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Are we too politically correct for our own good?

Original post made by Natalie O’Neill, Danville Weekly reporter, on Feb 9, 2007

This week, I had the exhilarating opportunity to interview Danville/Alamo authors and an East Bay comedian. During both conversations, the subject of Political Correctness kept rearing its head.

The authors, who have published books on the California Indians, noted that some aspects of the history between the Indians and the Spanish Missions were "not PC" to mention. And the political comedian commented on the ways in which he planned to tone down his racy comedy at his Danville show.

Growing up, I learned that it was better to call Indians "Native Americans," as it was Christopher Columbus's misinformation that helped coin the term Indians. But much to my surprise, the authors informed me that most American Indian tribes actually prefer to be called Indians, with distinctions being made about where they live.

Anyone who was born in the U.S. is a Native American, the tribes told the authors. And I've heard a similar augment from black writers who have commented on how obnoxious it is to be called "African American," having been born in the U.S. Their argument is that nobody born in America with, say, Irish roots is called an "Irish American."

In our attempts to be PC, are we actually being more offensive? While it's important to recognize cultural sensitivities, where do you draw the line? Is being PC the educated, aware thing to do - or is it just drawing unnecessary attention to our differences? I'd love to hear from you. What do you think?

Comments (1)

Like this comment
Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 2, 2007 at 10:47 am

Dear Natalie,

Your question about PC was part of good humor among Alamo neighbors today.

Indians are from India. Native Americans are most likely Italian base on the Italian source of the the word, AMERICA. America is all the lands from the arctic ocean to the tip of Chile and we are, correctly, USAmericans, as citizens of the United States of America, and Americans among all Americans in the Americas.

None of that changes the intent of commentary by people no matter how PC the words might be. We might all agree that COMEDY is the best method to define this result.

Great topic!


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