The Minnesota Senate recently approved legislation to remove the term "Asian carp" from statute. As we reported in March, the effort, spearheaded by Sen. John Hoffman (D-Champlin), is a response to concerns that "Asian carp" paints Asian people in a negative light.
But during his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh expressed a very different type of worry -- one about how sensitive our public discourse has become (though expressed a bit more gruffly than that).
Here's a partial transcript of what Limbaugh had to say about the topic (read the whole thing here):
Political correctness is just going nuts, going crazy...Limbaugh was wrong in saying nobody is offended by "Asian carp," however. For instance, during testimony at committee hearing in March, Sia Her, executive director of the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, said, "The response to this species has been and we believe will continue to be overwhelmingly negative, and thus we feel reflects very negatively on our community of Asian Americans."
"While arguing his case on the Senate floor, Hoffman said that referring to the fish as 'Asian' was hurtful to some people... " So they're gonna change the name of the Asian carp to the "invasive carp" because it offended some people. I don't even know. What is "invasive carp"? Isn't that gonna be an insult to illegal aliens, once they hear about it? We've gone from Asian carp to invasive carp.
Who was offended? I'll betcha nobody was. Nobody even knew. This guy is just trying to be politically correct and score some points. Somebody needs to stand up when this kind of stuff happens and say, "Stop! No! Go to hell! We're not gonna mess with this." But nobody does. This political correctness just continues to spread. It's like a disease. It's like an incurable disease. It just spreading and it's irrational.
Her's sentiment was echoed by Jean Lee, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of Children's Hope International. Using the term in statute and state-produced materials is tantamount to "using government agencies to promote racist and government attacks on people as a race," Lee said.
Lee said she recently saw a Minnesota Department of Agriculture-produced poster at the airport that exemplified her concerns. "It said 'Wanted, Dead or Alive' -- in big letters it said 'Asian,' [and] in small letters it said 'carp,'" Lee said. "The message was very clear."
The Senate measure, which would change "Asian carp" to "invasive carp," awaits action in the House.