Voltaire1

The Age of Political Correctness

Submitted by Charles Knighton

freespeechThere is no social justice without free speech. They are one and the same. James C. Wilson letter to the editor, Dec.13

Political correctness is poisoning discourse in America.

[…]

On college campuses, social media and large segments of American culture dominated by the Left, “language police” now vigilantly patrol what people write and say for any possible offense to oppressed, disempowered minority groups. Transgressions bring an avalanche of vicious personal attacks and demands that the sinner be shunned and silenced. What these people want, and what in fact they demand, is that you agree with them. They want you to believe. If you do not grovel and beg for forgiveness when “called out,” you only convict yourself of unforgivable racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and general bigotry.

Some college theatre groups, and I am not making this up, are now even refusing to perform The Vagina Monologues because the feminist play excludes women without vaginas and thus offends the transgendered. In mainstream political debate, a straight white man who ventures an opinion without first acknowledging his privileged status is mocked for “mansplaining” or “whitesplaining,” and savaged on social media. Even feminists and people of colour can run afoul of these seething censors, who demand total adherence to their rigid, humorless Groupthink.

In this malignant new form of political correctness, even mildly conservative commencement speakers are shunned, “microaggressions”—small social slights or backward terminology—are condemned for causing searing trauma among various classes of victims, and professors must provide “trigger warnings” for potentially upsetting subjects in novels and history books.

Recently, some Columbia University students demanded trigger warnings on the work of the Roman poet Ovid. What’s next? The pathway of such trigger warnings—not just for sexual assault but also for violence, bigotry and racism—will eventually lead to every work of literature being labeled as potentially offensive. There goes the Bible, there goes Dante, there goes Huck Finn (loaded with racism). In the end, anybody can claim offense or triggering about anything: liberals about conservative politics, pacifists against violence, women against sexism, creationists against evolution and so on.

Is it not time for these delicate hothouse orchids to learn that Life is Triggering? Once they leave college, they’ll be constantly exposed to views that challenge or offend them. How they will manage to cope remains to be seen.

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35 Comments on “The Age of Political Correctness”

  1. Well Well & Consequences December 18, 2015 at 6:27 AM #

    It has been building up to that for the last 30 years, that is what happens when people were previously dumbed down, the explosive awakening can be frightening. Racism, sexism, classism etc were all used successfully as tools to suppress everyone, from Europe to North America.

    In Barbados and the Caribbean, it cannot be classified as political correctness, the right terminology for that group is……..hiding dirty secretsfrom the people and that too has run it’s course.

    Like

  2. ac December 18, 2015 at 7:12 AM #

    Political correctness is poisoning discourse in America.

    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Not So! it is a new form of morality that demands and encourages a purposeful fundamental value to the quality of life

    Like

  3. Caswell Franklyn December 18, 2015 at 7:15 AM #

    Thank God, in Barbados, I can still say that the Government consists of a bunch of liars. Instead of trying to be politically correct and say that the members of the Government have a chronic truth telling problem.

    Like

  4. David December 18, 2015 at 7:24 AM #

    Observe the farce playing out in the Republican Primary race.

    Observe the farce of the lobby that supports the proliferation of guns in the US where more people are murdered than the very terrorist acts which grab the headlines.

    Many examples can be cited.

    Like

  5. ac December 18, 2015 at 10:32 AM #

    These farce observations can be traced back to an older form of morality with built in codes to frustrate and irritate cultures and races
    Which now manifest themselves in social abnormalities

    Like

  6. TheGazer December 18, 2015 at 6:10 PM #

    I find this posting to be troubling.

    I would be the first to agree that some of what passes as ‘political correctness’ is often a display of ill conceived ideas. However, we should not throw out the baby with the baby water. Political correctness is often a curb for bigotry of one kind or another. When some are unwilling to acknowledge the rights of others then society must restrain them in some way. Political correctness can be one such restraint.

    “Language police”; it is a better world when one knows that society will condemn a person who uses bigoted words in describing other of a different race. If one listen to talk-radio, one can hear straight white men spewing vitriol and being proud of not being politically correct.

    “There goes the Bible”. That’s joke. It will be easier to pry a gun from the hand of a NRA member than a bible from the hand of some Christians.

    “There goes Huck Finn”; my memory fails me as I read this book in the distant past and so I cannot make an accurate comment; but I am sure the writer will admit that there is some literature that is nothing more than a racist rant and there could be a better use of the paper it was printed on.

    This article is like trying to arrive at a destination, by making only right turns.

    Like

  7. Colonel Buggy December 18, 2015 at 8:17 PM #

    Political Correctness. Like what the whole of Barbados think of the Minister of the Environment.

    Like

  8. Vincent Haynes December 19, 2015 at 7:06 AM #

    http://bit.ly/1MmR782

    Like

  9. de Ingrunt Word December 19, 2015 at 9:47 AM #

    The author highlights a major societal issue and @Vincent your link provides a quote that practical people resonate : “students who are offended by opposing views are perhaps not yet ready to be at university”…similarly people are not ready for life.

    There were two recent similar issues blowing up in US. One, an entire school and system were CLOSED down because a homework exercise highlighted Arabaic calligraphy and elicited students responses on that translated text. It was deemed as a security threat and certainly profoundly ‘politically incorrect’.

    This was a standard text being used in a geography/world civics class. The sin I suspect was the fact that the text when translated was:”There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.” Parents, shut down de place. Oh lawd.

    This is absurd and insane but given the times not surprising

    The other one is similar to the Rhodes ting, where a former US president is also been vilified as a racist and his association as a benefactor to a university is also being questioned.

    Citizens shooting themselves in their feet.

    Which historical figure black or white did not take part in some act that offends some group!!!!

    Let’s debate and locate them properly in a historical context but this wide-spread sanitizing is wrong-headed and quite ironic.

    MLK was an adulterer they say; so his legacy is one offended feminist away from a major protest.

    Like

  10. Vincent Haynes December 19, 2015 at 10:20 AM #

    @de Ingrunt Word December 19, 2015 at 9:47 AM #

    Society today sees the past through todays lenses and are incorrectly attempting to right the perceived wrongs of the past…….The western civilisation is becoming no different than the fanatics in the Middle East and Mali who destroyed milenia old artefacts because they did not conform to todays thinking.

    History cannot be changed……not even for the sake of giving Trumps parent condomes.

    Like

  11. de Ingrunt Word December 19, 2015 at 1:26 PM #

    Another funny or asinine aspect of political correctness relates to food prep. Many here know of the real context of ‘wringing a neck’. Long before that connoted awful visions of ISIS hate it simply meant to kill a Christmas chicken by taking off its head.

    If the bird slipped from your hand den the spectacle of a ‘headless chicken’ running’ across the yard was hilariously ‘gruesome’. But after a dip in some hot water that chick was plucked and cleaned. And eaten with relish days later.

    Nowadays you have to state carefully on packages that your chicken was ‘humanely’ killed. Absurd.

    And Lord forbid if was ‘couped up’ during his short life. How cruel to that poor chicken. Free range it must be.

    Of course some of the practices are dated because it’s not efficient to do it that way (eg single coup v larger enclosures). And too there are practical health concerns for bad practices like chickens or pigs raised in filthy conditions and fed with bad grains.

    But some levels of correctness borders on absolute unreal expectations and perspectives.

    Like

  12. Vincent Haynes December 19, 2015 at 1:51 PM #

    You only achieve maturity when you can allow the past to take care of itself.

    You learn from the past in order not to repeat whatever mistakes one sees with 20/20 vision in the present.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rhodesmustfall-oxford-plaque-removed_567305dbe4b0688701dc9ff6

    Like

  13. ac December 19, 2015 at 2:31 PM #

    What an absurd statement. ” society attempting to correct the wrongs incorrectly”
    Society role changes with each era all society can do as a new system evolve is looked back into the past and create models that are adaptable understanding that trial and errors are systematic mechanism which comes with growing pains

    Like

  14. David December 19, 2015 at 3:03 PM #

    A society has many competing influences and because it is a malleable business there is no guarantee how the weightier pressures will impact. It is a never ending struggle. In a ‘democracy’ the struggle is even greater.

    Like

  15. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2015 at 3:53 PM #

    What is playing out re Rhodes et al is called conscience. The collective conscience is wreaking havoc…….and that too shall pass. It was bound to happen and must run it’s course.

    Like

  16. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2015 at 10:11 PM #

    This is called investigative journalism at it’s best. Not one US politician would dare interfere with this article or follow ups.

    And closer to home, barbadostoday is following up on the Canadian brothers Del mastros

    http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2015/12/19/legal-hurdle/

    Like

  17. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2015 at 10:21 PM #

    Turns out thecDel Mastros are indeed cousins.

    Like

  18. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2015 at 10:23 PM #

    http://ow.ly/W7ZKS

    Like

  19. TheGazer December 20, 2015 at 7:35 AM #

    Political correctness is like a vine that was planted and overgrew and went into the neighbor’s garden. Or like a tool that was developed to perform one task and through serendipity was found could be applied to other tasks. Not being a fine tuned instrument, it has became an even cruder instrument when applied to multitude of different causes.

    To judge historical figures through today’s lens is equivalent to using a cookie cutter approach. We must transport the man outside of his time and then we examine the totality of his works. We award points for the fine institutions that he created and then we penalize him for denying the humanity of others. Is this wrong? Should we continue to love with a sanitize version of his history or should we put all of the cards on the table. The buildings are a testament to his good work and are a part of his legacy; but sadly, we must also attempt yo measure the destruction caused by his vile ideas; the lives ruined by denial of their human rights, and the misery he inflicted on others in their daily life.

    Yes, the cloak of “sainthood” must be removed removed and his good and bad placed on a scale and weighed. With this approach, it is obvious that some will be removed from the pantheon.

    My problem with political correctness is that some of the battles that are selected need not be fought and that some of the remedies seem to bother on simplicity and ignorance. But any tool which exposes flaws (hidden, ignored, or overlooked) is a useful one; any tool which examines the total man and not just the good that he has done is a good one.

    Like

  20. TheGazer December 20, 2015 at 7:41 AM #

    with edits…
    Political correctness is like a vine that was planted and overgrew and went into the neighbor’s garden. Or like a tool that was developed to perform one task and through serendipity was found could be applied to other tasks. Not being a fine tuned instrument, it has became an even cruder instrument when applied to multitude of different causes.

    To judge historical figures through today’s lens is equivalent to using a cookie cutter approach. We must transport the man outside of his time and then we examine the totality of his works. We award points for the fine institutions that he created and then we penalize him for denying the humanity of others. Is this wrong? Should we continue to live with a sanitize version of history or should we put all of the cards on the table. The buildings are a testament to his good work and are a part of his legacy; but sadly , we cannot measure the destruction caused by his vile ideas; the lives ruined by denial of their human rights, the misery inflicted on others in their daily life.

    Yes, the cloak of “sainthood” is removed and the good and bad is placed on a scale and weighed.

    My problem with political correctness is that some of the battles that are selected need not be fought and that some of the remedies seem to bother on simplicity and ignorance. But any tool which exposes flaws (hidden, ignored, or overlooked) is a useful one; any tool which examines the total man and not just the good that he has done is a good one. It is obvious that some will be removed from the pantheon.

    Like

  21. ac December 20, 2015 at 7:57 AM #

    the notion that political correctness thwarts free speech is simply a diplomatic iron ball thrown across a crowded room which makes all scamper in fear

    Like

  22. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 8:33 AM #

    You won’t get it AC, cause political correctness is akin to ‘yardfowlism’, where weak-willed and feeble-minded jackasses say what they are TOLD to say, and where the REALLY STUPID, jump up and down repeating the shiite like it is the gospel.
    Like all such propaganda, some may even be true, but the final intent is to control the minds of the hoards of brass bowls who are unable to think for themselves.
    You are a classic case in point.
    Barely able to grasp basic logic, yet able to affirm party position on every piece of shiite the DLP does….
    Zoe is a man among men in the art of religious political correctness. He will defend ‘to the death’ concepts that he does not understand, cannot defend, is unable to explain and is at a loss to even rationalise.

    Bushie is the very antithesis of political correctness….
    Bushie don’t give a shiite…. Question EVERYTHING… Doubt EVERYONE…
    if it don’t add up,
    it getting whack
    F#^& that!
    (Frig)

    A brass bowl is a brass bowl
    An albino is an albino
    A religious fairy tale is a shiite story – whether it is about the ‘Trinity’ or Christmas.
    Froon and Stinkliar are bowls…
    Mia is a bowl…
    Vincent is a bowl…🙂

    ‘Political correctness’ is needed to help us to differentiate the men from the boys. The lackies from the leaders….
    Long live PC.

    Like

  23. ac December 20, 2015 at 8:41 AM #

    bush shite Understood ! but the best part it alienates yardboy whackadoodles like you

    Like

  24. David December 20, 2015 at 8:43 AM #

    To be categorized as dullard or JA is not being politically correct.

    It not politically correct to refer to Trump as a divisive JA.

    Like

  25. TheGazer December 20, 2015 at 8:43 AM #

    I love the Bushman and have found his whacker is able to separate the wheat from the chaff in many of the ongoing discussions.

    However, I feel Bushie is in error when it come to political correctness.
    I agree that there is some idiocy in many of the PC stances and actions, but some those who refuse to be PC spew bigoted words and ideas. I am sure Bushie is not that type of person, but I cannot ignore his bedfellows.
    (Ah.. bedfellows has noting to do with sexual orientation ;-))

    Like

  26. TheGazer December 20, 2015 at 8:47 AM #

    edited again…
    It is that kind of morning.

    I love the Bushman and have found his whacker is able to separate the wheat from the chaff in many of the ongoing discussions.

    However, I feel Bushie is in error when it come to political correctness.
    I agree that there is some idiocy in many of the PC stances and actions, but some of those who refuse to be PC are guilty of consistently spewing bigoted words and ideas. I am sure Bushie is not that type of person, but I cannot ignore his bedfellows.
    (Ah.. bedfellows has noting to do with sexual orientation :-))

    Like

  27. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 9:06 AM #

    @ TheGazer
    Your reasoning is taken, but SURELY you are not saying that as long as you are able to restrain a bigot’s speech by forcing him to conform to a code of PC you have managed to solve the problem?
    It is FAR BETTER to know what a fellow is TRULY thinking than to be misled by his adherence to some mild PC code…while IN HIS HEART he is the vilest of villains.

    NOTHING trumps the truth…. NOTHING.

    Like

  28. TheGazer December 20, 2015 at 9:07 AM #

    I suspect that we have different definitions or perceptions of what is PC.
    If a person demonstrates idiocy and you call him an idiot, then you are stating a fact. I don’t think you are being politically incorrect. But a next person’s opinion may differ.

    Like

  29. David December 20, 2015 at 9:14 AM #

    You are correct, the King is wearing no clothes come to mind.

    Like

  30. Vincent Haynes December 20, 2015 at 9:32 AM #

    @Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 8:33 AM #

    Chuckle………..Yuh doo bad last night pun here,now dis bright sunny morn,yuh callin muh name….wuh fuh?

    I do agree with you that PC would inhibit a homophobic,male chauvinist,religious bigot like you….lol.

    Like

  31. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2015 at 6:30 PM #

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/editorial-nra-afraid-article-1.2470920

    Exposing the truth.

    Like

  32. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2015 at 7:01 PM #

    http://ow.ly/W9ucP

    True beauty.

    Like

  33. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 7:18 PM #

    LOL @ Vincent
    I do agree with you that PC would inhibit a homophobic,male chauvinist,religious bigot like you….lol.
    ++++++++++++++++++
    …actually …it doesn’t…🙂

    Like

  34. charles knighton December 20, 2015 at 7:42 PM #

    The great fallacy at the heart of today’s political correctitude, as demonstrated clearly in several of the above responses to my post, is that in order to secure something vaguely termed “diversity” it insists on something definitely recognizable as conformity.

    Like

  35. ac December 20, 2015 at 8:09 PM #

    no one expects to instantaneously change society acceptance of the “norm’ actually the term diversity can mean different things to different cultures even though the fact being that the USA is a reservoir of diversity in cultural norms and languages. it therefore makes sense that a semblance of uniformity be served as a guided for those dwelling within the same society

    Like

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