Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Killing PC - Handicapped

Last week I began a series about killing political correctness one word at a time. The idea is to present the actual definition of certain words and show why there is no reason to shy away from using them. I started the series examining the word ‘queer.’ I believe it was one of the first words to have the PC taboo attached to it. Another word that was chosen early on by the PC crowd to be removed from everyday use and replaced with syrupy sounding euphemisms is ‘handicapped.’

Here is the dictionary’s definition;

handicapped  /hændikæpt/ [han-dee-kapt]
1. physically or mentally disabled.
2. (of a contestant) marked by, being under, or having a handicap

Like so many attacks from the Left on the standards and norms of traditional society, PC came to us with sympathetic reasons. Why should a person with a physical or mental disability be further ostracized by society by labeling them as less capable than the healthy people all around them? That may sound like a nice sentiment but what it really is a condescending and often counter-productive attitude towards people who really need and deserve more consideration from the healthy people around them. They don’t need to be treated like everyone else, they need to be treated better. The PC crowd has done much harm to folks who are handicapped by trying to get society to perceive them as just “differently abled.”

Four years ago I became handicapped. I tore a ligament in my right sacro-illiac joint. When it occurred, the injury was extremely painful. And it went un-diagnosed for 4 ½ years. Over 40 doctors – orthopaedists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, urologists, GP’s and others could not find the source of my pain. Pain that grew to be so gruesome that I was not able to remain seated for more than 5 minutes at a stretch. Walking was more than labored, with a pronounced limp. I lost three jobs due to my inability to work an 8 hour day. I was handicapped, and in no way ashamed or diminished by it.

What drove me crazy though was the attitude of people all around me. Any sort of locomotion was a slow and painful struggle. Many things that fully ambulatory people take for granted were major struggles for me. But most of the people around me were totally indifferent to showing a little common courtesy. I began to assume that most people felt I preferred not to have their help. My assumption was based on a small event. I was entering a pre-ADA building without any sort of automatic door. As I approached the door in full limp mode, a boy about 10 years old I guess, passed ahead of me and opened the door, holding it as I passed through. I said ‘thank you’ and was close enough to overhear as his mother caught up to him. She told him, ‘That was nice Brian, but people like that would rather do things like opening doors for themselves. They don’t want to feel like they are crippled.”

This woman is a complete moron. I wanted, I needed all the help I could get, not sympathy, just help. The old milk of human kindness thing. I knew I was crippled, and I knew that there were situations when I needed the assistance of others. But the PC crowd is so obtuse in their understanding of what handicapped people actually need, they salve their own consciences by making a few words they find uncomfortable, unacceptable to speak. These nimrods actually think this helps. What actually helps is for people to understand that handicapped people are ‘physically or mentally disabled.’ We know it and are not uncomfortable with it. That’s just the way it is. We don’t want or need anyone’s pity or sympathy. But I’d rather you offer me a helping hand up a flight of steps than adjust your language just to make yourself feel less awkward.

Eliminating handicapped from common usage has had a big impact on the spread and acceptance of PC, because once this word fell into disfavor anything that was considered to be an actual handicap also had to be euphemism-ified. Blind became vision-impaired, deaf became aurally challenged, etc., etc. To me this manipulation of the language is the same thing as when a person would avert his eyes when I limped by. My handicap is not permanent, thankfully. But because of what I’ve come to learn about PC through my handicap, my participation in a crusade to kill it will be.


NYKatie said...

Calling someone "handicapped" implies disability beyond just the physical. These people do not need to hear that they are somehow less than the norm of society. I would think someone with a disability would understand that.

Auguste Ballz said...

NYKatie..."Calling someone "handicapped" implies disability beyond just the physical." Says who? You and your sanctimonious PC snots? Just because I can't run the 40 anymore doesn't imply any other disability. Someday my handicap will be gone, unfortunately you cannot say the same.

Individualist said...


After all just because you are handicapped does mean that you should be able to speak out on what it is like. Every one knows that to be taken seriously as a handicapped person that one has to have the correct political viewpoint. Just as Hugo Chavez. Oh I am sorry you are hadni capable now. Meaning handi (from the hand) and capable (competent having the capacity to perform)..... well that actually literally describes persons who are not handicapped but who really underatands the meaning of words.

Auguste Ballz said...

Well put as always Indy. Very well put.

Post a Comment