Indiana Governor Mike Pence has faced heavy and well-deserved criticism for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (you can read the full text of the law here). Critics of the law maintain that it opens the door for legalized discrimination against LGBT people. Supporters of the argument claim that the law is not a license to discriminate against LGBT people (the conservatives who advocated for the bill’s passage say otherwise). According to them, Indiana’s RFRA is meant to protect the right of business owners to operate their business according to their religious beliefs and without undue interference by the federal government. They also criticize opponents of the law for ignoring the federal government’s 1993 RFRA as well as the religious freedom laws passed in 19 other states. Contrary to the protestations of right-wing pundits (as well as mainstream media outlets), the law is substantially different from the federal government’s 1993 RFRA. In addition, the language contained in the Indiana law differs from the RFRA’s enacted by other states across the country. Bottom line: Indiana’s RFRA is unique and offers bigoted business owners the legal cudgel they need to discriminate against those they don’t like (outrage over the law has focused largely on how it could impact LGBT citizens of the state, but the law could potentially be used to discriminate against women, African-Americans, and non-Christians).
Shortly after the bill was signed into law, it, Governor Pence, and the state of Indiana all came under heavy fire (here is a list of the entities-celebrities, corporations, sports organizations, colleges & universities, and more-who have criticized the new law). On Tuesday, Brett Jewkes, Senior Vice-President and Chief Communications Officer for NASCAR (the second most popular sport in USAmerica) released a statement denouncing the discriminatory law:
“NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race.” — NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes
Of course no good deed (or statement, in this case) goes unpunished. Some NASCAR fans took to Twitter to let NASCAR know they weren’t happy:
— Mike (@NJShore1) April 1, 2015
— Racing Chaplain (@RacingChaplain) March 31, 2015
Those last two Tweets struck a nerve with me. A big nerve. Like Grand Canyon size. So I did what any angry, self-respecting, SJW would do: I wrote a bunch of words. The following is a comment I left at Addicting Info:
I really, Really, REALLY want to take the phrase ‘politically correct’ out back and chop its head off, stake it through the heart, and burn the ashes. I’m so sick of hearing that phrase invoked.
Don’t like that a company supports equal rights for all? Accuse them of being PC.
Don’t like people requesting that you moderate your language (which is not censorship) and stop using bigoted or gendered slurs bc they punch down on marginalized people and contribute to a climate of discrimination and oppression? Accuse them of being PC.
Don’t like the idea of students requesting that professors add trigger warnings to certain topics so that those students won’t be caught off-guard when sensitive material is discussed? Accuse them of being PC (and curiously, I’ve yet to see PC complaints lobbed at the Motion Picture Film Industry and the ratings they use to inform viewers of the type of material present in a movie).
‘PC’ has become a blanket term for “stuff I don’t like or disagree with”. Moreover, it has become a term that many feel is an argument unto itself. Rather than engage with the substance of a particular topic, a great many of the people who lob the ‘PC’ bomb invariably lob it and walk away. Just look at the pissants in the OP whining about NASCAR being “politically correct”. Do they even understand the very phrase they’re using? Do they know that generally speaking, PC means:
“[…] an attitude or policy of being careful not to offend or upset any group of people in society who are believed to have a disadvantage.”
With that definition in mind…I’d like to ask these socially regressive numpties: why it is so bad to be PC?
What is so horrible about someone advocating that people not refer to women as sluts?
What is so awful about someone requesting that others not refer to lesbians as ‘dykes’?
Why is it such a bad thing that companies like Starbucks, Nike, and NASCAR publicly declare their opposition to discrimination?
Being careful so as not to offend people that are crapped upon by society (to different degrees) or requesting that others employ greater care with their words and deeds–this is something that’s bad?
The fools in the above Tweets are whining about NASCAR taking the position that discrimination against LGBT people is not ok. By [poorly] arguing that NASCAR should “stay out of this”, they’re sending the message that they (and other companies) should not comment on human rights violations. Thankfully, more and more companies are recognizing that diversity initiatives and a welcoming, inclusive work environment are important keys to the success of a company. And part of that is making it known that you are an inclusive company that opposes discrimination.
Gee, that’s such an awful thing.
Writing that was a bit cathartic. I’m still annoyed/angry/frustrated of course, but I needed to get that off my chest. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think Mr. Pointy and I have some slaying to do.