Our Man In San Francisco

David Hahn


PC-itis in the Big City 

Like a lot of people I know, I've been a long time opponent to the general concept of politically correct terminology. What in the name of Creepin' Jeezus on a Cross were these freaks thinking? Being a "person of color" myself, I find it inconceivable to understand how making up these candy-assed nonsensical names would do anything to change the basic societal stereotypes of race, gender, and sexual orientation, which our society adheres to so well, and which have been ingrained in us all since we were tikes. Hopefully, given enough time the whole trend will go the way of hula-hoops and mood rings, and we can stop focusing on labels and cut to the fucking chase already...government mandated lobotomies!

Speaking of which, I do believe one place where PC values are still going strong is in the political arena, the collective vomitorium of any given metropolis, where you can wind up in the slammer for pissing in the wrong toilet. Actually, PCism and the government is pretty much a given, as politicians seem to thrive on words with little semantic value, and which sound really pretty...'twas a match made in heaven, I tell you. I suppose Joe Politico has always been living in fear of stepping on the wrong toes but thanks to PC-itis this fear has been elevated to monstrous and ungodly proportions.

Take, my old stomping grounds, San Francisco, for example. The recently elected mayor, Willie Brown, has been caught in a "Racism Row" as reported by the San Francisco Examiner, on January 20, 1996. The gist of this torrid imbroglio involves a Ms. Rose Pak, a Chinatown activist, and Mr. Jack Davis, the mayor's campaign manager and political consultant to the Giant's baseball team. Ms. Pak is demanding that Mr. Davis be dismissed from his position because of some "racist" comments he made about the new SF police chief Fred Lau. Chief Lau is, I believe, the first Asian-American to hold the position in the city. Mr. Davis has been quoted as referring to the esteemed chief as a "lightweight," who lied on his resume. The resume issue is generally acknowledged to be true, Lau claimed to have graduated from San Francisco State University when in reality he needed "a few more credits."

This basically means that the whole Exercise-in-Derision stems from the horrifyingly racist word "lightweight." Oh my stars and garters, is the word even fit to print? Cover your eyes kids, lest your corneas be burned by its hell-spawned flame. Considering that Lau first entered the Pig Patrol by challenging a 5'8" height requirement (he's 5'6"), I do not believe "lightweight" (forgive me, the "Word" twice in one paragraph, will the heavens be rent asunder?) is an entirely inappropriate term. And yet Ms. Pak has been quoted as saying, "Give me a week, and I'll shut the whole city down." And thanks to PC-itis, I do believe she very nearly could.

Now, don't get me wrong. If Davis, who has been described by others as a "pig," had called Lau a rice-picker or laundry boy (terms which have been directed at yours truly at one time or another) I'd be up in arms right with Ramblin' Rose. But as it stands now she just pisses me off. Take the freakin' chopstick outta your politically correct butt, Rose, and start living for a change!