Allow me to be politically incorrect

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore
“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness.”— President Donald J. Trump

Ever since Donald Trump entered the political scene, we have been doused in racist and sexist tirades one after the other. Of course, though, if I were to say that Trump’s policies exhibited racism or sexism, I would inevitably be accused of “political correctness.” And therein, lies the problem.

Political correctness is roughly defined as avoiding practices which could offend political sensibilities. In truth, accusations of political correctness are just a way to cover up one’s bigotry. “I’m not being racist. You’re just being politically correct,” is what a supporter of the Muslim ban might say. Similarly, if one were to support more K-12 history about the genocide of Native Americans or the failures of American foreign policy, loud-mouths would scream political correctness. I dare say, it’s not controversial to say that political incorrectness is simple bigotry.

Ironically, the true situation is that the white man has been forcing their ideology of supremacy down the throats of women and people of color for centuries beforehand.

The very popularization of the term is rooted in a conservative mythos where liberal academics were forcing their ideology down the throats of the rest of America. In this reality, it is the white man who was victimized as college curriculums sought to introduce books written by people of color. It is the white man again who is victimized upon introduction of affirmative action policies in universities. Ironically, the true situation is that the white man has been forcing their ideology of supremacy down the throats of women and people of color for centuries beforehand. The victims were those left out of curriculums, those left out of colleges, and more bluntly, those left hanging from trees across the South.

But the claim of political correctness seeks to invert victimhood. It is not the people of color seeking fair treatment that are victims, but the white male who is now suffering. They claim to be victims of censorship or even victims of the crimes that they have committed. Consider that in the defense of his son, the father of the Stanford University rapist Brock Turner said that “20 minutes of action” should not take 20 years from his son’s life.

Brock Turner’s Pre-Sentencing Reporter

Isn’t this the real political correctness? Censorship of a person’s crimes and erasure of the victim. This is why it’s asinine to believe that there is a world of reverse discrimination where Christians are under assault in the US, whites are falling behind, and men are victims. Sociologist Robin DiAngelo elaborates more succinctly:

“White fragility functions as a form of bullying: “I am going to make it so miserable for you to confront me — no matter how diplomatically you try to do so — that you will simply back off, give up, and never raise the issue again.” White fragility keeps people of color in line and “in their place.”

In fact, whenever the dominant orthodoxy is challenged, the majority will always say the minority has gone too far. Just a few months after the 1964 Civil Rights Act banned discrimination in schools, employment, and places of public accommodation, a New York Times poll found that the majority of whites believed that the Civil Rights movement had gone too far. Had the term been invented yet, one would almost certainly hear that civil rights legislation was merely political correctness.

Hence, whenever I hear the term, my blood boils. It’s a phrase that seeks to hide the speaker’s prejudice no different than saying “I’m not racist, but…” It’s also a phrase that preserves hierarchies — accusations of political correctness run abound when the majority’s privilege is threatened. And most insidiously the term seeks to invert victimhood. In the speaker’s mind, it is not the Muslim refugees who are victims or the transgender soldier, but the dominant white Christian male who can no longer speak ill of such folks. Their mouths are allegedly shut tight despite talk radio, Fox News, and the president of the United State espousing their venomous beliefs.

Political correctness is code for respect, plain and simple. The 1950s reality of white men running America is coming to a close, and it’s time for them to show some respect.

Political correctness is code for respect, plain and simple. The 1950s reality of white men running America is coming to a close, and it’s time for them to show some respect.