Political correctness kills.

We in the West have a strong and decent desire to avoid labeling individuals in negative ways based on heightened statistical risks among particular population groups. That desire sometimes comes into direct conflict with the need to say something if we see something suspicious. As rational people, we take into account enhanced risk profiles when determining level of suspicion. A white guy driving around Beverly Hills at night in a Jaguar isn’t suspicious; a white guy driving into South Central at night in a Jaguar is. That’s not racism. That’s rationality.

All of this is the predictable result of a campaign to drill politically correct – and dangerous notions – about safety into the heads of the American people.

But political correctness quashes such rationality. Political correctness says that not only must we be wary of our own prejudices, we must ignore rational risk profiling so as not to offend people.

Sadly, facts are offensive. And it is a fact that a group of heretofore unknown Middle Eastern men congregating at odd times in San Bernardino should raise questions more than a group of men of other ethnicities. Apparently, for one man, it did – and he stifled that impulse to avoid being seen as racist. CBSLA.com reports:

A man who has been working in the area said he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people. “We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What war they doing around the neighborhood?’” he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”

Fourteen people are dead because a normal American didn’t want to offend anybody by reporting his suspicions about a person of minority ethnicity and religion.

This isn’t the first time. When Muslim terrorists planned to attack Fort Dix in 2006, they first stopped at a Circuit City to copy a tape of them “firing guns and praising jihad,” according to The New York Post. One of the clerks found this suspicious, but hesitated about calling the police. “Dude, I just saw some really weird s***,” he said. “I don’t know what to do. Should I call someone or is that being racist?”

Thankfully, a co-worker told him to call the police. He first asked his manager, then called the police. That led to a 16-month FBI investigation and the arrest of six would-be terrorists.

Imagine if PC had won.

All of this is the predictable result of a campaign to drill politically correct – and dangerous notions – about safety into the heads of the American people. This is what happens when the President of the United States slanders as racist citizens for reporting a Muslim teenager for bringing a bomb-like object to school, then invites that Clock Boy to the White House. This is what happens when, after each attack by a radical Muslim, the President of the United States and his allies in the media suggest that American concerns about radical Islam merely reflect inherent and ugly Islamophobia. This is what happens when "see something, say something" becomes "see something, say something unless it's about a person who falls under a heightened risk profile."

And so people die. Political correctness isn’t about weighing competing values. It’s about stifling reason in order to avoid hurting feelings. It means demonizing those who do exercise reason. It also means dead bodies.