Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct, commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term primarily used as a pejorative to describe language, policies, or measures which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society; in pejorative usage, those who use the term are generally implying that these policies are excessive.
This is what we hear all the time today, and it is a phrase that has a basis in the destruction of intelligent and positive debates, as being “Politically Correct” will limit any debate to the walls of injustice and very limited expression. This ideology is designed to limit free speech. Today, one has to choose one’s words very carefully, or one will be labeled a racist, feminist, or other “Politically Correct” term. This destroys the idea of free discussion of ideas and speech that may actually bring about an intelligent discussion. The United States was based upon the ability to speak freely, but Political Correctness has stymied that ability to a point where many people have to stop and be very cautious of offending someone or some group. There once was a time in the United States where if someone was offended, he would either have to shut up or leave. Today, they yell discrimination and file a suit and get away with this. What is really sad is that the entire concept of being Politically Correct is mostly here in the United States, and some nations think it laughable.
The term had only scattered usage before the 1990s, usually as an ironic self-description, but entered more mainstream usage in the United States when it was the subject of a series of articles in The New York Times. The phrase was widely used in the debate about Allan Bloom‘s 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind, and gained further currency in response to Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals (1990), and conservative author Dinesh D’Souza’s 1991 book Illiberal Education, in which he condemned what he saw as liberal efforts to advance self-victimization, multiculturalism through language, affirmative action, and changes to the content of school and university curricula.
As can be seen here, the term has not been in use much until recently, but it has such huge ramifications that the term itself makes people become much less free with their speech. Now, the term is being used to channel thoughts of people as if they can read a person’s mind. But it does get much worse, as people toss Political Correctness around as if it is a real idea to use in place of free speech. Why has this happened, and why is it so widely used in today’s world?
In the early-to-mid 20th century, the phrase “politically correct” was associated with the dogmatic application of Stalinist doctrine, debated between Communist Party members and Socialists. This usage referred to the Communist party line, which provided for “correct” positions on many political matters. According to American educator Herbert Kohl, writing about debates in New York in the late 1940s and early 1950s,
The term “politically correct” was used disparagingly, to refer to someone whose loyalty to the CP line overrode compassion, and led to bad politics. It was used by Socialists against Communists, and was meant to separate out Socialists who believed in egalitarian moral ideas from dogmatic Communists who would advocate and defend party positions regardless of their moral substance.
-“Uncommon Differences”, The Lion and the Unicorn Journal
In March 1968, the French philosopher Michel Foucault is quoted as saying: “a political thought can be politically correct (‘politiquement correcte’) only if it is scientifically painstaking”, referring to leftist intellectuals attempting to make Marxism scientifically rigorous rather than relying on orthodoxy.
Wait! Here we see that the term Political Correctness during the, “early-to-mid 20th Century” was associated with the Stalinist doctrine and also with the Communist and Socialist in the United States. Today, we see a presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, who is a self-declared “Democratic Socialist” and who abides by the Political Correct ideology in many things, calling out others for their not so “Politically Correct” ideas.
But our nation was founded on robust ideas and debates, which held no Political Correctness at all; and now, our nation is falling down like a huge tree due to this un-American.
Herbert Kohl, in 1992, commented that a number of neoconservatives who promoted the use of the term “politically correct” in the early 1990s were former Communist Party members, and, as a result, familiar with the Marxist use of the phrase. He argued that in doing so, they intended “to insinuate that egalitarian democratic ideas are actually authoritarian, orthodox and Communist-influenced, when they oppose the right of people to be racist, sexist, and homophobic.”
Even though such words as “nigger,” “fruit,” “bitch,” and so on have been declared as being not just racist, demeaning, and Politically Incorrect, those who have declared them as being “Politically Incorrect” actually use them within their own groups and laugh about it. If words are incorrect to use, there can be no debate as to why. At least one Presidential Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has stated that the Democratic Party needs to change the Amendments because we do not need the “old” Constitution today. Once again, Political Correctness is threatening our very nation, due to the influence of the ideas that limit free speech and free ideas.
Being Politically Correct today could lead to the downfall of our nation, due to the loss of free expression. Should WE THE PEOPLE accept this idea of being Politically Correct just because it may keep us from saying or stating ideas that others do not accept or like? Even mentioning the name of Muhammad or Allah is Politically In-Correct. Is this right? Is it enhancing our education system or our nation as a whole? It would seem to show a nation that is totally intolerant of anything which may offend them, where speech itself is excluded from expression of ideas and words.
Liberal commentators have argued that the conservatives and reactionaries who used the term did so in effort to divert political discussion away from the substantive matters of resolving societal discrimination – such as racial, social class, gender, and legal inequality – against people whom the right-wing do not consider part of the social mainstream. Commenting in 2001, one such British journalist,
Polly Toynbee, said “the phrase is an empty, right-wing smear, designed only to elevate its user”, and, in 2010 “…the phrase “political correctness” was born as a coded cover for all who still want to say Paki, spastic, or queer…” Another British journalist, Will Hutton, wrote in 2001:
Political correctness is one of the brilliant tools that the American Right developed in the mid–1980s, as part of its demolition of American liberalism…. What the sharpest thinkers on the American Right saw quickly was that by declaring war on the cultural manifestations of liberalism – by levelling the charge of “political correctness” against its exponents – they could discredit the whole political project.
— “Words Really are Important, Mr Blunkett”
The left side of the aisle considers the right wing to be the ones to use the words of “Political Correctness” the most. Does it matter which side uses it at all? We would hope that both sides stop using the term as a crutch to stop ideas against their parties before the truth is exposed of either one. Today, the Politically Correct side is mainly the Progressive Democratic side of the aisle, which uses the term to stop attacks from the Republicans based upon truth that would hurt the Democrats.
The History of the United States is being corrupted by Political Correctness. We see parts of the history being taken down and placed in the back of museums. Although some 600,000 men lost their lives from both sides during the War Between the States, today, only the Union side of the war can be shown or expressed. There was one nation which tossed the past history of the nation in the trash: it was Germany in 1932, when they began to “clean” the history of the nation to build the history they wished to be shown. That, of course, led to the Second World War against the Nazi Party of Germany. Is the United States making the turn in its history to become like the Nazi Party?
Much of the modern debate on the term was sparked by conservative critiques of liberal bias in academia and education, such as Allan Bloom‘s The Closing of the American Mind, Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals and Dinesh D’Souza’s Illiberal Education; and conservatives have used it as a major line of attack since. University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate connect speech codes in US universities to philosopher Herbert Marcuse. They claim that speech codes create a “climate of repression”, arguing that they are based on “Marcusean logic”.[relevant? – discuss] The speech codes, “mandate a redefined notion of “freedom”, based on the belief that the imposition of a moral agenda on a community is justified”, a view which, “requires less emphasis on individual rights and more on assuring “historically oppressed” persons the means of achieving equal rights.” They claim:
Our colleges and universities do not offer the protection of fair rules, equal justice, and consistent standards to the generation that finds itself on our campuses. They encourage students to bring charges of harassment against those whose opinions or expressions “offend” them. At almost every college and university, students deemed members of “historically oppressed groups”–above all, women, blacks, gays, and Hispanics–are informed during orientation that their campuses are teeming with illegal or intolerable violations of their “right” not to be offended. Judging from these warnings, there is a racial or sexual bigot, to borrow the mocking phrase of McCarthy’s critics, “under every bed.”[relevant? – discuss]
Kors and Silverglate later established the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which campaigns against infringement of rights of due process, rights of religion and speech, in particular “speech codes”. Similarly, a common conservative criticism of higher education in the United States is that the political views of the faculty are much more liberal than the general population, and that this situation contributes to an atmosphere of political correctness.
Jessica Pinta and Joy Yakubu write that political correctness is useful in education, in the Journal of Educational and Social Research:
Political correctness is a useful area of consideration when using English language particularly in second language situations. This is because both social and cultural contexts of language are taken into consideration. Zabotkina (1989) says political correctness is not only an essential, but an interesting area of study in English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms. This is because it presents language as used in carrying out different speech acts which provoke reactions as it can persuade, incite, complain, condemn, and disapprove. Language is used for communication and creating social linkages, as such must be used communicatively. Using language communicatively involves the ability to use language at the grammatical level, sociolinguistic level, discourse and strategic levels (Canale & Swain 1980). Understanding language use at these levels center around the fact that differences exist among people, who must communicate with one another, and the differences could be religious, cultural, social, racial, gender or even ideological. Therefore, using language to suit the appropriate culture and context is of great significance.
— “Language Use and Political Correctness for Peaceful Coexistence: Implications for Sustainable Development “
Our traditional places of higher learning are now telling certain groups of students to be aware of the Politically Incorrect speech that sometimes happens, and they have the “right” not to be offended. It would be so much easier to be able to show these students this alleged “right” to not be offended actually was real. Nowhere in the Constitution or laws does it ever state that no one has the right to offend anyone else. This is perhaps the most absurd idea to be used, but it is Politically Correct, so, by that standard, it must be true. The next time anyone says that you have a “right” to not be offended, ask them to show you the law or part of the Constitution that displays that as a fact.
In closing, we would encourage anyone to show documented and defined laws or parts of the Constitution where it states clearly that no one has the right to be offended. We have the “right” to stop this dumb expression of terminology from allowing us to debate what may be offensive to some. We used to say, “If it offends you, leave, shut up, or discuss it reasonably.” Today, our nation shows us backed into the corners of alleys to discuss almost any idea, for fear of “offending” someone due to words, language, or ideas.
This election cycle is very tantamount to maybe destroying this term through common and intelligent discussion of any and all ideas encompassing all fields of discussion. If we do not go out and vote, our very rights will be eliminated to the Politically Correct ideas during the very next term of the Presidency.
One should go to as many sites as possible to see that the true expression of Political Correctness is and will be bad for all, if we continue to allow it.
To show just how much this act of being Politically Correct can wreck lives from all areas of the political spectrum we have included some of them below.
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“Political correctness” is a label typically used for left-wing terms and actions, but not for equivalent attempts to mold language and behavior on the right. However, the term “right-wing political correctness” is sometimes applied by commentators drawing parallels: in 1995, one author used the term “conservative correctness” arguing, in relation to higher education, that “critics of political correctness show a curious blindness when it comes to examples of conservative correctness. Most often, the case is entirely ignored or censorship of the Left is justified as a positive virtue. … A balanced perspective was lost, and everyone missed the fact that people on all sides were sometimes censored.”
In 2003, Dixie Chicks, a U.S. country music group, criticized the then U.S. President George W. Bush for launching the war against Iraq. They were criticized and labeled “treasonous” by some U.S. right-wing commentators (including Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly). Three years later, claiming that at the time “a virulent strain of right wing political correctness [had] all but shut down debate about the war in Iraq,” journalist Don Williams wrote that “[the ongoing] campaign against the Chicks represents political correctness run amok” and observed, “the ugliest form of political correctness occurs whenever there’s a war on.”
In 2003, French fries and French toast were renamed “Freedom fries” and “Freedom toast” in three U.S. House of Representatives cafeterias in response to France’s opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. This was described as “polluting the already confused concept of political correctness.” In 2004, then Australian Labor leader Mark Latham described conservative calls for “civility” in politics as “the new political correctness.”
In 2012, Paul Krugman wrote that “the big threat to our discourse is right-wing political correctness, which – unlike the liberal version – has lots of power and money behind it. And the goal is very much the kind of thing Orwell tried to convey with his notion of Newspeak: to make it impossible to talk, and possibly even think, about ideas that challenge the established order.”