Tony Bender is part of the problem. In his recent "All words matter" column, Bender recklessly and sarcastically remarked that maybe Merriam Webster was a slave owner, too. Of course we all know, except maybe Bender, that Merriam Webster is actually a company founded by Charles and George Merriam which later bought the rights to the American Dictionary from the estate of Noah Webster.
That, however, is only a small part of Benders' problem. He should take the time to read a speech given by then President George Bush to the graduating class at the University of Michigan in 1961. Regarding political correctness Bush said the following:
"Although the movement arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off limits--certain expressions off limits and even certain gestures off limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship."
Later in his speech he said, "Throughout history efforts to micro manage casual conversation has only incited distrust. They have invited people to look for insult in every word, gesture and action and in their own Orwellian way, crusades that demand correct behavior crush diversity in the name of diversity."
Bender takes exception to the word thugs. Certainly there are times when using that term is inappropriate. However, those who looted and burned property during the recent "protests" throughout America are, in my opinion, thugs. He may call them whatever he desires and in America we have that privilege..
There is certainly a lack of civility and a surplus of bitterness in Bender's diatribe. He should examine if he is part of the problem.
Lastly, Bender makes a decision to define who is really an American. To him I would say: I served 3 1/2 years in the military, am qualified to wear the Vietnam service ribbon, and was founder and CEO of two companies that were later sold to firms publicly traded on the NASDAQ. I don't know what his qualifications might be but assuredly I don't need him to tell me if I am really an American.