Tribes and political correctness

I am, once again, having the discussion with some well-intentioned (I assume) person intent of persuading me that the term “tribe” is necessarily pejorative. That it necessarily refers to Africans, and implies “primitive”.

I find political correctness to be abhorent for this very reason. It strives to take things that are in the common usage and cast them as offensive. Thus, we can’t use the word Chairman (gender-specific), patient (should be “person receiving treatment” – patient implies someone is sick, which is offensive), or black hat (racial bias). We are reduced to grunting, because any use of specific terms will offend someone.

I’m not having any of this. Words mean things. If ignorant people find words offensive, then they will just have to get over it. I refuse to cripple my communication skills just because someone is intent on being a victim.

For the record, the people of Africa refer to themselves by what tribe they are a member of. This has been my experience my entire life. The government of Kenya uses the term tribe when referring to the 42 ethnic/social/religious/family groups that live in Kenya. The term tribe is descriptive and precise. It does not imply anything other than what the dictionary says it implies – a group of people who are joined by ancestry, language, history, geography, religion, and various other social and ethnic factors. The word “tribe” prevents me from having to say that every time.

People that try to shoe-horn offence into every nook and cranny reduce us to uncommunicative morons. We’re always walking on eggs about what we say, in case someone take offence.

And of course it’s not just about whether someone is offended. I don’t much care whether people are offended. What’s frightening is that they can sue because they are offended. They can call it discrimination. They can call it “creating a hostile workplace.” They can call it hate speech. And they can sue. That’s bizarre, wrong, and violates my constitutional rights.

All, of course, IMHO, and I’m probably wrong, and I apologize if I offended anyone.