‘Baa baa black sheep have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir…….’
I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was growing up the only thing I ever thought about when I heard or sang this nursery rhyme was sheep!
It must take some sick, twisted, and prejudiced mind to associate the nursery rhyme with anything that may be considered offensive. But some did and do.
Although the extent to which the nursery rhyme was controversial was vastly overstated in the press, there were those who tried to get it changed or banned for the most ridiculous and tenuous of reasons.
One of the STUPIDEST allegations was that the nursery rhyme was linked to the slave trade in the United States. The claims were made with absolutely no rationale or thought and were subsequently proven to be nothing more than a bigoted attempt to promote the agenda of those making the allegations.
The origin of the rhyme is in England, with the earliest documented publishing being in ‘Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book’ in 1744.
It is thought that the rhyme most likely refers to a time when there was a tax on wool, and the wool of the black sheep fetched a premium because it didn’t need to be dyed. As with most nursery rhymes, it reflected a topic of the day in a very simplistically way.
In 1999, a ‘working group’ of idiots (which must be an interesting experience to observe by anyone with a brain) submitted reservations about the rhyme to Birmingham City Council based on the notion that it would offend ‘black people’– all of which were rejected.
In 2006, two Oxfordshire nurseries operated by ‘Parents and Children Together’ (PACT) changed the words to ‘Baa baa rainbow sheep’. At the time the charity’s changing of the words was criticised as political correctness gone mad. In response, the charity said it was not motivated by racial concerns, and was used as an exercise to extend children’s vocabulary.
In 2012, Park Hill School in Kingston upon Thames was accused of going bonkers with political correctness when they changed the words to ‘Baa baa little sheep…’ When the school was heavily criticised by parents they stated that the change was to teach the children to ‘add different words’ – an explanation the parents (who paid £2,700 a term) were unconvinced by.
A statement was made by the school’s marketing manager, Holly Christie, to the Daily Mail, in which she said the song had been changed ‘because it fitted in with the theme of what we were doing. It was about baby sheep.’ They are called LAMBS for goodness sake!!
There seem to be plenty of idiots who look to absolve themselves of their own prejudices by reflecting them on to something or someone else, which often means they embark on a zealous and offensive campaign to impose their views and opinions on others – quite ironic.
A recent case of political correctness came to notice in the British press.
After being successful in obtaining a work contract through Reed employment agency, Clive Hunt went to Reed’s office to show his passport and give them his bank details.
At the end of the meeting, recruitment consultant Sharika Sacranie said she would meet him for breakfast the following week, to which Mr Hunt said ‘I’ll get the bacon sandwiches’.
A perfectly innocent statement and a generous offer from Mr Hunt. Sacranie telephoned Mr Hunt later on to confirm a few more details, and everything seemed fine.
However, ten minutes after the phone call from Sacranie a ‘manager’ at Reed called Mr Hunt and accused him of making a racist comment and that the job offer had been withdrawn. The ‘manager’ refused to accept Mr Hunt’s explanation of the statement.
The term ‘I’ll buy the bacon sandwiches’ is a perfectly normal expression in the UK and is used as a term of friendliness. There is no way that Mr Hunt could have known that the person interviewing him would find such a normal expression offensive.
If anything came out of this, it should be that whoever made the complaint, whether that be Sacranie or the ‘manager’ at Reed recruitment, should be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred! To claim that the comment is racist is bigoted and racist in itself.
The likelihood of any action being taken against Reed or its employees is highly unlikely, because that will probably open up a can of worms over the ridiculousness of the politically correct culture that has been perpetuated throughout society.
Perhaps whoever is responsible for the complaint expected Mr Hunt to either be psychic, or ask everyone he will ever encounter to complete a questionnaire so he does not accidentally by chance maybe slightly offend someone now or in the future – ridiculous.
This example of Mr Hunt and Reed Employment Agency epitomises everything that is wrong with communication in our modern world, and the evolution of the ‘me, me, me’ mentality.
It shows the dark and selfish side of society, where there are people who think they ‘have rights’ and are ‘entitled’ but fail to grasp the concept that everyone else ALSO has rights and are ‘entitled’.
Political correctness has been used as an excuse for those who have their own personal agendas, or who are so ignorant that they are unable to communicate in a reasonable manner to resolve their own conflicts or problems.
It is an infection that has spread out of control through the communication system of humanity, and has become terminal.
In some organisations it is totally impossible to have a meaningful and full conversation because employees are too afraid of saying something that may offend someone, or which may not be the ‘right’ or ‘acceptable’ way of relaying information they want others to consider. The results are a non-conversations that fail to resolve issues or which prevent people properly communicating concerns or ideas. People choose to say nothing if they are unable to express themselves in an honest and meaningful way.
Through political correctness we have ended up with ‘non-speak’. A series of words which have little meaning. Listen to members of government and you will hear them speak words, yet say nothing of substance – they seem to have perfected the ‘art’.
The population has become dumbed down through the use of politically correct terminology and the use of buzzwords and ‘corporate speak’ – all of which are used to camouflage the inability of the person speaking to express themselves with true meaning and sincerity – they become nothing more than parrots.
By constantly being in a state of political correctness, people are unable to learn to resolve conflicts though communication, or understand other people’s objections and viewpoints. Political correctness prevents natural evolution through debate and analysis.
If someone says something someone finds ‘offensive’ for some reason, then it is up to the ‘offended’ party to express and explain their objection so the other person can understand why and learn from the experience. It is no good saying nothing and trying to claim some form of prejudice though back-door methods.
‘Offensive’ is often misused by people who are unable to accept that their ideas or comprehensions are challenged. They will hide behind ‘being offended’ because they are so lacking in communication and analysis skills that to consider someone else’s viewpoint – at least to some extent – would show them to be who they are – ignorant fools.
Part of the process of evolving our minds is to be challenged (if not downright offended) sometimes, otherwise we become robots who lose the skill of analysis and developing rational conclusions based on reason and fact. We will remain in our illusionary state and disassociate from reality.
Today, political correctness goes far beyond any reasonable boundaries of respectfully communicating with others, and has become a controlling mechanism which prohibits free thought (or any thought at all in some cases), free expression, and evolution.
Those who choose to communicate in a purposely offensive way do need to be made aware of how unacceptable their behaviour is, and face penalties which reflect society’s rejection of their bigotry.
What we do not need is a society which is afraid of HONESTLY and GENUINELY communicating with each other, or afraid of expressing alternative or controversial views for fear of ramification.
What we do need is a society where people learn to LISTEN to each other properly and analyse differing and conflicting viewpoints in a logical and rational way so that humanity is able to evolve, instead of becoming gradually dumber and dumber.
Artificial man-made boundaries such as religion, nationality, perceived social status, and so on have no place in real communication. They are often used in the same way that political correctness is used as an excuse to shy away from engaging with each other as human beings, and not as symbols of an illusionary world.
Communication is a simple process. LISTEN, THINK, be RESPECTFUL, be HONEST – things which have become lost in the mud of political correctness and ‘non-speak’.