Simple really. There’s so much emphasis on political correctness that I think this needs to be said. If you are offended by something, it’s your fault.
There is a difference between offence as a harmful thing and the actual cause of the offence itself being harmful. Say I shoot an orphan and you take offence. The shooting of the orphan is certainly worthy of criticism etc. for being an inappropriate act, but any sense of offence you take at the act is entirely in your head. If the sense of being offended causes you to suffer, then stop being offended. Remember the old saying, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’? Words do hurt – emotionally – if you let them, but only physically if carved on bricks and thrown, for instance! By all means correct my racist remarks, and re-educate me to stop my rape and vandalism, but don’t be offended by words. That much at least should be within your power to control, and is beyond my ability to apologise for!
If declarations are taken as an indication of prejudice, then act appropriately to educate or minimise damage, but if someone was to insult me with a completely unfounded or unjustified statement, then why on earth would I actually be offended? May as well be offended by a dog for barking – irritated maybe by the noise and spittle, but the words are meaningless. If they actually speak the truth, then why be offended by facts? That seems similarly immature. Perhaps what is really going on is people are participating in a cultural ‘Shibboleth’ in which visible signs of outrage help people to guage and reinforce membership of a social group. In which case, a simple, calm and measured ‘Inappropriate’ would suffice.