IAFF: Safety and Political Correctness
I recently wrote about the Stricker fire in Baltimore where three firefighters were killed; it elicited these comments from fellow IAFF members:
“Is there a purpose for this article except for your doubt of O’Connor’s statement?” -LJ
“The problem is Eric can only find bad or possibly bad things about The IAFF, never good.” -CH
Neither writer addresses the substance of what I wrote; in their eyes I am either without a purpose or negative.
(Who decides purpose?)
So goes their attempted enforcement of Politically Correct (PC) speech.
In this context, acceptable PC speech never questions the status quo or suggests anything is other than “all good.”
Question and you will either be marginalized or smacked down.
Even Custer’s Last Stand was vigorously debated.
Rather than constructive dialogue about firefighter safety and survival, they engage in the policing of language and opinion they find objectionable.
The realm of critical thought or openness to change is beyond them.
Enforcing PC speech often works, especially in organizations based on membership and/or longevity where the notion of tradition is coveted unto death.
The cultural language of belonging is used to stifle open discussion; after all who really wants to be outside the “family”?
But no current or prospective firefighter or paramedic is well served by policing debate around safety and health though it happens all the time.
Finally, just because you’ve “been to a few fires” means just that, it confers no automatic right to enforce conformity, especially where lives are concerned.