Posts Tagged ‘Political Correctness’

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Blood Heir An up-and-coming young author has cancelled the publication of her highly anticipated debut novel received a barrage of criticism from the PC lynch mob over her depiction of race and slavery.Amélie Wen Zhao’s novel, Blood Heir , is a fantastical retelling of the Anastasia story involving “a princess hiding a dark secret and the conman she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder, it was scheduled to be published in June.

After criticism on grounds of political correctness, Zhao said in a statement that negative feedback from the young adult community had led to her asking her publisher, Delacorte Press, not to release the book at this time. She said:

It was never my intention to bring harm to any reader of this valued community, particularly those for whom I seek to write and empower … I don’t wish to clarify, defend or have anyone defend me. This is not that; this is an apology.

Zhao had previously said on her website that she had set out to create “a diverse cast, many of which are beloved and dear to a third-culture kid like myself

Before the PC mob picked up on the book, early reviews had been positive.

Offsite Comment: The return of book-burning

Spiked logo The Twittermob’s fury with un-woke novels has sinister echoes of the past.

See  article from spiked-online.com by Tim Dawson

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New York State seal A bill was recently introduced to the New York State Senate by Senator Kevin Parker and Brooklyn borough President, Eric Adams, that would require gun license applicants to hand over social media passwords, and 3 years of search history for review by the State. Regardless of how you feel about gun rights, this is a clear violation of privacy, and a request like this in any context is completely inappropriate, and totally unconstitutional. Background checks are one thing, but the process outlined in this bill goes way too far. This isn’t about gun rights, this is about privacy rights.

The authorities intend to check that all licence applicants are totally politically correct. The relevant text of the bill reads:

In order to ascertain whether any social media account or search engine history of an applicant presents any good cause for the denial of a license, the investigating officer shall, after obtaining the applicant’s consent pursuant to subdivision three of this section, and obtaining any log-in name, password or other means for accessing a personal account, service, or electronic communications device necessary to review such applicant’s social media accounts and search engine history, review an applicant’s social media accounts for the previous three years and search engine history for the previous year and investigate an applicant’s posts or searches related to:

  • (i) commonly known profane slurs or biased language used to describe the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person;

  • (ii) threatening the health or safety of another person;

  • (iii) an act of terrorism; or

  • (iv) any other issue deemed necessary by the investigating officer.

For the purposes of this subdivision, “social media accounts” shall only include facebook, snapchat, twitter and instagram, and “search engine” shall only include google, yahoo and bing.

Security experts have long warned that it’s extremely dangerous to give your password to anyone, including your local police department. It not only exposes you to unreasonably intrusive analysis, but also exposes private details of everyone you have ever communicated with with online. If your friend wants to buy a gun does that mean the police should get to read every message you’ve ever sent them? The best thing we can do is reject these ideas right now to prevent bad privacy practices from become normalized.

It makes perfect sense to require background checks and other vetting before allowing someone to purchase a weapon, but setting any precedent that allows the government to demand social media passwords is extremely dangerous. If you care about privacy, and keeping a close eye on overreaching state power, please sign this petition and tell the NY State Senate that you oppose bill S9191.

Sign the petition from actionnetwork.org

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beau stantom mural Beau Stanton’s mural of Ava Gardner adorns the Robert F. Kennedy Community School in LA’s Koreatown. The mural is an homage to the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub which stood nearby, and depicts the Old Hollywood film star in profile, palm trees and moorish architecture overlaid on her face. Behind her head, alternating rays of blue and orange in a sunburst pattern.japan rising sun flag Last month, the Wilshire Community Coalition sent a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District requesting that the mural be censored. The group ludicrously claimed that the pattern was too similar to the Rising Sun Flag of Imperial Japan, a symbol loaded with pain and trauma for the Korean-American community that they likened it to the Swastika of German Nazism. The group wrote:

This work is extremely offensive and threatening to many survivors, descendants and community stakeholders who stand in absolute opposition of the Japanese Imperialism, Racism, ethnic hatred and crimes against humanity committed by the military aggression during the World War II

In response to their request, the LAUSD agreed to paint over the mural during winter break.

Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight issued a scathing rebuke to the decision calling it deplorable. An innocent artist is being smeared as a promoter of hate speech, Knight wrote, his work unfairly attacked for something it is not. He went on to detail the ways in which the mural differed from the Rising Sun Flag, from the number of rays — 44 vs 32 — to the colors used, and the myriad sources in which similar motifs can be found. Deceptive claims have been weaponized to shut down free speech, he concluded. The school mural is not the scandal; LAUSD’s imminent censorship is.

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unicef on campus logo Comedian Konstantin Kisin had offered to perform for free in a Unicef on Campus charity event at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in London. However he turned down the gig after being asked to sign a ‘behavioural agreement’ that banned a long list of PC topics that weren’t allowed to be laughed at.

The full list of topics listed by the organisers were racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism. The contract said: It does not mean that these topics cannot be discussed. But it must be done in a respectful and non-abusive way.

Konstantin told Radio 1 Newsbeat the experience reflects a growing trend of free speech becoming stifled on university campuses across the UK. He shared the behavioural agreement form online and tweeted:

I just received an invitation to perform *comedy* at a university…The title of this contract nearly made me puke.

I just think it reflects an attitude among a group of people, people at university particularly, where it seems that they have become places of indoctrination rather than learning.

Students are being taught to prevent offence rather than to seek truth and pursue experiences.

Universities used to be all about that, but now it seems they’re places where students are being taught to be woke.

Konstantin pointed out that it is dangerous to work with hypersensitive PC groups:

I didn’t turn down this gig because I’m some racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist comedian. I turned down this gig because if you sign a contract like that, you’re exposing yourself to someone’s bad interpretation.

If someone writes a contract like that, the chances are that they will be hypersensitive, vigilant and trying to catch you out. I’m just not interested in that.

After their censorship was found out, organisers, Unicef on Campus, apologised

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slave montreal festival posterThe Montreal International Jazz Festival has explained its decision to censor a show featuring a white woman singing songs composed by black slaves.Festival CEO Jacques-Andre Dupont said the decision to abruptly cancel SLAV partway through its run was made for a mix of technical and human reasons, including security concerns raised by the escalating vitriol surrounding the show. He also said that the show’s star, Betty Bonifassi, had broken her ankle and indicated she was no longer able to continue.

He said that while many protesters were peaceful, the festival and the theatre where the show was performed were concerned by the aggression of some protesters and the rising division and anger surrounding the show. He said Bonifassi’s decision to not continue was prompted both by her injury and the criticism.

Dupont said the festival and the production company would absorb what he said would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses associated with cancelling the show, including paying the performers.

SLAV, one of the hottest tickets at this year’s jazz festival, was the subject of protests claiming ‘cultural appropriation’ of black culture and history. It was described as a theatrical odyssey based on slave songs and a journey through traditional Afro-American songs, from cotton fields to construction sites, railroads, from slave songs to prison songs.

Black activists denounced the show and its mostly-white cast, and U.S. musician Moses Sumney cancelled a gig at the festival in protest.

Amid a storm of international media attention, the festival announced Wednesday it was cancelling the remaining performances and apologizing to anybody who had been hurt.

The renowned Quebec playwright Robert Lepage who directed the show criticized the decision to cancel it, calling it a direct blow to artistic freedom. He said in a statement that actors pretending to be someone else is at the very heart of theatre:

When we are no longer allowed to step into someone else’s shoes, when it is forbidden to identify with someone else, theatre is denied its very nature, it is prevented from performing its primary function and is thus rendered meaningless.

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ASA logo ASA’s code writing arm, CAP, has launched a public consultation on a new rule to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads, as well as on guidance to advertisers on how the new rule is likely to be interpreted in practice. The purpose of today’s announcement is to make public the proposed rule and guidance, which includes examples of gender portrayals which are likely to fall foul of the new rule.

The consultation proposes the introduction of the following new rule to the ad codes which will cover broadcast and non-broadcast media:

Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.

The consultation comes after the ASA published a report last year – Depictions, Perceptions and Harm which provided an evidence-based case for stronger regulation of ads that feature certain kinds of gender stereotypical roles and characteristics. These are ads that have the potential to cause harm by contributing to the restriction of people’s choices, aspirations and opportunities, which can affect the way people interact with each other and the way they view their own potential.

We already apply rules on offence and social responsibility to ban ads that include gender stereotypes on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation and depiction of unhealthily thin body images.

The evidence does not demonstrate that the use of gender stereotypes is always problematic or that the use of seriously offensive or potentially harmful stereotypes in advertising is endemic. The rule and guidance therefore seek to identify specific harms that should be prevented, rather than banning gender stereotypes outright.

The consultation on guidance to support the proposed new rule change provides examples of scenarios likely to be problematic in future ads. For example:

  • An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.

  • An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man’s inability to change nappies; a woman’s inability to park a car.

  • Where an ad features a person with a physique that does not match an ideal stereotypically associated with their gender, the ad should not imply that their physique is a significant reason for them not being successful, for example in their romantic or social lives.

  • An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy’s stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl’s stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care.

  • An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.

  • An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically “female” roles or tasks.

Ella Smillie, gender stereotyping project lead, Committees of Advertising Practice, said:

“Our review of the evidence strongly indicates that particular forms of gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children by limiting how people see themselves and how others see them and the life decisions they take. The set of standards we’re proposing aims to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads while ensuring that creative freedom expressed within the rules continues to be protected.”

Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice, Shahriar Coupal said:

“Amid wide-ranging views about the portrayal of gender in ads is evidence that certain gender stereotypes have the potential to cause harm or serious offence. That’s why we’re proposing a new rule and guidance to restrict particular gender stereotypes in ads where we believe there’s an evidence-based case to do so. Our action is intended to help tackle the harms identified in the ASA’s recent report on the evidence around gender portrayal in ads.”

The consultation closes on 26 July 2018 .

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Transport for London (TfL) has apologised for an ‘insensitive’ body shaming message written on a service information whiteboard at Blackhorse Road Underground stationThe sign, which was posted as a quote of the day read:

During this heatwave please dress for the body you have… not for the body you want!.

The PC lynch mob accused TfL of body-shaming, branding the message gross and disgusting , contrary to the usual insightful and witty quotes shared with commuters on its whiteboards.

No doubt the person who posted this didn’t understand the complex PC pecking order of who is allowed to bully who. They will surely suffer ‘appropriate’, probably meaning extreme, punishment for their innocence. A TfL spokesperson told i:

We apologise unreservedly to customers who were offended by the insensitive message on the whiteboard at Blackhorse Road station.

Our staff across the network share messages on these boards, but in this instance the message was clearly ill-judged and it has been removed.

An investigation is underway to establish who thought such an unacceptable message was a good idea, so that the appropriate action can be taken.