Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

The Lacy Clay standard: it’s not offensive if I don’t think so

Two recent stories show us a curious opinion that conservatives could never get away with.

First, from Philadelphia, public school teachers gathered during the week of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration to promote, in protest fashion, the Black Lives Matter movement. They insisted it wasn’t political, but admitted their intention was to help students process current events. Hmm, so it sounds and looks political, but we are assured it isn’t.

Second, Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) has made a bit of a ruckus in the United States Congress involving a painting hanging in the U.S. Capitol building. The painting in question portrays police as pigs abusing blacks, it was sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus via an art contest. A Republican congressman (not to mention many other Americans) found the painting offensive and he removed it. Rep. Clay is pushing back. Whether the painting is appropriate for display in the Capitol building is one question, but whether it is offensive is quite a different matter. Despite the incendiary nature of the painting, the admission of offense by a member of Congress, and that of many American citizens, for some reason Rep. Clay insists it is not offensive.

So we have two cases where the leftwing view of a matter is supposed to be treated as the dominant view. One claiming what appears to be a political act is not political, and one where a clearly offensive painting is to be treated as not offensive.

Contrast this with the display of the American flag. There have been numerous instances in secondary and higher education where someone displayed the Star-Spangled Banner and was asked to remove it merely for the possibility that someone MIGHT find it offensive. The same has happened with firearm imagery as well as Christian imagery. In these cases actual offense is not the standard, the mere possibility of offense is the standard.

Evidently there are two very different standards in place which guide public policy, one with a high threshold and the other is extremely low. When the political left may find offense it seems the appropriate legal action is to remove the offensive/potentially offensive material. But when the political right may find offense their opinion is simply disregarded.

Another case involves a public school teacher protesting against fascism in America. And how does she engage in this battle? By being a fascist. But, since she is a leftist, she gets to decide what does or does not qualify as fascism. Of course her hate speech and violence don’t qualify.

We could call this hypocrisy any number of things. I propose we call it the Lacy Clay standard – my view is the only view that counts, disregard any differing view. Having this legal precedent  (in the case of Rep. Clay, clear offense has been noted, but disregarded) from a high profile source such as the U.S. Congress Americans can use another tool to push back against the politically correct corruption of our society.

But Trump lies! some say. Well, apparently presidential dishonesty matters only sometimes.

Conservatives are not the only ones concerned about the insanity that made a Donald Trump presidency possible. Political correctness is a cancer on society. Trump exploited decades of growing frustration caused by this cancer. Whether it’s a Trump administration or the American people who push back, I don’t really care at this point. If political correctness keeps gaining ground over the next four years it is very likely Trump with get a second term as president. Despite all the hate and angry accusations spewing from the ultra left, frustration with political correctness is and will remain fuel for Trump’s fire. You don’t have to let the blind accusation of hate (thrown at you by people who have no real argument) keep you from speaking out. Let Lacy Clay’s example help you.


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