To the editor,
It seems that in our brave new world, the “thought police” have deemed the term “Chinese Virus” racist. I have filed this in my mind, under the heading “Things never to be said,” along with hundreds of other taboo words and phrases.
Some people wonder why I’m so quiet lately. Simply put, it is because before speaking, I must search through my aging gray matter to make sure nothing I’m about to say is offensive to some group — or, more likely, to some self-proclaimed activist who says he or she represents that group. Unfortunately, by the time I’ve sorted through all this, the topic of conversation has moved on.
I must be careful because despite all my involvement with protest movements of the 1960s and the many hours spent standing in a circle on the Green while singing “Kumbaya,” it takes just one slip of the tongue to be branded a racist.
This leaves me in a quandary. What about terms like “French wine,” “Italian food” and “Canadian bacon?” Why is it perfectly OK to say “Chinese food,” as in food coming from China, but not “Chinese Virus?”
Perhaps it’s better to just sit quietly in the corner and not say anything. Or … could that possibly be what the thought police want? Oh, brave new world.