Three taboo topics

When asked to speak on Canada’s diversity, I usually begin by saying

“The three things I hate most about my subject are Tolerance, Visible Minorities and Political Correctness.”

Then I quickly disabuse my audience of thinking they’re going to hear a farrago of bigotry, and say:

“Tolerance because by now, in our multicultural society we should have moved beyond mere tolerance to acceptance and understanding of each other.

“Visible minorities because as long as we remain conscious of colour differences between Canadians we create invisible barriers. Of course the term is essential for some research and statistical purposes, but it shouldn’t be thrown around lightly.

“And then political correctness. From embarking on the need not to insult the vulnerable, we’ve reached the shores of absurdity. I’m reading about an adult person who’s verbally challenged. Is he a stutterer, a stammerer a mute or a deaf mute?

“And when we’re writing abou an adult person who’s under four feet, how do we describe him/her? As vertically challenged?”

And while we’re on the subject , that recent act by a Toronto judge removing a Christmas tree from the lobby of her offices left me speechless. A truly dumb act. One gram of cultural sensitivity is worth 100 kilos of political correctness.

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