Recently, I saw a bold display of political correctness at work.  At a high-traffic outlet mall, in southern Indiana, I noticed all the handicapped parking signs had been replaced with new ones.  The new signs no longer said, “Handicapped Parking,” they were cleverly worded to say: “Physically Challenged Parking.”

Obviously, the local jurisdiction didn’t want to offend anyone by calling a patron handicapped.  After all, “Invalid parking,” “The diseased park up front,” or “Those with missing limbs park here,” would be just too offensive and perception is nine/tenths the rule anymore.

In April, the Associated Press dropped the phrase “Illegal Immigrant” from its stylebook, a move welcomed by immigrant advocates who argue the term is a dehumanizing slur.  The influential AP Stylebook is the definitive guide for reporters and editors.  The President of the Applied Research Center launched the “Drop the I-Word” campaign in 2010 in order to remove the term “Illegals” from everyday use.  The AP announced it would discontinue the use of “Illegal Immigrant” to describe undocumented immigrants in order to provide a more balanced approach.

Two days later, the Associated Press revised its policy on the use of the word “Islamist” as well.  The AP’s decision to modify its guidelines on the use of the terms is part of a broader effort to rid their Stylebook of labels.  “Islamist” is now defined by the AP as: “An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam.  Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.  Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc.” the Stylebook says.

It’s obvious the thought police are on parade and freedom of speech is under assault.

Ironically, only days later two “Jihadis,” “Muslim extremists,” “Holy warriors,” “Terrorists,” “Islamics,” killed and maimed innocent bystanders at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

We have a case of political correctness being lethal here.

Shortly after the bombing, a poll was taken, and the participants said they were willing to give up some of their freedoms for security. That’s delusional thinking for Benjamin Franklin claimed: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.”  He also said: “This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties.  A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved.  It’s in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.”

The oldest brother of the Boston Marathon terrorists was killed by the police; the younger brother is in federal custody.  Oddly enough, the Russian government warned the United States of the older brother’s affiliation with terrorist organizations.  That same individual was on the terrorist watch list – However, the FBI never followed up on any of that.

It’s time to close the borders, like the Israelis did.  They grew tired of being attacked and they didn’t mix words about it.

Our borders are wide open and woefully unsecured.  To sacrifice the safety of American citizens for political reasons is baffling at best.  If someone resides in the United States, is a noncitizen and doesn’t hold a government issued Vista, they are an “illegal,” contrary to what the political correct sway may be.

Since President Obama took office, over a quarter of a million illegals have applied for green cards through programs his administration offers.  A resounding 99.5% have been rubberstamped with the seal of approval.

To view the untold millions of illegals currently residing in the United States as potential voters for a particular party is ludicrous, but that’s what the political parties on both sides of the aisle are hoping for.

The safety of America’s citizens is paramount, but how many more attacks will there be before the politicians in Washington listen to their constituents and secure the borders and throw that politically correct playbook away – because there have been five successful attacks on America since Barack Obama was first inaugurated.

Politics have no doubt gotten in the way for Mr. Obama for he has an aunt and uncle residing in the United States – the uncle is here illegally; the aunt is an alien granted asylum.

Political correctness is no doubt a censoring tool, but it can also mislead and get you killed.

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at    

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