If you say "You shouldn't call black people Niggers" you are apparently a racist, because you used the "N-word". Who cares about context? If you think file sharing should be legal, you clearly wants artist to starve, If you believe in privacy, you must have something to hide, and if you are against the war you support the terrorists. If you like children, you are a pedophile. If you eat meat, you like to torture animals. If you don't were a flag pin you hate America, and if think health care is a right you are a communist. Lets just assume everyone is crazy and no one has a point. 50 years ago people called each other racial slurs, now people calls each other racists, sexists, bigots and insensitive. How about we stop the name calling rather switch out the names? Cant we talk like human beings?
Everyone is aiming to become the pity flavour of the week. Everyone is defending their turf in the name of equality. If only you know how much my people have suffered through history, you will treat me more equal then all the others. Any sign of disagreement with your ideas must automatically mean you are a extremist in the opposite direction worth destroying. Everyone is looking for the slightest sign of generalization that can be attacked. (Isn't most knowledge generalizations?) Religions have this special place where if you criticise them you are always offending them, making the very act of criticizing them wrong disregarding of what you are criticising them for. No, I will not apologize for disagreeing with you just because you take offence.
We live under the perpetual fear of offending others, or more accurately, being accused of offending. In short, its best to say nothing at all. Peolpe, companies and organizations, spend less time doing good, and more time and money to avoid offending anyone.
"Awareness" is always the solution, you need to know about every group, religion, condition and injustice in the world with the implication that it should all rest on your consciousness. Knowledge is good, but somehow I fail to see the reason to use money to raise my awareness of Multiple sclerosis. Its not like I'm going to need to diagnose anyone with MS, there is not much I can do to prevent MS, and if I get it, I'm sure a doctor can tell me all I need to know about it. Even the idea that I would be qualified to say if MS is a condition that needs more funds or attention then any other condition is ludicrous. Or maybe they just assume that if I'm not informed enough I would automatically treat people with MS bad, an assumption that is offencive in it self.
Frankly I don't want to have to be informed. Not taking in to account your peoples history, makes me treat you more equal not less. I shouldn't have to know what specific brand of food to buy, just to not have the farmer use pesticide, choosing the wrong power company doesn't give them the right to destroy the environment. Its not my responsibility not buy shoes that are made in sweatshops, its the makers of shoes whos responsibility it is to pay decent wages. Cant we build a society on each and every one taking responsibility for what they do, instead on blaming everything on others?
Freedom of speech, also means you get to hear things you don't like, but the goal shouldn't be to scare people in to shutting up, but rather to have a conversation to change their minds. Its people you don't agree with that can change your own mind, and what is better then changing your mind?