Political correctness is inhibiting our sense of security in the fact we have the right of free speech. After reading the following, and viewing the videos, your thoughts are welcome.
American society seems to have reached an age of hyper-sensitivity and the source appears to be exactly where open discussion of ideas is supposed to thrive: college campuses. Instead of being the laboratories of open debate, we now have an environment where words, phrases, and patriotic symbols are called out for being offensive and even being banned.
Examples crisscross the nation:
Another example ‘America is the land of opportunity’ BANNED at University of California. One of the most troubling elements to this movement is that it’s championed by faculty members on many campuses, Professors: US flag symbolizes racism, should not be displayed on campus.
And now the apology is the accepted antidote.
Apologies today are so common and obligatory they lack any veracity or conviction. In short, they are worthless. And, in many cases, they simply aren’t necessary. The “I’m sorry” antidote, in short, has become as ineffective as some antibiotics are against bacterial infections.
If someone’s been offended, that’s usually their problem. They have ultimate control over their feelings; they just prefer to be victims and to make others responsible for their “plight.”
This PC epidemic is metastasizing throughout the body politick.
It’s infected just about everything at American colleges and universities, including entertainment.
*Comedian Chris Rock says he avoids college audiences now because of the hyper-sensitivity to his brand of humor.
*Indeed, during an interview with Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio, Jerry Seinfeld spoke about the problems with all those young being too politically correct. “I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so PC.’ I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that,” Seinfeld said. “But everyone else is kind of, with their calculating—is this the exact right mix? I think that’s—to me it’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC-nonsense.”
And our news, too, has become a victim to cleansing by the PC movement. The Economist has addressed this trend, appropriately:
“Some people believe the possibility of giving offence, causing embarrassment, lowering self-esteem, reinforcing stereotypes, perpetuating prejudice, victimising, marginalising or discriminating to be more important than stating the truth, never mind the chance of doing so with any verve or panache. They are wrong. Do not bowdlerise your own prose. You may be neither Galileo nor Salman Rushdie, but you too may sometimes be right to cause offence. Your first duty is to the truth.”
Even logic, or deductive reasoning in news reporting and analysis is being stalked. For instance, the Detroit TV anchor who articulated a logical conclusion as a reporter ended a live on-scene report about indications ISIS is recruiting in the United States:
As a former news director, I have no problem with the anchor’s adlib. It was logical without being accusatory. She probably said exactly what many of her viewers were thinking. The local Muslim community complained. And, the firestorm of anger on Facebook and other social media sites from people so sensitized to PC was “over the top,” as they say. She was forced to apologize on the next evening’s newscast. Ironically, apologies often require repeating the original “sin.”
And, as if they don’t have enough to do with finite resources, the police now are actively cracking down on speech, literally, in Virginia: Virginia Just Banned Using ‘Cuss Words’ In Public
Political correctness has gone global, including invoking itself in U.S. facilities beyond our shores. Case in point: U.S. Embassy Removes July 4th Celebration Out of Respect for ISLAM
Steven Pinker is a Canadian-born American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He offers one of the best explanations of how the environment of free speech on the college campus is being marginalized by political correctness.
Even the advertising world is not immune. Here’s a TV commercial that’s been accused of being racist:
Today, the accusation of being a racist, or simply claiming racism, has become so over-used, it’s lost any value. Plus, the majority of the time it’s just plain wrong, by definition.
Instead of changing stations or channels if a program bothers someone, or either calmly debating, or just not associating with anyone who they can’t agree with, the reflex today is to silence people. Or to remove symbols that “just might” offend someone one.
A backlash of honest, open, free speech is the true antidote we need.