To be honest, Erik is going to get me in serious trouble here. You know how he is. Yes, I’m his mother, but please don’t shoot the messenger. I don’t edit out his sailor mouth or his raw bluntness, so… Be gentle, and keep an open mind.
Me: What about in terms of political correctness?
Erik: Oh, like how we were talking about fags?
Me: Well, or anything. Mentally challenged, etc. Some people got upset by the term “walk-in closet” because it might offend people in wheelchairs.
Jamie: Are you serious? So what? You say, “roll-in closet”?
Me: I don’t know. I don’t know what you say. Closet with ample space?
Jamie: Erik! He says, “Somebody needs to start sucking my dick, because they have too much free time on their hands.”
Me: Oh my god!
Jamie: That is horrible, Erik!
Erik: It’s true! Seriously. All that crap is going too far. The political correctness. I can understand getting rid of the masculine/feminine shit, all right, like stewardess, mailman, crap like that, because, you know, we’re really looking at female/male balanced lifestyles. So, I’m all for that shit. But when we start taking away “walk-in closer,” that’s bullshit.
Me: You just have to be polite, I guess. You have to consider other people’s feelings.
Erik: No, fuck that. No.
Me: What then?
Jamie (giggling): Where’s your soapbox? Want me to get it for you?
Erik: No, listen. If a person is handicapped, now for you to sit there and ream them out and tease them and all that crap—that shit has to stop. The bullying crap has to stop. But to change terminology like “walk-in closet”—that’s like saying, “Oh, I know you’re handicapped, and I know you’re probably weak and hurt, and we’re all capable and you’re not, so we’re gonna—That’s a crock of shit. Same with the retardedness.
(Erik creates new words all the time.)
Erik: Oh my god. That’s insane. If you’re using it in a proper way where it’s not bullying or teasing or just flat-out trying to physically harm the person with words, then you’re in the right place.
Me: So, you’re saying that using politically correct words is only pointing out or highlighting a flaw or a weakness? It’s like, “Oh my god, what you have is so terrible, we have to turn it into a euphemism”?
Erik: Exactly. Using the non-politically correct word doesn’t make it bigger and it definitely doesn’t make it worse. But you’re trying to say to the person, “Oh, you can’t handle this shit.”
Me: You’re trying turning it into a whisper, and a whisper is much, much louder sometimes.
Erik: Yeah, and just trust me, these people who came here with these difficulties, these energetic and physical challenges—they’re stronger than the average bear!
Erik: And to sit here and think that we have to change and create these euphemisms for them is bullshit. Show some respect. Treat them like every other human being.
Me: Well, what about the fact that we say African-American? Some get offended by that, because for example I don’t call myself English-Irish-Spanish American. My father’s from Spain. I just call myself an American. What should we do there?
Erik: That was all about the slave shit.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Erik: And the Spanish people, they didn’t become slaves. They were involved in creating the slave issue.
Erik: So, there’s no hang up on that word. I love you so much, Mom. You know, this shit really irritates me. You know, if someone doesn’t like the word then they should speak their emotional honesty and say, “Look”—because not every African-American dislikes the word “nigger”—
Me: Well, I don’t like it, and I taught you never to say it.
Erik: Okay, well you don’t like it and neither do I, but I’m just saying that not everyone is that way. We’re all individuals, and we’re all different. So, why is this vulnerability stuff all so important? So, nobody else holds shit on you! And then you learn how to handle the environment—your politeness, your manners, your confrontation, your responsibilities—whatever you deem is important to you that helps you become more a more true, honest human being. That’s how you reach spiritual growth.