Political Correctness

The term “political correctness” has been construed in this election season by Trump and his supporters as a negative thing. They say that because Hillary Clinton is too politically correct, she won’t fight “radical Islam”, or be able to govern responsibly. That is a discussion for another day, but we need to perform a specific analysis of political correctness(PC).

Simply off of a Google Search, we see the bitter debate portrayed. The news has articles like “http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/08/was_a_16_year_old_girl_killed_by_political_correctness.html” where PC is barely relevant but is drawn into a terrible situation, but also includes sentences like “’Asian’ is usually British media-speak for ‘Muslim’” which is BS and highly offensive to anyone who is Asian and not Muslim(e.g. the majority, but not all of the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean populations). In fact, many articles that are against PC make statements that are not only not PC, but extremely discriminatory. We will come back to this idea.

According to Google Search, PC is “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” Wikipedia says PC “ is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society.” This suggests that PC is a form of “self-censorship.” An immediate response is that censorship is bad and thus PC is bad. But this argument makes no sense. There are so many things that one could say in a conversation, but you choose only one statement to make to your friends. Is that “self-censorship”? Yes. “Self-censorship” is simply just choosing your words carefully like any sane human would do.

PC culture, on the other hand, may go too far sometimes. Anything you say might offend someone, but it should be a choice to balance offense with a productive society. The argument that ‘all speech is ablest against deaf people” is at some deep level true, but if no one spoke, nothing productive would get done. Thus, PC culture can go too far, but I will come back to why we haven’t gone too far yet.

Anti-PC culture, in most forms, have gone too far. The ‘free speech’ argument is stupid. Just as you have the right to free speech, we have the right to use our free speech to counter your idiotic free speech, and we have the right to judge you for it. If I am offended by your statements, I and people similarly offended have the right to yell at you. Going back to the extremely discriminatory attitudes from a few paragraphs ago, we can see that in most cases, being against PC is simply just an excuse for not having basic respect for fellow human beings. There is no possible way to have basic respect for a fellow human being if you believe that there is something fundamentally(religion, race, etc.) wrong with them or ‘that’ group of people.

The fact that most anti-PC culture goes too far proves, in some sense, that the status quo of PC(this is Hillary Clinton/Democrats Squo, not Trump squo) is justified, and as such the only thing we have to prove is that anywhere significantly more PC pass the status quo is excessive. PC is necessary, but so is the ability to be productive. We are in the spot where it is possible to do both. In this case, it should truly be a ‘stick to the status quo’ message.

As a side-note, there are some places where PC has moved outside its bounds but neither side is addressing. Profanities are generally accepted “bad words”, but there is no justified reason why they are unless they are addressed towards people with malicious intent. That is the essential definition of PC, to avoid offense. But there is no reason one should be offended by a word simply due to societal requirements to be. In cases where this is no true reason other than societal constraints to be offended, there should be no reason to self-censor. People should be offended by racism and such, not by harmless profanities.