The original definition of political correctness was something of good intent. The basic idea was to not treat anyone differently just because of the color of the skin or any other superficial features and to help those who are disadvantaged in some way. Ever since the early nineties, however, things have gotten extremely out of hand. What began as a positive way to live by has since been distorted by the passage of time. Political correctness has now been taken to ridiculous extremes which instead of helping, has pushed the nation back greatly. Political correctness in the time of today now seeks to value feelings more than evidence and logic, to give special treatment to people who are “victimized, and to control the thinking and feeling of the majority. What once seemed like common sense is now an ideology demanding the participation of everyone and anyone who resists is ripped to shreds. However, if people shift back to the original line of thinking we once had, the people who live in this world can mature and grow and not shelter themselves in the distorted idea of something that was once admirable. The political correctness movement we know today brings plenty of possible negative repercussions which we must address in order to become better than people currrently are now.
One of the foremost negative aspects of the political correctness movement is the act of making an attempt to be politically correct features a tendency to distract from the initial meaning of the communications. When individuals are always making an attempt to settle on words or phrases fastidiously, people will notice the end result to be problematic at best as a result of this. “It has devolved into a tyranny of the most offended person in the room” (Karlson). PC complaints now range from the sublime to the ridiculous, and are stifling the honest assessment, and debate, of issues in our lives. The words chosen in professional writing or oral displays could instead be found foolish, as a result of the self censorship taking place. Again, the general public assumes a deaf person is deaf. If one refers to a deaf person as “auditorily challenged” then one might discover the audience laughing at the selection of words instead of hearing the intended message. In turn, the individual goes extremely out of the way to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings, which is obvious to anyone witnessing the person’s work. Granted, the effect could avoid offense however another effect may additionally yield laughter. If laughter was not the supposed results of one’s actions then the actions would be deemed a failure. The distortion of intent is the common effect of going to ridiculous extremes in order to be politically correct at the expense of using “good” language. “America has been, and remains, the refuge for brilliant, creative, ambitious, and independent thinkers of other lands. Their dreams can only be accommodated in the land of the free and the home of the brave.” (Adams). The main focus ought to be on the writing of the individual, not on the individuals affected by the writing.
The limitations or “speech codes” schools put on the speech of individuals inhabiting it is more of a problem than “offensive” speech ever was. Speech codes are created due to the “speech police” believing the emotions of those residing in the school are more important than the capacity to learn. The focus on emotions rather than knowledge is a problem for numerous reasons. The obvious one being that sheltering students from the harshness of reality creates a narrow-minded and unrealistic mindset hurting them rather than helping them later on in life. “Unfortunately, the “closing of the American mind” is an educational fad largely imposed by those who claim to embrace human diversity but who react with horror upon encountering an actual diversity of ideas.” (Johanson). A result of the narrow-mindedness created is the schools end up suiting only the preferences of the students, rather than showing everything available.
“For instance, many schools only invite outside speakers who meet the ideological terms and conditions set forth by their students. At times, this approach includes declining to welcome certain speakers on campus altogether. The consequence is the creation of restrictions around speech not just from outsiders but from those within the school community whose mode of expression might be viewed as uncivil or obnoxious.” (Johanson).
Eliminating other methods to disperse knowledge in the youth inhabiting the schools only ends up hurting the students, creating close-mindedness when the opposite effect should be strived for.
The intended purpose of comedy was to make dark days less dark and to shed light on the main and current issues of our world and the way we live in it. Functioning as a more comfortable setting for discussing the problems most of society does not want to talk about. ”Most humor has a basis in fact. That is what makes it relatable to people and therefore funny. The best stand-up comedians and humorists take everyday situations that most in their audience have experienced and weave in some dynamic storytelling and a few exaggerated outcomes.” (Hoffman). The problem with political correctness is making facing these realities much harder, and as a result, more difficult to enjoy humor in life. This is because of members of the political correctness movement attempting to govern the way people speak and act as if there is only one appropriate way to do so when in reality there is so much more to think about.
“It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.” (Carlin).
People in the political correctness movement think restricting humor will somehow make people less racist and intolerant. By joking about sensitive topics people are acknowledging these things are real while also acknowledging people do not need to be held down by the hurt or pain brought about from these serious events or words.
The aim of the political correctness movement is to destroy the very thing making people unique, our identity. The movement seeks to strip whatever views and thoughts people have that go against the mold and instead create a hivemind devoid of free-thought, something able to be bent and molded into whatever deemed appropriate, rather than what the people contained within think.
“Political correctness seeks to eliminate individualism, identity and confidence; three characteristics indispensable to American greatness. If you want to see the end result, look no further than Europe. The intellectual tyranny, self-loathing and choking conformity of this ideology has feminized and weakened a once great continent which now aspires to mediocrity.” (Adams).
The concept of individuality to the political correctness movement is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is instead what people are. Only caring about qualities such as race and societal standing rather than judging a person through character. The movement takes but a single glance at a person and thinks everything is known about that individual just because of the color of skin or what gender a person identifies as. “Individuals are submerged within and reduced to social categories defined and imposed by ideologists dreaming their own utopian dreams of a socially engineered world reflecting their notion of a new race- and ethnic-conscious society.” (Ebeling). The political correctness movement treats people as nothing but a label to further an agenda.
Here is the essential problem that lies within the very core of political correctness. The movement does not change what people think, the only thing changing is what can be said.“The concept of political correctness is based on the belief that speech or behavior that is offensive to various groups’ sensibilities should be eliminated, by means of regulations or penalties if necessary.” (Reynolds). When the movement limits what people can say, people internalize what is thought. When internalizing what cannot be said, resentment is formed. When resentment has been created the intensity of the feelings begin to fester and grow and the person starts to feel even stronger about the issue. “Political Correctness doesn’t change us, it shuts us up.” (Beck). Political correctness exacerbates the very feelings it intends to quell. One might say speech causes harm, so regulation is in order. There are plenty of cases where the movement can arguably tie speech to harm but violence is never direct. Someone has to hear the speech, someone has to understand the speech, and then react in a harmful way. The best response to bad speech is good speech, which furthers a conversation that needs to happen, to make real progress as a society. Making specific words and ideas taboo just impedes the conversation, it is counterproductive.
The political correctness movement has gone full circle with racism. Demonizing white people just because of the color of skin and the actions of ancestors, rather than judging the individual for actions or choices. The movement also constantly advocates the celebration of cultures of other races but a white person can not even mention race without being accused of possessing “white privilege”. People are putting down a race to raise up a different race, a racist action. “This not only dehumanizes individuals who by accident of birth happen to be the descendants of Caucasian parents, but this does it no less to those who may be black or Hispanic. You are a “victim” as a “person of color.” (Ebeling). The race-shaming attitude displayed by the movement also harms the races the movement is trying to empower. Putting other races in the place of a victim only makes escaping that role harder for people to escape and become what is aspired of themselves. The people cast in the role will find it impossible to break free of the victim label if the movement succeeds. “Rather than advancing harmony and understanding, as intended, political correctness has fostered hatred and violence, as people blame each other for their misery and groups fight each other for superior claims to victimhood.” (Kalman). The quality and strengths of people are not characterized by skin color, to say so is simply incorrect and racist.
The problem with PC culture is many of the people get offended by what is said because these people have never had anyone challenge them mentally. Often many are used to living in an echo chamber, constantly stroking their egos and does not go outside of what is comfortable with their brains when it comes to thought processing. “And while I do recognize the enormous improvement humanity has had in this regard, I believe we have now developed an unhealthy obsession with sensitivity. This obsession has made our skins too soft and has allowed our feelings and emotions bleed out of ourselves too easily.” (Navarro) The act of constantly living in these “safe spaces” just gives people an inaccurate perception of life, giving them a life where as soon as something negative happens it can be erased by pretending it does not exist. This ideal life does not exist, what is the point in pretending, this only hurts the people who believe in this dream. “PC is rooted in weakness. It’s weakness because it’s a hypersensitivity that creates more division than it does bring people together.” (Howse). To grow as people, it is instrumental to accept things making us uncomfortable and somehow live alongside theuncomfortability of it. Looking for shortcuts or completely ignoring what is not liked only stunts the growth of people.
The political correctness movement has certainly left an impact on the world of today, the impact is less than good though. The movement, in its attempt to be serious, only creates confusion and foolishness with every term and message distorted. When that does not work the goal will then be to eliminate anything going against their agenda by dismissing counterproductive thinking as hate speech or “white privilege”. Leading to the creation of narrow mindsets and unrealistic expectations which will never be met, and should not be met as this line of thinking only dumbs down people and takes ahold of individuality, forcing people to conform if desiring any chance to survive in a society of victims. Even then there is no stopping, the social justice warriors then intend to take away and restrict methods to cope with the negative effects such as comedy or anything else deemed as offensive. Then seeking to dehumanize individuals by judging through race, thinking everything is known about that person just because of the color of the person’s skin. Disagreeing with most of these members will only lead to a series of name calling and a damaged ego requiring calming down in a “safe space” until it is possible to face the real world again. The world the political correctness movement seeks to create is a world that is only a lie, a lie created to provide shelter against the harsh realities of the world. Instead of accepting the world and growing as people the movement seeks to pollute the world with falsehoods and hypocrisies until the fictional safe haven that it can never be, becomes real.