Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Feelings... Nothing More than Feelings

James Harrigan takes on the PC Feelings Police at TCS. Go check out I Feel Therefore I Am.

Such burning questions. Are feelings trumping reason in the marketplace of ideas? Should one hard disk on an IDE circuit be labeled a "slave" and another a "master"??? How do the hard disks feel about this? And, what about that pesky word "niggardly"? Hey... can I get in trouble for writing that word on my blog?

The most recent example of this began innocently enough in May 2003, when a black employee in Los Angeles county's Probation Department filed a discrimination complaint with the Office of Affirmative Action Compliance in response to labels on a videotape machine marked "master" and "slave." How these labels warranted a charge of discrimination is not entirely clear, but in this, the Era of Bad Feelings, definitions rarely get in the way when a complaint is lodged. Joe Sandoval, a division manager in the Internal Services Department, didn't miss a beat.

In a memo dated Nov 18, 2003, with "Los Angeles County" in the "from" field, Sandoval wrote that "The County of Los Angeles actively promotes and is committed to ensure a work environment that is free from any discriminatory influence be it actual or perceived."

Actual or perceived?

Yes, "actual or perceived..." No one should be offended... ever. And, don't think that folks haven't picked up on this... especially when there's free money to be had. When people are motivated by popular culture (and cash) to find offense well, like pigs to truffles.


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