You Can’t Say That!

April 18th, 2011

By Nancy Morgan

Zip It!It’s now official: The truth shall no longer set you free. In our new era of political correctness, the truth is more liable to get you penalized, demonized or fired. Last week, a female juror in a high-profile American mafia murder trial found this out the hard way.

When asked on a court questionnaire, “Name three people you least admire,” this potential juror answered, “African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians.”  Her answer enraged a federal court judge in New York, who promptly sentenced her to indefinite jury duty, for her “racist” answer. This woman was penalized for being truthful.

Under the guise of being sensitive to “feelings,” political correctness has succeeded in effectively censoring any uncomfortable “truths” that do not comport with liberal orthodoxy.

Censoring inconvenient truths is not a new phenomenon. Starting in 1994, AEI fellow Charles Murray and fellow author Richard Herrnstein came under fire for their best-selling book The Bell Curve, in which they wrote about differences in race and intelligence and discussed implications of that difference.

Murray’s whole body of scholarly work was roundly denounced for daring to point out that the general IQ of African Americans was lower than those of white Americans. Of course, no one objected to the fact that their research also found that the general IQ of Asian Americans was many points higher than white Americans.

Murray and Herrnstein found, to their dismay, that their fact-based research challenged the leftist notion of “equality.” Both authors were demonized as racists for daring to point out that differences do indeed exist among differing races. They weren’t supposed to say that, much less prove it scientifically.

Harvard’s former president, Lawrence Summers, also found out that voicing un-politically correct “truths” can exact severe consequences. In a 2005 speech, Summers dared to suggest that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a “different availability of aptitude at the high end” and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization. Feminists took umbrage at the suggestion that the under-representation of females in the scientific community might be due to female preference rather than male oppression.

Summers was forced to resign. And to soothe the hysterical feminists who objected to his politically-incorrect yet fact-based opinion, Harvard vested $50 million bucks in Harvard’s feminists studies program. Overlooked, or deliberately ignored, in this delicious fracas was the fact that Summers statement was a valid opinion. But he wasn’t supposed to say it.

Political correctness is an approved form of censorship. Based on emotional appeals at the expense of reason, political correctness mandates that inconvenient truths or facts be swept under the carpet. Or else.

Free speech, guaranteed to all Americans under the First Amendment, is on it’s way to becoming moot. The political, media and intellectual elites who control the terms of national debate and the rules of civil society have succeeded in censoring opposing views, limiting debate and demonizing dissent. Perception is on its way to becoming our new reality.

The lady juror who answered truthfully to her court questionnaire is merely the latest example. Though many may express horror at her forthrightness, and are quick to label her a racist, she, like all of us, forms her opinions through an accumulation of her life experiences. She is no different from myself except for the fact that she, through either ignorance or courage, dared to be truthful. She hasn’t yet learned that in today’s America, there are more and more things that are just not allowed to be said.

Her case is important, because for the first time, the unwritten and ever changing rules of political correctness have taken on the force of law. She is being forced to perform indefinite jury duty, supposedly until she starts thinking the right way. Does this sound familiar?

No one wants to be thought of as stupid or, in liberal parlance, “un-enlightened.” No one wants to be publicly labeled a homophobe or a racist. Under this threat, more and more Americans are comfortable adopting the assumption that “if everyone thinks it is so, then it must be so.” They are willing to suspend their very own inexpert but common sense opinions in favor of a widely held perception. A perception based on expert media and political manipulation as opposed to factual conclusions.

Truth, common sense and reality are now routinely suspended. It is OK to publicly revere one’s vagina but acknowledging racial realities is verboten. Dangling a cross in a jar of urine is considered daring — but mentioning God as our savior means you’re a fringe kook.

Daring to suggest that AIDS sufferers share responsibility for their disease means you are mean spirited and lacking compassion. (Advocating the expenditure of other people’s money is the new “compassion.”) And blaming the poor for the life choices they made that contributed to their poverty is considered beyond the pale.

Censoring uncomfortable truths or opinions is the goal of the PC police. Acquiescing to these arbitrary rules enables and validates them. And though it is not politically correct to say, I personally believe that those who are politically correct are weak people. Sheep who are either unable or unwilling to form their own opinions. Intellectually lazy sycophants who have so little confidence in themselves that they are willing to let others define them and determine their actions and opinions. Useful idiots, all. Can I say that?

(Also read You Can’t Say That! – Part 1.)

(This article was also published at American Thinker and was posted at Right Bias.)

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Categories: Law, News, Politics | Comments (8) | Home

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8 Responses to “You Can’t Say That!”

  1. larry ennis |

    The truth is always the truth!
    Far too many people attempt to temper the truth in order to convey a politically correct variation of same.

  2. Brian |

    It should be pointed out that the only speech that needs protection (by the 1st amendment) is unpopular speech (unpopular with politicians, unpopular with the mobocracy).

    It would be just if this federal magistrate were sanctioned. I won’t hold my breath.

  3. Seth Forman |

    Wow, Nancy! This line:

    “The political, media and intellectual elites who control the terms of national debate and the rules of civil society have succeeded in censoring opposing views, limiting debate and demonizing dissent. Perception is on its way to becoming our new reality.”

    is great!! One of the greatest challenges for the country. And the main reason I still believe, despite occassional victories, conservatives have been swamped in the culture war.

  4. Dan Miller |

    Smart-alecs must not be tolerated. They are dangerous, un-American and a threat to domestic tranquility. Here is a video (five minutes long) showing what happened to one in that bastion of freedom and liberty, New York City.

    The jerk had the audacity to make a smark-alec comment to a bicyclist about riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, apparently prohibited by law (riding the bike, not making smart-alec remarks, although the latter is far worse). A policeman took issue with his outrageously uncivilized behavior and eventually six of them cuffed and arrested him as an appreciative audience gathered. Good on them! That’s truly mature behavior on the part of New York’s finest and entitles them to the highest possible respect; they must serve as an example to us all.

    Sort of like the federal district court judge noted in the article. In fact, all six of New York’s Finest should immediately be appointed to the federal bench. We need more enlightened and responsible federal judges.

  5. Tom Carter |

    Cool video, Dan. Good example of why I never want to live in NYC or a number of other large, old cities I can think of.

    Brian has it right — if even the most offensive speech isn’t tolerated, then freedom of speech doesn’t exist. Nazis marching in Skokie or a goofball Christian burning the Qur’an or patriotic speeches on the Fourth of July all enjoy equal protection of the First Amendment.

    What the woman in question said is certainly offensive to any fair-minded person. However, she certainly has the right to say (write) it, particularly in response to a direct question. I’m not sure how the judge justifies his actions — apparently he didn’t hold her in contempt or find her guilty of a crime, so on what authority does he deprive her of her liberty and freedom of movement? Moreover, he is making a mockery of the concept that jury duty is a privilege and a solemn obligation of citizenship by using it as a form of punishment.

  6. Dan Miller |

    Tom, I’m not sure how the judge justifies his actions . . . .”

    He is consulting as we speak write with some of New York’s Finest to decide how.

  7. Tom Carter |

    Dan, put your lawyer wig on for a moment (don’t you envy those barrister guys in the mother country with their powdered wigs?). Does a federal district judge (or any judge) have the power to do this? Isn’t it an unlawful perversion of the jury system? Couldn’t the woman sue the judge for improperly depriving her of her freedom? Maybe you could take the case, get 30 percent of a humongous settlement from the DOJ….

  8. Dan Miller |


    I don’t know. Judges have the power to declare people in contempt of court, but here the woman who responded – apparently honestly – to a written question as directed doesn’t quite fit; in any event, His Honor did not hold her in contempt. Forcing her to appear on the roster of prospective jurors until she mends her wicked ways (perhaps by responding untruthfully) or until he gets tired of it just doesn’t make any sense.

    Assuming (a) that she will have to respond to the same questionnaire next time and the next times, and (b) that she will answer the same way, she may be on the roster until the judge retires or develops a bit of common sense. Successfully suing a federal judge based on something like this would be difficult and costly.

    I do have an idea, however. Next time, she could answer:

    Judges lacking common sense, ego-maniacal judges and other petty little jerks wearing black robes. Obviously, Judge Magoo, whom I have recently come to respect greatly, is a great jurist whom I must admire above all others.

    By the time she gets another opportunity to respond that will likely be a candid answer. Then what’s Hiz Horror to do?

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