Accompanying the quintessential stereotype that Canadians are nicest people around is the notion that they are often too quick to take offence. Indeed, Canada has a significant political correctness problem. Even its own citizens agree that they can be too sensitive at times.
In a poll released by the Angus Reid Institute a few months ago, it was found that two-thirds of Canadians believed political correctness is often taken too far; especially when it comes to the terminology used in daily speech. Even more than this, around three-quarters of Canadians have admitted to withholding a personal thought or opinion; not only for the sake of being mannerly, but also to avert negative criticism.
It's hard to blame them for thinking that way - in the modern world of social media and connectivity, it's easier for people to break decorum and shame others for an unpopular opinion, especially from behind a screen. Which is probably why the author of an acid-tongued response to Canada's excessive PC culture decided to remain anonymous.
The response, entitled "PC Primer", explores the Canadian PC issue with unbarred sarcasm. Organized into a FAQ format, the "guide" covers everything from the definition of PC to how a Canadian can become part of the PC movement.
According to the author, political correctness is "the only social and morally acceptable outlook." It's not just an attitude, but a way of life that offers "the satisfaction of knowing that you are undoing the social evils of centuries of oppression." The author believes that anyone who disagrees with this philosophy is simply "bigoted, biased sexist, and/or closed-minded."
Deeper into the "guide", the author continues with even more controversial explanations. Here are some of his sharpest statements:
On how to be PC:
Oh, there are lots of ways. For example, why buy regular ice cream when you can buy "Rain Forest Crunch?" Segrega... whoops... separate all of your garbage into different containers: glass, metal, white paper, blue paper, plastic, etc. Make sure that all your make-up has not been tested on animals. Try to find at least sixty ways to use your water; when you take a shower, brush your teeth at the same time. Then don't let the water go down the drain, use it to irrigate your lawn. Or better yet, replace your lawn with a vegetable garden. Don't use aerosol. And by all means, don't burn or deface our flag. Remember, as a citizen of Canada, you're living in God's country.
If you are fortunate enough to know your ethnic heritage, dress the part! Don't do drugs. You should listen to at least one of the following PC musicians: U2, REM, Sinead O'Connor, Sting, or k.d. Lang.
Harass people who wear fur coats. Remind them that an innocent baby seal was mercilessly clubbed. Or just yell, "FUR." They hate that. And don't EVER eat meat.
On animal rights:
The general rule is as follows:
IF AN ANIMAL IS RARE, PRETTY, BIG, CUTE, FURRY, HUGGABLE, OR LOVABLE, THEN IT HAS RIGHTS.
Examine the following chart:
On identifying non-PC behaviours:
Good question. It's important to know when someone is saying something insensitive so that you can have that person removed from society. The guideline is as follows:
Is the confrontation between two white people?
- Yes -> The liberal is right.
- No -> The white person is oppressing the ethnic person.
Remember, many seemingly obvious issues, such as the railroading of Mayor Marion Barry, the Clarence Thomas issue, and the Saint Mary's University Caribbean Society shut-down are really race issues.
Here's a fun practice drill for you: See how many newspaper articles you can make into race bias stories. It's fun! Some PCers are so good they can make the weather report look like a KKK pamphlet!
On youth education:
Well, for one thing, we should forcibly encourage students to volunteer their time with philanthropies. Also, we should re-emphasize non-Western perspectives on history. Finally, we should re-structure tests and quizzes to reflect cultural biases.
Shots were definitely fired. And there was no stuttering detected in the author's speech. I guess this what freedom of speech looks like?
Read the full "guide" here.