Culture, Politics

Political Correctness: If you’re for it, then go all in.

Actually, you might want to jump off that bandwagon.

Growing up I never heard of the term “political correctness” or “PC.” I was told if you don’t want to offend someone just don’t say anything mean, racist, or swear. It wasn’t until I started college I was joking around with other peers and told what I said is considered “politically incorrect and offensive.” It was explained to me that anything considered racist or offensive is deemed as politically incorrect. When I first heard that I thought, “We were only joking around and there was no tone of animosity. What’s the harm?” I figured it was just people being far to sensitive.

Recently, I decided to do more research about the very concept of it.  Using the powers of the internet it led me through different articles, definitions, and of an episode of South Park.

The term “political correctness” can be summed up by the definition below.

Political Correctness, noun: the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

From what I’m understanding PC is much more strict by definition. It doesn’t simply address racist or offensive terms, but anything that excludes or marginalizes a group of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated. Anything could be taken as politically incorrect.

There are minorities and individuals that are disadvantaged or discriminated for whatever reason. From Native Americans during the early days of the US to the Japanese during WWII to African Americans being stopped and frisked (to be honest, African American isn’t considered correct anymore because there are some black people from Haiti, Cuba, etc.). As a developed, first world nation with a melting pot-full of backgrounds as its residents we should be more understanding of each other.

Anything mean and offensive being said or written could hurt people. Swear words, words used in bullying, or anything that puts down people can be misinterpreted to marginalize someone or even a group. Thus, it can be argued as politically incorrect. We should go all in on this PC stuff and make sure everyone isn’t offended. We should implement more censorship on media and the internet to avoid everything offensive. We need to teach our kids that words hurt.

Now that I’m older and (hopefully) more mature, I understand the importance of being PC, but it doesn’t mean I agree with it. You might be thinking, I’m old fashioned and a bigot. However, there are some things that I would to point out about the irony of political correctness.

Example 1: Gender

Like in the South Park episode the term “spokesman” can be considered incorrect. Apparently, the term “spokesperson” should have been used. If you really think about it, any term that may use the word man is politically incorrect. Terms like “spokesman,” “postman,” “swordsman,” or even in the field science the term “man” used to describe evolution is in reality marginalizing women. Since the term “man” is, by definition, excluding women then shouldn’t such terms be considered offensive? Shouldn’t these words not be allowed in professional settings, not used on TV, and other media outlets?

Example 2: Religion

Even the institution of religion terms such as “Merry Christmas” and the words in the Pledge of Allegiance are also considered incorrect. These terms actually exclude all of these legally recognized religions: Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists, Pagans, Satanists, Pastafarian, Scientologists, Atheists, and Agnostics. Thus, shouldn’t radio stations and businesses be more conscious about what they play on their Christm–I mean Holiday playlists? Even the NIV Bible (New International Version) has conformed to these social standards.¬† Also, shouldn’t Christmas not be a nationally recognized holiday? Shouldn’t other religious holidays be nationally recognized too? (More days off? No argument from me.)

Prayer is defined as “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” Can the common phrases like “our thoughts and prayers go out to you” or #prayforparis¬† be considered offensive, because of how the term is used? Atheists who use these phrases don’t believe in a god. Even if they are “praying,” then who or what are they praying to? That in itself contradicts its own belief. Thus, shouldn’t the very word “prayer” be exclusively for religious people or at the very least be used correctly?

3 Lessons from Starbucks' Red Cup 'Controversy'

Example 3: Race/Ethnicity: The holidays are rolling around and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s a holiday to be thankful for what you have before buying more products on Black Friday (my favorite holiday). Easy enough to understand and it doesn’t offend anyone! But, it can be offensive. Like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving is based on a time period in US history where pilgrims, with the help of Natives, had a good harvest and was one of the precursor events to settlers to rape and pillage the land from the Natives. Shouldn’t holidays like Thanksgiving and Columbus Day not be nationally recognized either?

The term blacks and white is PC. I can go out on the street and call a black ma…person black and a white person white. But, yellow for Asians is considered offensive. The proper way to call someone from Asia is called “Asian.” The term “Asian” would encompass Indians, Taiwanese, Japanese, Chinese, Hmong, Filipinos, and etc. However, here’s another problem. There are some Filipinos that would be offended if you called them Asian. They prefer the term Pacific Islander, because the country of Philippine is not connected to Asia and reside on the Pacific Ocean. This would mean that New Zealand, Japan, and Taiwan are considered Pacific Islanders. But there’s another problem with that. “Pacific Islander” actually refers to people of Polynesian decent. On top of all this, keep in mind that Russians are not Asians…or are they? So what is the PC term to describe all these nationalities? Should we even have an overarching term to categorize Asians? Can we use the word “Oriental” now or is that still considered too offensive? Am I being PC when I say Asians? Am I a Pacific Islander because I was born in Taiwan? WHO AM I!?

By the way, we might want to change Captain America’s name.

Philosoraptor - if his name is captain america does that mean he also represents canda, mexico, and south america?

Now, you might be thinking, “Silly blogger, of course there’s no way to be perfect about this.” But I implore you to take a step back and think, Do we really need to introduce another classification to determine what words are offensive or not? Everyone has their ideologies and their perspectives. National pride, religious pride, whatever may be, all these groups of people can come in and say something that is PC is actually politically incorrect to them. We should be weary of offending others, but putting on a label like “PC” is shooting yourself in the foot. We may end up becoming like South Park’s…PC Bro.

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1 thought on “Political Correctness: If you’re for it, then go all in.”

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