People don’t know what to say or even the appropriate questions to ask at times. Can we blame them? Our society praises individuality and freedom of speech, but when does not being politically correct become ignorance? Remember the elementary sing along we were taught, “stick and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, not true. Words can hurt. You hear all the time “just ignore them” but before we spend another day in 2018, please allow me to fill you in on phrases we should leave in 2017.
- “You sound white”: I honestly just can’t deal. I have been hearing this foolish phrase since I was old enough to comprehend the meaning. Contrary to popular belief you can’t sound white. White doesn’t have a sound. More importantly, if I sound white what do others sound like? Black? What sound is that? Are you implying that one is better? Now to clarify here is a list of things that I accurately identify with: black, American, proper, educated, well raised, and suburban. Does that make me bougie you may ask, you’re damn right it does.
- “I thought black girls hair didn’t grow”: All hair grows. Now can we please move on.
- “No offense”: Do I even need to explain this one? If you have to start out the sentence with “no offense”, you probably just offended someone. Understand your audience and if you hesitate before speaking then don’t say it.
- “That’s so retarded”: Just stop. I work with someone everyday who has down syndrome and he’s the best part of my work day. He’s smart, kind, friendly, funny, and extremely loving. Before every game he writes up a scouting report and gives the girls words of encouragement. We all do careless and ill- advised things, but none qualify for throwing around an offense term for those who permanently have it attached to their identity.
- “You’re so gay”: It is 2018 correct? Meaning you hardly can turn on the TV good without seeing a same sex couple run across the screen. The LGBTQ community has come so far to ensure equality that this almost seems crazy to still be an issue. The phrase “you’re so gay” has become the new “you’re lame” in our society. Using someone’s sexuality is not a way to insult them.
- “I’m not racist, but”: Um, yes you are. This is not, I repeat this is not pointing fingers to any particular race, everyone is guilty. Racism and prejudice still exist so please stop it with the whole “but we’ve come so far” crap. If interracial couples still make you cringe or Hispanics moving in next door…. well I think you get the point. We all need self reflection and growth, myself included. Let’s work to stop the encouragement of division and merge together as a nation.
These are just a few on a list that certainly could be more extensive. Most of these have been passed down through generations and will take all of us to break. Regardless of the origin, the time has come to hang up these phrases for good.