Representative Gene Ward used the word “niggardly” in reference to aspects of the new budget during a recent House floor session. This caused Democrat Scott Saiki to immediately object and demand the offending word be struck from the record. Either Saiki doesn’t know what the word means or doesn’t care. He does know when a Republican triggers his tweaky little PC alarm.
Perhaps it was unartful to use a so easily misconstrued word in this era of hypersensitive racial feelings and stunted vocabularies, but does political correctness dictate we must now play to the dummest guy in the room?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary niggardly is a real word with a distinctly non-racist meaning:
“Niggardly” has a history as a political football. The goat rodeo that occurred in 1999 is widely held to be the opening round of the battle over political correctness. A white staffer, David Howard, to the black mayor of Washington, DC got canned for using the word “niggardly” while describing the city budget. This caused a vigorous national debate pitting people who actually understand the English language against those who would set a new low bar for feigned victimization and PC hogwash. One of Howard’s notable defenders was then head of the NAACP, Julian Bond, who spoke out strongly against the misguided political lynching.
“You hate to think that you have to censor your language to meet other people’s lack of understanding…..David Howard should not have quit. Mayor Williams should bring him back and order dictionaries for his staff…It Seems to me the mayor has been niggardly in his judgement…we have a hair-trigger sensibility and I think this is particularly true of racial minorities.”
Too bad Julian is no longer around and available to defend Gene Ward, and the English language when the PC thought police stepped in to trample his first amendment rights.