We are living in dangerous times, my friends. A time when mere thoughts and words can be treated as "crimes against humanity"--and the "groupthink" envisioned by George Orwell in his novel 1984 is coming closer to reality.
Take for example the incident at a San Diego Padres baseball game last weekend. The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus was going to sing the national anthem when the man running the public address system instead played a version of the anthem featuring a woman singing. The chorus issued a statement demanding an investigation into whether the snafu was a "deliberate act of homophobia"--and if a hate crime had been committed. Playing the wrong version of the national anthem is now considered to be a hate crime. (That would certainly be true if the version played was the screeching Roseanne Barr edition--which took place in San Diego as well)
Just imagine if a crusading Southern California prosecutor decided to make this case his cause celebre and actually charged the DJ with committing a hate crime--and a bleeding heart jury of Californians convicted the "offender"--and a judge interested only in "social justice" sent him away for a few years to "send a message to homophobes that their views will not be tolerated in this society".
"What are you in for, pal?"
"I played a woman singing the national anthem instead of a group of gay guys singing it"
"I'd keep an eye over my shoulder in here, pal. That kinda thing ain't looked upon too good around here."
Meanwhile, the (unelected) New York City Commission on Human Rights is back again with an edict that companies can be fined for failing to use the "pronouns of a person's gender identity". That means if you were to address a transgender woman as "Mister" or include a "Ms" in the heading of a "gender-fluid" person who is feeling more "male" that week--they could take you to court and you could end up paying a penalty. The (unelected) Commission has also declared that companies must use whatever pronoun a person requests including "ze" "hir" or the grammatically-incorrect "they" when referring to a single person. Companies are "encouraged" to develop a protocol of asking every single person they (correct usage here) employ and do business with what pronoun they prefer and then use it every time--of course, under the threat of punishment.
Oh and the fine for violations? How about $125,000 up to 250-grand. Like they say, "Free speech ain't so free anymore".