You know the story well: A public figure makes a politically incorrect remark, and the oversensitive crowd reacts in an over-the-top fashion to punish the individual for his supposed transgressions. Recently, John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s Pizza, came under attack for using a racial slur during a conference call.
Here we go again.
Naturally, Schnatter was criticized for his use of the word without consideration for the context of the conversation. Ever since he pulled Papa John’s advertising from the NFL, he has become a target of the left and their cultural totalitarianism.
Papa John’s Founder Uses The “N” Word During A Conference Call
In May, Schnatter participated in a conference call between Papa John’s executives and Laundry Service, a marketing firm working with the pizza chain. The subject of the discussion was the rehabilitation of the restaurant’s image after their public split from the NFL over the national anthem protests.
When the conversation focused on the impact of the separation between Papa John’s and the NFL, Schnatter indicated that he did not believe it would harm his company. He allegedly said, “Colonel Sanders called blacks n——s.” He went on to explain that KFC did not face any repercussions for Sanders’ comments. He also discussed the violence against minorities that he saw in his home state of Indiana. Forbes wrote:
“Schnatter also reflected on his early life in Indiana, where, he said, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died. He apparently intended for the remarks to convey his antipathy to racism, but multiple individuals on the call found them to be offensive, a source familiar with the matter said.”
After the news broke about his comments, Schnatter released a statement apologizing for his remarks. “News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media-training session regarding race are true,” he said. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
As a result, Schnatter was forced to step down as chairman of the pizza chain. Moreover, Laundry Service decided to terminate their relationship with Papa John. It appears the marketing agency’s decision also harmed their company as well — they had to lay off 10% of their staff because of the fiasco.
NFL Protests Impact on Papa John’s
This is not the first time Schnatter has come under fire from the race-baiting left. In November 2017, he decided to remove the company’s advertising from the NFL, citing the controversy over the national anthem protests. “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle,” he said during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call.
After his decision, Schnatter stepped down as CEO of Papa John’s. At this time, he was still serving as chairman. He hired Laundry Service to assist him in making his return to the company.
The Left Has Created a Culture of Oversensitivity
The left has propagated a culture of oversensitivity. Their irrational fixation on political correctness created an environment in which many have become addicted to outrage porn. The left seems to have encouraged the American public to constantly seek out new and creative ways to become offended.
Let’s be clear. There was absolutely nothing offensive about Schnatter’s comments. He was not using the slur against blacks. He was not encouraging bigotry. He was simply quoting comments made by another prominent figure in his industry. Indeed, he went on to express his personal resentment of racism when discussing the stories he heard when he was younger.
Only a decade ago, a person could use a racial slur when they were quoting comments made by another person without receiving the unhinged backlash we are witnessing today. However, the left’s widespread message of victimhood and oppression has led to an atmosphere of hypersensitivity and, most importantly, fear.
People have become afraid to express their views. They have to walk on eggshells whenever they make statements. We must now take extra care to make sure we are not offending people by making remarks that are factually true. Fortunately, while the left has still managed to enforce their rules, their ability to inspire fear is waning.
The election of President Trump was a concrete repudiation of political correctness. People are finally beginning to realize that the left’s habit of policing speech is destructive, and they have begun to revolt against this cultural tyranny. If this trend continues, the left will keep losing supporters.