of speech, they’re running around inventing absurd hyphenated names designed to make people feel better. Remember, these are the white elitists in there customary paternalistic role: protecting helpless, inept minority victims . Big Daddy White Boss always knows best.

So, let me tell you how I handle some of these speech issues. First of all, I say “black”. I say “black” because most black people prefer “black”. I don’t say “people of color”. People of color sounds like something you see when you are on mushrooms. Besides, the use of people of color is dishonest. It means precisely the same thing as colored people. If you’re not willing to say “colored people” you shouldn’t be saying “people of color”.

Besides, the whole idea of color is bullshit anyway. What should we call white people? “People of no color”? Isn’t pink a color? In fact, white people aren’t really white at all, they’re different shades of pink, olive and beige. In other words, they’re colored. And black people are rarely black. I see mostly different shades of brown and tan. In fact, some light-skinned black people are lighter than the darkest white people. Look how dark the people in India are. They’re dark brown but they’re still considered white people. What’s going on here? May I see the color chart? “People of color” is an awkward, bullshit , liberal-guilt phrase that obscures meaning rather than enhancing it. Shall we call fat people, “people of size”?

By the way, I think the whole reason we are encouraged in this country to think of ourselves as black and white (instead of pink and brown, which is what we are) is that black and white are complete opposites that cannot be reconciled. Black and white can never come together. Pink and brown, on the other hand, might just stand a chance of being blended, might just come together. Can’t have that! Doesn’t fit the plan.

I also don’t say “African-American”. I find it completely confusing. Which part of Africa are we talking about? What about Egypt? Egypt is in Africa. Egyptians aren’t black. They’re like the people in India, they’re the dark brown white people. But they’re Africans. So why wouldn’t an Egyptian who becomes a US citizen be an African-American?

The same thing goes for the Republic of South Africa. Suppose a white racist from South Africa becomes an American citizen? Well, first of all, he’d find plenty of company, but couldn’t he also be called an African American? It seems to me that a racist white South-African guy could come here and call himself African-American just to piss off black people. And, by the way, what about a black person born in South Africa who moves here and becomes a citizen? What is he? Is he a African-South-African-American? Or a South-African-African-American? All right. Back to the hemisphere. How about a black women who is a citizen of Jamaica? According to P.C. doctrine, she’s African-Jamaican, right? But if she becomes a US citizen, she’s a Jamaican-American. And yet if one of these language crusaders saw her on the street, he’d think she was African-American. Unless he knew her personally in which case he’d have to decide between African-Jamaican-American and Jamaican-African-American. Ya know? It’s just so much liberal bullshit. Labels divide people. We need Fewer labels, not more!


1 thought on “George Carlin: Politically Correct Language”

  1. Molly Mathews Copelan

    I am an army brat. That is someone who doesn’t really belong anywhere anymore, but has to fake it their entire life that they do. But now I find that I am in the vanguard of the culture. So many Americans have the same experience of being displaced and not belonging anywhere because of the widespread moving away from one’s roots that it has become normal. So to feel we have roots we turn to things like pop music, which is now commercialized. So our roots are not roots at all, but we are just consumers being manipulated by our own narcissism.

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