Another day, another liberal icon caught up in the sensitivity trap.
On Thursday, we have an old picture of "The View's" Joy Behar dressed up as a black woman. Less than a week ago, it was Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, who, fresh off extolling the virtues of infanticide, was exposed for a racist photo on his med school yearbook page.
Then, it was his potential successor, Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, in his own he said-she said, lurid #MeToo controversy. Then, on Wednesday, it was his second-in-line to the governorship, Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, who tried to get out in front of his own, almost-40-year-old mistake by admitting that he donned blackface for a college party in 1980, when he and his friends "dressed like rappers." He apologized profusely. But Democratic leaders this week are running for cover.
Corporations are also worried. This week, Adidas pulled back an all-white sneaker because its release was deemed racist for coinciding with Black History Month. But if tennies are racist, what about the group of female members of Congress who dressed all in white during Tuesday's State of the Union? Are they racist, too? Hmmmm.
Bowing to the every demand of the Politically Correct Puritans puts us on a dangerous path, slippery slope -- whatever you want to call it. The concern is that without some safe space to make mistakes in the past, good people won’t want to be involved in public life at all. They’re going to be fearful that something they said or did years ago will now be considered unforgiveable and irredeemable.
And now the fashion house Gucci is apologizing.The controversy? A bizarre sweater that covers half of the wearer’s mouth. The company recalled the design from its online and physical stores after one fashionista tweeted, "Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all."
Demeaning portrayals of anyone on the basis of race or ethnicity is deplorable and should be called out as such. Yet, we, as Americans, also have to be careful not to rush to condemn people or businesses because of uncorroborated allegations or decades-old conduct -- or just disagreements about about fashion.
Bowing to the every demand of the Politically Correct Puritans puts us on a dangerous path, a slippery slope -- whatever you want to call it. The concern is that without some safe space to make mistakes in the past, good people won’t want to be involved in public life at all. They’re going to be fearful that something they said or did years ago will now be considered unforgiveable and irredeemable.
Back to Joy Behar. The easiest thing for me to do would be to relish this moment and grind her into the dirt for the double standard. She’s been incredibly uncharitable to me personally over the years. But I’m not going to take the bait. I prefer to stick to the principle of fairness. I don’t think she’s a racist -- I disagree with her but I don't think she's a racist. And a goofy photo from 1972 isn’t going to make me change my mind.
We all need to take a breath and evaluate patterns of behavior -- real discriminatory conduct or intent -- rather than rush to judgment. And for goodness sake, when we have reached a point where white tennis shoes are considered racist, maybe it’s time to reconsider the shifting standards of the PC Puritans.
Adapted from Laura Ingraham's monologue from "The Ingraham Angle" on February 7, 2019.