The philosophy of “political correctness” is harmful and costly to society because it makes us afraid to say what’s on our minds. It is costly in that we must go out of our way to keep from offending those who are willing to be outraged for just about any reason at all.
This degradation of our freedom could possibly be tolerated and adapted to if there were any hard fast rules to follow. However, a hydra-headed serpent gives no stable ground on which to tread.
Being that its dogma is enslaved by the emotional responses of anyone at all, it has been unstable from the beginning.
So Where Did This Crap Start?
The concept of political correctness was born in the 1980s at the University of Wisconsin. It embodied the belief that certain ideas, expressions, and behaviors, which were normal at the time, were offensive to some portions of the population and, therefore unacceptable.
The idea was to limit potentially offensive ideas through speech. Words and later actions, which did not conform to this new etiquette were said to be politically incorrect. For a time it seemed to be a good plan. People considered their words and how others might be affected by them. This was a concept that could change the world for the better.
It did change our country, but was it actually for the better? Or, had we only planted the first seeds of censorship?
Like a wildfire, it spread across the nation, and soon every liberal thinker from New York to L.A. was preaching the good news of the day.
It was as if the whole country at once shouted, “We can change our way of thinking. We can change our speech and behavior to avoid hurting others.
It’s Easy Right?
All that’s needed is to make up a good set of rules that are acceptable to everyone.” So, they did it, and it worked. Well, it seemed to work. All of the sudden, every group that had an agenda came up with an inventory of words to be blacklisted. Soon laws were being passed. Words, phrases, and ideas were being removed from textbooks.
It was at this point that it changed from an effort toward social politeness into something to be afraid of, an all-consuming control of ideas and beliefs, harkening back to 1920s Germany.
Living with Fear
After all, is said and done, what are we left with? Is it fear that has a grip on us? Yes, I believe it is fear. We are afraid to exercise direct and meaningful speech because someone might be offended, costing us our job and in some cases even prosecution.
I talked to Paula Lyons, the director of a local childcare center, and she told me, when a child is acting up, throwing a fit, or even harming other children, that it is not permitted to tell the parents that the child was being bad because it is a defamation of the child’s character.
Raymond Goodwin of a Eugene fellowship told me that a lot of pastors try not to refer to infractions of the ten commandments as sin because unbelievers in the congregation can become offended and won’t listen to the word of God spoken to them. In other words, saying that someone is a sinner is not politically correct. I wonder if it would offend the Devil if I said he is evil. Hmmm!
The real fight is in the public school system. Our children are being taught to whitewash the meaning of everything they say.
In her book, “ The Language Police,” Diane Ravitch documents how easy it is to get an idea, word, or phrase banned from modern textbooks.
So we’re afraid to say what we mean, but are there any other areas of our lives where political correctness is becoming a big problem?
And The Hits Just Keep Coming!
In the last few years, we have become aware of a term called “ Racial Profiling” We see this term most used in connection with government and police work.
It refers to the singling out of a person or group of persons based on nationality. It is a useful tool, however, is also politically incorrect. In as much, there has been a big stink about it for a while.
In his essay, “ The Case for Profiling,” Charles Krauthammer spoke about the random searches done at airports. He talks about people being searched who could not possibly be terrorist. Random passenger checks at airports are completely useless.
Has It Outlived Its Usefulness?
Political correctness, while it was a moderately good idea, in the beginning, has become the dragon of our age. It robs us of our freedom. We are terrified that we will be labeled with words that are made up of the same letters as the ones we’re not supposed to say, and as if that were not enough, it costs us time and money. I just have one thing to say to the fear mongers of the politically correct movement. “ Sticks and stones can break your bones, but names… well… just get a life.
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