"Yeah," she said. "I'm not what you call politically correct."
"Oh yeah," I responded. I already knew this. Growing up near Philly she definitely had some east coast sensibilities when it came to vocalizing her thoughts. We were on our fourth pint and her lips became more loose with each sip.
"I don't get how PC you guys are out here. Everyone is so concerned with other's feelings. If people are offended it's their problem. I'm just making humour."
She had a point. Seattle is known for being very tolerant and accepting, but the truth is it's hardly a place that embraces ideas outside the norm of liberal sensibilities. Occupying a small place in the Puget Sound I've learned one thing. Self righteousness is in no way exclusive to conservatives as I once mistakenly thought.
But what has become of us north westerners? Are we softer than our liberal east coast brethren? Have we not learned the lessons of George Carlin or Lenny Bruce? We're known for our passive/aggressive mentality, but do we fear confrontation or value others' opinions that much? On the flip side do we as Seatllites really have true compassion for those who may be hurt by words, even though our minority population is slimmer than most urban areas?
I sat with my roommate later and we discussed the issue. It was refreshing, if not as fun, to talk with an actual minority about language without alcohol clouding my brain. He understands that when I tell him he's a traitor to his race when he displays a trait that breaks all stereotypes of Mexicans that I do it in good humor. I'm really making fun of the white trash culture I grew up in where many harbored such ridiculous thoughts. The banter is fun and he is comfortable enough in his heritage to understand context is key.
I recognize that not all are like my roommate, but sometimes I'm prone to forget and put my foot in my mouth. I think I'll always be that way for reasons that may include stubbornness.
"I've always thought that the stereotype of the dirty old man is really the creation of a dirty young man who wants the field to himself." - Hugh Downs