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October 18, 2005

When the PC culture becomes hazardous

No, I am not talking about Microsoft. Political correctness aims to eliminate anything that might be perceived as offensive. So, why is there an issue with getting rid of offensive things? First, there is the concern of encroachment on the freedom of speech; unless speech is threatening (which I believe is worthy of arrest in some cases), outlawing certain forms of speech places all our rights at risk. But, there may be bigger reasons to fear political correctness.
A violent gang rapist should have been given a lesser sentence partly because he was a "cultural time bomb" whose attacks were inevitable, as he had emigrated from a country with traditional views of women, his barrister has argued.
MSK, who, with his three Pakistani brothers, raped several girls at their Ashfield family home over six months in 2002, was affected by "cultural conditioning … in the context of intoxification", Stephen Odgers, SC, told the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday.
Multiculturism may be one of the biggest problems relating to political correctness. Rape is one of the most heinous, invasive crimes imaginable; I would even venture to say that it may be worse than some forms of murder. But because this rapist was Pakistani, he must have been "culturally conditioned", driving him to the crime. That's funny, because if I tried to say that I was taught that I could drive through a stop sign without stopping, I would still be charged and found guilty, regardless of what any lawyer said.

Fortunately, the judge had enough sense to ignore the lawyer's foolish statement and "MSK", along with his brothers (they have yet to be named), have all been sentenced to long jail sentences, with more trials pending. Still, if this has been tried once, it will be used as an argument again; it may even be enough to give a rapist a not guilty verdict (this scares me for my female friends, as there is a rapist that has long gone uncaught here in Charlottesville). Common sense says that these rapists have committed terrible crimes; perhaps we should pay more attention to common sense.