It has been said that New Zealand, under the prime-ministership of Helen Clark, became the most politically-correct country ever. Ms Clark is now 3rd in line at the United Nations with, no doubt, her eyes dead-set on the Secretary-General's job. It was also said many times during her long elected NZ reign that it had always been her aim to work for the United Nations, hence her wanting to look good in the eyes of UN selectors
Anyway, the upshot was that she made all us citizens ultra-ultra aware of .... things. It's sort of ingrained in us now, this politically correct stuff, without us scarcely realising it.
It all came home to me one day last August, when I was in Hollywood, at the Hollywood & Highland Mall. I had popped into the absolutely delicious "Sweet!" lollie shop (we say 'lollies', but overseas folk say 'sweets', but who cares? - it's a case of you say potat-oh, I say po-tarto).
In the 'Sweet!" shop, I came across a statue/sculpture/shop-prop of a Native American man. Life-size, and clad in 19th century garb, complete with long feathered head-dress that trailed down behind him.
But, wait, there was more: when I looked closer, I discovered that they weren't feathers in the head-dress but oblong-multi-coloured all-day suckers .... lollipops .... whatever these things are called in different parts of the world. Dozens of them, each sugary sweet lollipop representing a feather.
I was positively stunned. Horrified. How could a shop in modern-day America do this? How degrading for a race of people. So culturally-insensitive.
If a sculpture of a proud Maori warrior were to have a lollipop instead of a feather in his hair - and then that sculpture plomped into, say, the foyer of a New Zealand burger bar where it certainly shouldn't be in the first place, the person who did the sculpting would probably be shunned for life. The burger bar would soon find it had no customers, the papers would write about it all for months, and radio talkback would dwell on the subject.
One should not belittle, but respect other races and cultures.
Oh dear, what a naughty "Sweet!" shop ...
Here's a pic of Helen Clark: