One-term Tea Party Congressman and current conservative radio personality Joe Walsh apparently can’t fathom why his use of racist language on the air was censored by the radio station where he works or why he was finally sent home when he wouldn’t stop using racist language.
I’m not at all interested in the false amazement Walsh puts forward in his tweets; what really interests me is the way that people who want to use racist language in public now routinely dress up their desire to do so in the costume of some sort of sophisticated discussion about race, language, and political correctness.
Walsh somehow expects us to believe that there’s simply no other way for him to have this discussion without utilizing the most vile, hurtful, and inflammatory language. And he expects us to agree with him that this is how adults must speak with one another if they want to sort through challenging topics:
There’s nothing even remotely “adult” or “honest” about what Walsh is doing here.
I mean, can you imagine a serious and thoughtful conversation amongst adults about, for example, sex and sexuality in which those adults chose to use the sorts of terms for body parts and activities that are heard on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”? Is this how Walsh would expect adults to speak with one another in public?
One of the hallmarks of being an adult — rather than, say, a middle school boy — is the ability to find ways to express complex thoughts in language that doesn’t offend, insult, or cause harm to others. What Walsh wanted to do was not to have an adult conversation about racist language but instead to manufacture a controversy by being censored for saying words that are designed to cause offense and harm to others. It’s entirely possible to have a serious conversation about offensive and harmful words without using them … if you’re someone who doesn’t simply want to offend.