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Why Sensitivity Training Is A Foul Ball
July 5, 2006
by Tony Zizza

If you want any more evidence that political correctness is alive and well in the land of the free, just look at what happened to Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Here is a man proud to be a "legal" immigrant. Here is a man that won the World Series last year. Here is a man who is not ashamed to be, well, a grown adult. A man. A man like many among the human race who spoke without thinking first. Speaking without thinking first is a crime, right?

If you haven't heard, Ozzie Guillen was ordered by major league baseball to undergo sensitivity training and pay a fine for calling reporter Jay Mariotti - a fag. Ozzie maintains he was refering to his level of courage, rather than to anything sexual. So what? What's the issue? A grown man called another grown man a name, and we're talking about sensitivity training? Are we still living in America?

Ozzie Guillen bowed to pressure and attended a two hour sensitivity training session with a certified counselor. The Chicago White Sox won't release the name of the counselor or the exact field he practices in. For years, Ozzie Guillen and Jay Mariotti have been at odds. They diagree about many things. They don't see eye to eye. The two of them in relation to each other are not anything you would call a picture of civility. Jay Mariotti takes it upon himself to go off on him in his columns. Ozzie Guillen lashes out about him with his mouth.

Again, we're talking about grown men. What good besides a good laugh can sensitivity training do? Sure, Ozzie Guillen put on a happy face about it afterwards. He's still the same person. He's still a man. Can we say the same for Jay Mariotti? If he was anything at all that could resemble a man, he would have piped up and said it would be retarded for another fellow grown man to undergo sensitivity training. In fact, Jay Mariotti wanted him to be suspended for two weeks. What are you kidding me?

The sissification of our county, along with the call for some kind of therapy to deal with every kind of human interaction that went foul, is serving as a huge strikeout for both adults and children. Sensitivity training, in and of itself, is a foul ball. This goes way beyond sports where civility is well known to go out the window at times. I want to know who was the first person that actually thought sensitivity training was appropriate for Ozzie Guillen. I want to know how that conversation went, and how this punishment was first told to him. I want to know if anyone else was in the room and if they were able to prevent themselves from laughing out loud.

I'm serious. Think about it. Think of all the challenges we face as a nation right now. There are terrorists out there who hate Americans and want us dead. There are politicians out there who want to find more and more ways to tax away your income. There are psychiatrists out there who want to invent even more subjective mental disorders to sell you and your children. It's a big world out there, but when you see the world for what it is, you start to understand how misguided political correctness is through its many forms and fashions.

Sensitivity training is a form of political correctness that has become fashionable. We're not supposed to be able to shrug words off anymore. We can't just suck it up and move on. No, there are certain words that if spoken out loud in whatever context will sentence you to the directives of the thought police. Again, we now live in a country where we don't let two grown men in the public eye go at it. Be men. Put up or shut up. Everything is subject to the law of the thought police, whether they are in our universities, office buildings, or baseball dugouts. It seems there is a counselor on call 24/7 when certain words are used.

However, it's only certain words. Using words refering to race, gender, or sexuality can get you in a heap of trouble. There is no limit to the level of punishment you can face for being politically incorrect regarding RGS. Now, if you use certain names and labels, that's okay. In fact, it still seems popular to use the term Deadbeat Dad. Call a man a Deadbeat Dad, and how does that man even begin to explain himself? When you use this term, there is no punishment or sensitivity training ordered for you. You're part of the cool, politically correct crowd. You're just repeating a term that is popular to use in movies, and it is a term that was popular coming out of the mouth of Bill Clinton.

It's time that on one hand, we embrace some civility. It's usually a good thing to think before we speak. On the other hand, we are way too sensitive these days. We are far more concerned about what we can't say, than we are concerned about how slowly over time we have become a nation of politically correct weasels. We have forgotten that if we are to accept diversity in the public arena, we're going to hear words used in a way that we might not personally use in that same way.

There are far more problems facing major league baseball, and the world at large, than speech used among grown men. It's quite a paradox that from the grade school classroom, to the board room of Fortune 500 companies, and to the dugout, a quick fix is available, whether it's Ritalin or Prozac or Steroids. This is something substantial to talk about in the arena of ideas, isn't it? Or do we all want to get in a circle for a sensitivity training session?

Wait a minute. Will health insurance pay for it?

Zizza is a freelance writer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He writes frequently about social issues.

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