The Third Niggardly Principle , the last of three Ethics Alarms rules applying to situations where someone mistakenly takes offense at a valid and useful word, comes into play when capitulating to such sensitivity create a precedent that will do tangible harm to society, culture, individual rights and personal freedoms. It declares:
“When suppressing speech and conduct based on an individual’s or a group’s claim, sincere or otherwise, that such speech or conduct is offensive, however understandable and reasonable this claim may be, creates or threatens to create a powerful precedent that will undermine freedom of speech, expression or political opinion elsewhere, calls to suppress the speech or conduct must be opposed and rejected.
Spineless, fearful, submissive and appeasing corporate lackeys, showing us that they can be counted on to surrender core American principles and values to keep their market share and pander to the mob, have decided in recent days to ban certain well understood, useful, common and benign words because “some” believe they imply racism:
- The Houston Association of Realtors will no longer use the word “master” to describe bedrooms and bathrooms on real estate listings. Instead, the term “primary” will be used in its place. Several members of the HAR had complained that the word “master” is insensitive.
- The Court of Master Sommeliers, which “sets the global standard of excellence for beverage service within the hospitality industry,” will stop using the term “master sommelier.”
Chess master, masterful, master chef, master mechanic (my son is one),master class, masters degrees….
- L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetic and beauty company, announced it would stop using the the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening word “whitening” on their products.
- Johnson & Johnson announced on Monday that they are pulling two skin lightening products. The multinational corporation will stop selling its Clean & Clear Fairness product line in India and the Neutrogena Fine Fairness line in Asia and the Middle East.
- Unilever, the largest producer of soap in the world, also said it would remove the words “whitening” or “lightening” on its products. The hygiene and personal care company will rename its Fair & Lovely skin-lightening cream products, which are sold mostly in Asia. A petition with over 13,000 signatures demanded Unilever to stop selling the product. “This product has built upon, perpetuated and benefited from internalized racism and promotes anti-blackness sentiments amongst all its consumers,” the petition read.
Writing about ethics is going to be difficult without using that racist word, “fair.”