Don’t you just love it when well-meaning but uninformed people tell you what you are supposed to be offended by? And then proceed to make decisions about your life on the basis of what they think you should be offended by? Here’s an example of it from the Daily Mail of the UK:
A Buddhist businessman who wants to call his Chinese restaurant Fat Buddha has angered council chiefs–who claim the name will upset Buddhists.
Eddie Fung’s £1.3million restaurant will open in Durham next month, creating 60 jobs.
But the restaurateur was astonished when Tracey Ingle, the city council’s head of cultural services, demanded he change the name because it was ‘provocative’.
She’s no doubt worried about possible Buddhist terrorism.
Mr Fung, 39, said: “I cannot believe that this woman should go to so much time and trouble to take issue over an inoffensive name like Fat Buddha.
“No Buddhist is going to be offended by this. The fat Buddha is a symbol of health and happiness. It is political correctness gone mad.”
And a spokesman for the Buddhist Society said: “Buddhists regard the fat Buddha as lucky. To suggest this is offensive is to misunderstand the faith.
“Buddhists don’t take offence at anything because to do so doesn’t follow Buddhist teachings.”
And how did the city council justify deciding that it knows better than Buddhists what Buddhists should be offended by? Well, they just know:
In a letter to Mr Fung, Miss Ingle wrote: “To use the name of a major religion’s deity in your restaurant brand runs contrary to this city’s reputation as a place of equality and respect for others’ views and religious beliefs.
“The generic descriptive adjective of “fat” is not in itself a derogatory term when applied generally. [T]he name implies an Eastern offer as it is associated with a religion that grew from Asian countries. It does not, however, offer vegetarian cuisine solely nor does it refer to Buddhist belief systems. The name is provocative.”
I have no idea what that second paragraph means. It appears to be written in a dialect of English with which I am not familiar.
Durham City Council defended her position, saying: “The department felt the name was inappropriate in a city founded on faith. We don’t want to offend anyone because of the different faiths that come to the city. The council operates a strict non-discriminatory equal-opportunities and diversity policy across the board.”
Political correctness is at its most irritating when it seeks to protect people from stuff that they stoutly maintain they have no need to be protected from. It’s patronizing, if not simply bigoted.