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Typical politically correct virtual signaling

To the editor: For town officials to “declare Manchester to be inclusive and accepting” is typical politically correct virtual signaling. Let’ unpack it. The declaration states that the town “condemns racism and welcomes all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, or disability, and wants everyone to feel safe and welcome in our community.” It continues “As a town, we formally ... commit ... strive” ... etc.

For starters, a “town” is a physical place that has no ability to condemn, welcome, commit, strive, etc., and it cannot use “our.” These words have meanings, and along with all other word-symbols only humans can conceive thoughts and express them via words, so a “town” cannot “declare” any dictums, only people can. We might argue that town officials used grammar incorrectly, and what they mean is they declare dictums on behalf of residents. Nevertheless, is this a function of town officials?

By what right do they do this? They’re elected to administer town laws, but where the right to declare moral attitudes and behavior for well over 4,000 individuals who do have the right to their own moral values and opinions? None. Manchester’s Board Chairman goes farther with his own personal presumptive declarations by opining that “Most animosity from one person to another comes from a lack of understanding and fear.” By what authority does this one man have the audacity to analyze the psychology of other individuals? As if that isn’t enough (after several more “full-throated” statements and warnings), he concludes: “People are hiding behind the veil of anonymity on their keyboard for no good reason ... We’ve lost our sense of civility.” Does this mean that as an author tapping out manuscripts on my computer keyboard I have no good reason to do so and have lost my civility? And who is the We in “We’ve”? This kind of self-proclaimed superiority in judging the motives and civil behavior of several thousand people most of whom he does not remotely know is beyond the pale of ... civility.

The article regarding this subject in The Manchester Journal notes that “Several members of the public spoke in favor [of the declaration], with nobody speaking against it.” This reportage simply dramatizes how far and wide group-think-political-correctness has invaded much of the American populace. Of course, discrimination against any individual for any reason is morally reprehensible, but to formalize morality into official proclamations is equally reprehensible and far outside the purview of elected officials.

Alexandra York,

Londonderry, Nov. 16


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