Skip to comments.Why I choose to be politically correct
Posted on 01/20/2019 3:21:49 PM PST by ml/nj
In the past few years, anti-politically correct (PC) movements have grown in popularity and vigor. Groups of young college conservatives have criticized the liberal hold on universities and conservative activists have mocked censorship and sensitivity among young millennials. The sentiment that people get offended by anything these days seems to be growing among the larger population. Scandals of comedians getting booted from gigs for racially insensitive remarks or being fired from hosting an awards ceremony due to old homophobic tweets have sparked discussion over whether PC culture has gone too far. Even at Duke, students and professors complain about the PC culture on campus.
Politically correct means non-offensive and non-controversial. As racial minorities and niches of LGBT communities gain political clout, the amount of identity factors that we are exposed to increases. Some appreciate this diversity, while others see this diversity as more people they cant offend. The anti-PC culture of arguing that people get offended too easily shifts blame on an individuals surroundings, and away from the individual who was offensive or careless with their words. It makes political correctness seem like societys flaw, and that the individual holds no responsibility for their words and how their words make people feel.
I view political correctness as an opportunity to connect to a broader range of people. I do not see it as a restriction. My life experiences have not specifically taught me the struggles of other racial, sexual, and gender minorities. However, I do know respectful language, or PC terms, that members of certain communities ask outsiders to use. In an institution such as Duke, we are surrounded by an extremely diverse population. Through being politically correct, I can make my words accessible to and respectful of a larger amount of my peers at Duke, instead of solely people with similar life experiences to mine.
Being ignorant to different identities shuts out people from hearing your message, and it dwindles your audience. A few weeks ago, Kevin Hart was dropped from his hosting gig at the Oscars due to a resurfacing of tweets using the word f*g as well as a joke about him beating his son up with a dollhouse if he turned out to be gay. Many, including Ellen DeGeneres, defended the comedian, arguing that these were old jokes from years ago.
The issue was not that society had somehow decided to be offended by Kevin Hart. Rather, Kevin Hart decided in those years to exclude gay people from his audience by making them the target of those jokes. He lost that community as a potential fan base as a direct result of his choice to make homophobic comments.
When I was in middle school, I said plenty of offensive things. I pushed boundaries and ignored political correctness often. But then I grew up. I learned about the experiences of people different me. And I didnt become politically correct because society or this "liberal university" pressured me, but because I gained more empathy for certain communities. I dropped about 10-12 words from vocabulary, including words like retarded and ghetto. I have not lost any ability to communicate my ideas or thoughts from my political correctness. I still make mistakes, but with good intentions I never feel like I have to worry.
I understand that it can be difficult to use the correct vocabulary in an academic environment focused on social justice. I also believe that criticisms of political correctness are borne out of a nostalgia for past eras where racist, sexist and homophobic comment were more commonplace. It is important for us to take ownership of our words, and understand that our message reaches the audiences we choose for it.
I dont want people to monitor their language to fit within a societal rule book. Instead, I want us to understand the perspective of affinity groups and learn how our words impact their communities. This way, we can implement socially conscious language from a genuine desire to be more respectful, rather than an obligation to adhere to a set of rules.
Learning to be non-offensive takes patience. People will get angry at you for things you have been saying for your entire life. Instead of resorting to defensiveness, try to understand where their anger is coming from. For minority groups, this anger can come directly from life experiences. It takes a strong will to step back and realize that what you have said is truly hurtful, and it is easy to dismiss others anger as a societal flaw. But when you learn to re-evaluate your words in that way, you expand your own opportunities for knowledge.
Nathan Heffernan is a Trinity sophomore. His column runs on alternate Wednesdays.
I reproduced the entire column here but I just will focus on one sentence: "Politically correct means non-offensive and non-controversial," and the implication of the column title.
This is a student at Duke University which supposedly only accepts the brightest student.
When I read this I thought: What about me? I guess I don't count or even exist in Mr Heffernan's universe; because I'm quite sure he doesn't mind offending me. I'm also guessing he doesn't find it controversial for a male to use a bathroom or a changing room set aside for use by women. That I do is offensive.
That I support Donald Trump is offensive. That I believe in traditional marriage, or nearly anything traditional, is offensive offensive. That I believe that the Framers were incredibly enlightened MEN who established a great political framework that we, in this country, inherited offensive.
Obviously I could go on and on with the preceding paragraph.
I get the feeling Nathan’s “political correctness” will go right out the window if I showed up at his school with a MAGA hat.
Wow, This guy Nathan must be a real ladys man. How strong and brave he is! Barf.
He's about 20 years old and knows EVERYTHING!
We must listen to him!
You are spot on.
The word Duke is offensive to UNC fans..
Where does he say that what you do or think is offensive?
This is the same University where Nifong was prosecuted for Prosecutorial Misconduct for false charges of rape against the Duke Lacrosse Team and 84 faculty members signed a petition to banish the lacrosse team before any prosecution was done.
Every Democrat is a violent totalitarian thug.
Jeez, another cuck explaining that his Stockholm Syndrome is a good and wonderful thing. Hes a coward and nothing more.
Colleges no longer teach HOW to think, but WHAT to think.
In my opinion, if you have a newer degree, it isn’t worth spit unless it is a doctorate because only in a doctorate program is a student required to think and write.
IOW, Nathan is a pussy who won’t take a stand on any issue other than being a pussy.
A member of Generation Front-Hole.
...he obviously likes to type and read while conveying nothing.... guess he thinks “comfort zones” where people can go to hide and pet each other on the head after they couldn’t decide what kind if pizza they should order
is OK with this flake....in the past they were called asylums.
Just another virtue signaling lib.
Political correctness at its core is willful self delusion. Anyone who hires this man for any position is a fool.
Wrong. It is the antithesis of truth and comes straight from Satan himself. A political tool of bloodthirsty leftist totalitarians to denote which thoughts, actions and speech are 'acceptable' of the moment, subject to change when the agenda does.
“It is important for us to take ownership of our words” how This guy is a dunce.
I think I feel a song coming on.
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