The Civil War

The Civil War

Adrienne BoettingerFriday,12 February 2016

Did you know political correctness is literally killing people? That’s because it’s not. An easy way to get applause is to say how much you hate political correctness (other easy ways include hating politicians and the media; it’s like hating Mondays and people who kick kittens). ‘Murica sure loves to hate stuff, especially when it comes to elitist know-it-alls preventing them from telling it like it is! That’s why Trump (and Sanders) have legions of followers who cite political correctness as one of the things responsible for keeping ‘Murica less than great.

But what the hell do they mean when they talk about “political correctness”? One thing is certain and that is that most people seem to consider “political correctness” undesirable. They perceive it as being less than sincere. But what do people think it actually means and why do many people think it is so detrimental to society? I just read a metric buttload of definitions, debates, and pontifications on the topic and it seems that people want to say whatever the fuck they want without worrying if it upsets someone else.

You could say the First Amendment gives us the right to be politically incorrect. And it’s true that by and large you can say whatever you want, whenever you want. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences. And that’s where political correctness comes in.

You can talk until my ears bleed about the “pussification of America” and I can’t stop you. But the consequence is that I, and a lot of other people, will think you’re a sexist moron. You can rant all day about “radical Islamic terrorism” and the cops won’t come to tell you to cease and desist. But I, and a lot of other people, will think you’re an Islamophobe who actually helps the cause of ISIL. You can foam at the mouth about Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl and go into an apoplectic fit about #BlackLivesMatter and the FBI won’t shut you down. But I, and a lot of other people, will think you sound like a scared, racist lunatic afraid of losing his white privilege. You can post all over social media of your support of a bakery who doesn’t want to make cakes for same-sex weddings and though now we can sue the bakery we can’t sue you — but we can think you’re a homophobic idiot.

When I hear “political correctness” I don’t think of some hall monitor telling me what I can and can’t say. I think of the Golden Rule and treating others how I would like to be treated. I think of good manners and civility. And sure, sometimes it can be awkward. It’s hard to consistently put yourself in someone else’s shoes; it takes time to think before you speak. But there’s more than enough people out there glorifying the opposite of that so if the worst badge you can pin on me is one of political correctness, I’ll wear it with pride.

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Image Credit: Beverly & Pack on Flickr

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