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Civility is a better word for political correctness

“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson has come under criticism and been suspended from his popular reality show for incendiary speech against homosexuals. Also, although not creating as much of a firestorm, he suggested that African-Americans were happy working cotton fields in his home state of Louisiana, before any of this civil rights nonsense. His supporters have fired back, more notable being Sarah Palin. She suggested that the criticism against him is an assault on free speech. Incendiary speech is not free. The costs are great for the people it is directed against.

Recently, a bakery in Denver, Colo., refused a request for a wedding cake by a gay couple, on moral grounds. The bakery owner does not support gay marriage. Rush Limbaugh came to the defense of the bakery, saying the owner’s refusal is part of his freedom to do business as he sees fit, and the criticism of the bakery is an example of our eroding freedoms in this country.

Popular Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin said he believes that gay people should be burned alive in ovens. I guess to the likes of Palin and Limbaugh, this is the ultimate free expression.

Admittedly, Okhlobystin’s comments are more diabolical than Robertson’s, or the actions of the Denver bakery, but they serve the same purpose. They measure a society’s tolerance for hate. We have a near zero tolerance in this country. Some call this political correctness. I call it civility.

Louis Marinaccio

Buffalo