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Artwork by Yena Kim

Patriot Debate: Political correctness

May 13, 2016

The Patriot debates whether political correctness is important for maintaining respect or dampens free speech.

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Start treating people with more respect

The great thing about emotions is that they are always rational and firmly based on facts and careful considerations. Everyone is in complete control of their own emotions and only weak people lose control of them.

So back to the real world, it’s understandable why homosexuals get angry when people call bad stuff gay, or how Native Americans don’t like the term “redskin” or when decent people dislike Donald Trump calling opponents fat, ugly, disgusting, gross… Wait where was I?

Oh yeah, I’ve never understood the weird entitlement that some people feel to knowingly say disrespectful or blatantly crude comments. Donald Trump will say something ludicrously racist or even just crude and then people applaud him for not being politically correct.

He isn’t some inspirational revolutionary. He’s just a jerk.

The hatred of political correctness is so entrenched that even comments which everyone agrees are insanely hateful or ignorant get applauded simply because “they aren’t politically correct.” Political correctness is not fascist control over free speech, and you are not brave or inspirational for knowingly disrespecting someone or a group of people.

Political correctness is just a term for the guidelines of acceptable public speech and actions. Everyone is well within their right to say hateful things, but getting angry at those who condemn such speech is laughable.

The perfect example is the insane ire that some Christians feel towards the saying “Happy Holidays.” For some reason, people feel that saying Happy Holidays as opposed to Merry Christmas is a bizarre secular, liberal plot to discredit Christmas and slowly destroy Christianity.

It’s just a more inclusive saying to use if you are not sure whether the person you are speaking to is Christian or not, and if they are, no one is restricting you from saying Merry Christmas. As in all of the situations when political correctness is being attacked, simply consider being the party who could be offended by whatever is being said. Imagine being a Jew and being told Merry Christmas. It’s not that it would be some horrible offense or even remotely hurtful, but there is no reason not to try and be inclusive, especially around the holidays.

That is the crux of every political correctness argument. If you know that what you are going to say is offensive and there is an obvious way to avoid offending someone, why would you intentionally be disrespectful? Political correctness opponents are fond of saying “I’m not politically correct so get over it.”

Guess what? You don’t get to be hateful without causing anger, so get over it.

The only true logic to being worried about the rise of political correctness is that it could make public figures squeamish about addressing real issues. When politicians are scared of speaking about hard topics, they may avoid them in favor of feel-good issues.

Although it could be a problem, the point of political correctness is that it creates an inclusive society. Politicians who are genuinely trying to solve problems in a respectful manner should have little to fear from a movement which is in and of itself dealing with problems.

Respect and inclusivity are the cornerstones of productive dialogue on which democratic societies are built. Without effective communication, gridlock and partisanship shut down any progress which can be made. Emotions tangle dialogue and create divides, while political correctness allows logical solutions to be debated and agreed upon.
Will Bolton is the Perspectives Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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    Political correctness needs to be reduced

    If you look up the term political correctness on Google Images, there is a subcategory called “gone too far.” A hilarious but precise definition of the term political correctness says, “A term used for whiney, overly-sensitive sissies who need everything sugar-coated for them.”

    As harsh as that definition is, I find it to be quite true. Our society is so fragile nowadays, whether it’s from drama on Twitter or someone who said your shoes looked ugly. Everything is taken way over the top but a word of advice: take it with a grain of salt.

    The same idea goes with political correctness. The term political correctness has been around for years but wasn’t prominent in society until the 1970s. Hub Pages, a website focused on political and social issues, states, “Under the guise of political correctness, we have been instructed to change our ideas and behavior toward various groups of people.”

    Political correctness was started as liberal backlash against White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males’ dominance in society. It is now 2016, and we still walk around like white males are about to take over, which is completely false. It’s not just races that are categorized under the political correctness spectrum, it’s everyone.

    According to Hub Pages, The politically correct term for people of the LGBT community is “alternative lifestyle,”the correct term for Christmas and New Years is “holidays,” poor people are “financially inept,” black people  are “Afro-Americans.” I mean seriously, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, “Although a slim majority of those with a preference want retailers to say “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings,” we found that preference depends on your level of tension with the culture you live.”

    Just call it like you see it, no need to get so technical to the point where you can’t even say Christmas anymore just to please a few grinches during the winter.

    By imposing these “politically correct” terms on people, you end up ostracizing them as well. You no longer recognize people by their personalities but instead, you associate them with the word. I have never heard a gay person refer to themselves as having an “alternative lifestyle.” Yes, their lifestyle is different, but it has nothing to do with their overall personality.

    A survey conducted by Debate.org, a website focused on opinions, politics and debates, found that 91% of people think that society has become too politically correct. People who took the survey were asked to leave a comment on why they feel society is either too politically correct or not politically correct. All of the responses were the same, that people are entitled to any opinion whether it’s wrong or not. You’re always going to have a few people go completely nuts over what you say.

    Stop going nuts. What you say, whether it’s correct or not, is going to offend someone regardless. Just respond to questions or comments to the best of your ability, and the few people who get offended are going to have to deal with it. This is America. We have a right to say what we’d like within reason.

    Now without a doubt, I believe that all humans deserve respect. With that being said, the proper term for their nationality, sexual orientation, religious preferences etc. should be used. Don’t say just anything you want to people because then you come across as ignorant

    It only starts to become a problem when information can’t be translated to the general public because then our freedom of speech is revoked – the essential right of being a human in America.

    Have a voice, speak out but don’t be stupid about it. If something you say offends half the nation but still catches people’s attention and introduces them to severe problems, I think that is acceptable. Chances are you were thinking what half the world was thinking but only you had the guts to say anything. Everyone else was too worried about starting World War III.

    Azanae Barrow is a Community Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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