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The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have officially changed their name to the Tampa Bay Rays.  Why?  Well, apparently “Devil” is the latest word being targeted by those people who demand we live in an unoriginal, white-washed, politically correct world.

That really bothers me because I see it as moving one step closer to a “Big Brother Society.”  But perhaps, that’s just me.  I am, after all, a product of the baby boomer generation and God knows, baby boomers have a tendency to look at the world through slightly different and much more cynical eyes than most people.  We practically perfected the idea of questioning authority and ended up changing the world.

My first taste of political correctness–though it wasn’t called that at the time–came when I was a senior in high school and we were told by those in authority that we would have to change our name, “Rebels”, lose the icons of the Confederate soldier and flag, and stop playing “Dixie” at ball games.  I had no problem with dropping the flag and soldier, and even the song if we had to, but I did have a problem with changing our name.  “Rebel” doesn’t necessarily mean someone who fought for the South in the Civil War.  Its true meaning is someone who rebels or is rebellious.  In other words, an individual who thinks for his/herself.  When you get right down to it, that’s exactly what our generation was all about.

Years later when my husband and I first moved to Maine, the top news story was that the government had decreed that the names of all geographical locations with the word “squaw” in them would have to be changed.  I followed the news reports for a while, all the time shaking my head at the number of people who jumped on the bandwagon just so they could stand up and proclaim their “political correctness.”  Most of them didn’t care one way or the other about the name, they just wanted to be seen as a do-gooder in society.  Bah!  How is it doing good to change the name of a city or mountain or even a creek?  Seems to me these people would have done a lot more good for society by standing up for something that could really make a difference in our world like <insert personal choice of rebellious cause here>.

Which brings us to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays–and I understand Tampa Bay’s not the only sports team dealing with this problem.  Idiocy!  I mean, really, can’t we come up with something to counter all this political correctness in our society?  God knows there are any number of things worth fighting for, things much more important and earth-shaking than the word “devil” being used in the name of a sports team.

I think Shakespeare said it best, “What’s in a name?”  And I’ll add to that by asking, is it worth fighting for?  Well, okay, I’ll grant you in some cases it is, but in most cases it’s nothing more than people trying to take away our individuality.

The thing is…that sucks.  I shudder at the thought of living in a world where every person is a carbon copy of everyone else, where Big Brother is always watching, and we, as a society, bow to his wishes.  Perhaps it’s just the baby boomer in me coming to the forefront, but we are not all alike and I’m pretty sure our creator didn’t intend for us to be.  Sure, we’re all basically the same, but we’re also individuals, and it is our uniqueness that makes us shine.

I have a sweatshirt that says, “Celebrate Diversity!”  And oh, wouldn’t I love to see that adopted as the rally cry of today’s generation?  Who knows, like the baby boomers with their “Make love, not war” slogan, a generation which celebrates individuality just might change the world for the better.

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

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