Political Correctness

I was just curious how people on this site feel about the wave of political correctness we’re living in. Do you guys think it’s a positive or a negative?

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I think political correctness is the enemy of humor. We are already seeing pushback against it.

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Not just humor. Just regular discussion, too.

How can anyone talk about anything with anybody if you have to worry if what you’re going to say is going to be offensive?

Sometimes that’s what discussion IS and how things CHANGE.

Drives. Me. Nuts.

I don’t mean blatant disrespect, either. I mean PC rhetoric that obscures the real issues.

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To play the devil’s advocate, isn’t making people not feel bad or whatever using politically incorrect words does more important than humor

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Yes, but forcing everyone to walk on eggshells breeds nothing but contempt.

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People can be offended by anything. Living your life not being able to open your mouth for fear of offending someone is no way to live.

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I always feel bad for folk who clearly have their heart in the right place and are talking about an issue with compassion and good insight but simply aren’t aware that a word is now nonPC and then suddenly the fact they said the word is all that counts.

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Negative. Boys scouts bringing in girls. All inclusive w gay and transgender scout leaders!!! Colleges teaching freedom of speech if its your philosophy. Shout out any dischord.
There’s is so much more…
God help us see Your truth and help us live Your way.
In Jesus name. Amen

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I once had a brief argument with a friend over something I had said, till I found out he thought ‘politically correct’ meant ‘respectful to women and members of minority groups’.

Sometimes we need to make sure we’re speaking the same language as the people we argue with.

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Seems to be a negative thing.

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Definitely negative.

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I mean, sure, I can see why someone wouldn’t like it when they live a life where the content of “political correctness” doesn’t affect their lives. I can’t comment anymore without specific acts of “political correctness” though I think it’s pretty aborrant to worry more about humor than being hurtful to someone. When it comes to this topic, and you hear someone encouraging (at least some kinds of) political correctness, I let Gregory Peck be my guide. He said:

“First of all… if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

I think this is really good advice.

The issue is that in 2018, you can never be sure of what’s offensive. It has nothing to do with learning to get along with people.

There is far less willingness to accept that not everyone has walked the same path as you or has the same experiences as you, and the best thing to do is to ask - and not to automatically fly off the handle because you’re offended (royal you, not you personally). But there’s far more of the latter and less of the former.

And it’s reached the point of ridiculous.

PC isn’t just humor. It’s people getting bent out of shape about pronouns and bathrooms and saying stuff like “God bless you” when someone sneezes…sometimes people need to be a bit charitable and realize not everyone has the same experiences or beliefs or thoughts, and stop trying to police the mind of someone else.

99% of the general public really doesn’t get out of bed in the morning and sit with their coffee trying to come up with ways to insult and traumatize everyone they meet. It’s just not how people live. But there’s an awful lot of folks out there who seem to think that IS how people live.

That’s where the eggshell walking comes in - because you can’t say boo to a goose in some situations.

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I don’t think that’s true… If one takes the time to educate themselves. And even if they don’t, we all find ourselves in a situation where our mouths get us in trouble. It’s really easy to say “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know that was offensive, I’ll stop saying it” even if you just stop around the person in question. What have we lost by saying that?

For instance, I teach high school. Quite a lot I hear the students use the phrase “retarded”. This is not acceptable. Because I often help out in the special ed departments and our special ed students are wonderful people who try their best with the cross they’ve been given. So, when a student goes “you’re retarded” I say “excuse me, that is a hurtful slur, and it’s not appropriate” and the student usually gives a sheepish look and says “Oh, sorry.” That’s all it takes.

As for people flying off the handle - I can see that. Especially if it’s an honest mistake. People fly off the handle all the time for a myriad of topics (you stole my parking space, you stepped on my shoes, you’re looking at my girl, etc), it’s not a problem that’s restricted to people being offended over “PC issues.”

I don’t think it’s so much that people think others are trying to be hurtful (though in the case of pronouns and bathrooms, some definitely are). It’s more they’re upset that people refuse to acknowledge that they’re causing pain, or, think they can inflict it with impunity. But it definitely comes in levels. Racist old Grandpa who still uses the phrase “the coloreds” is different from someone legitimately not knowing a word is hurtful. Or someone who has learned that a word is hurtful, but doesn’t care that it hurts people.

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You can’t walk around anticipating every single little thing that may or may not be said and every single way the other person may or may not take it.

I’m not talking about blatant racism or obvious remarks - not about “retarded” or anything of that nature. That’s not where this stuff gets out of hand. It’s where every single thing and action and thought and word in print gets over analyzed to the point that no one should say anything to anyone because someone is going to be offended.

No matter how innocuous the comment.

No one can live that way, and that’s why there’s going to be so much pushback. You can’t meter the response of others. Learn how to respond back and change the situation that way. Don’t immediately pop off and yell “I find that offensive”.

Eggshells.

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I would need examples of an innocuous comment that people get upset about, or have a scenario laid out.

I usually find that “PC issues” happen when someone is flippantly using and using a phrase or word or… something and then when confronted refuses to acknowledge anything is wrong - refuse to walk a mile in the other person’s skin. A simple “oh, I didn’t realize that was offensive, I’m sorry, I’ll be more careful” is all it takes. I’ve never seen a situation escalate beyond that when it’s done. Even if on the inside you’re thinking “That person is sensitive, this is dumb.” Seems pretty brotherly love-y to me.

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The whole Simpsons controversy around the character Apu is a good example of why people hate political correctness.

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Have you heard the arguments against Apu? It’s more than just “dat’s racist!!!” Watch the documentary. Walk a little bit in someone else’s skin. Or, just listen to their story.

I found it fascinating, as someone who really liked the character. But I didn’t grow up feeling the sting of racism. I didn’t know what it was like to not see positive examples of people like me on TV. Hearing these people talk about their experiences really was insightful. Hank Azaria has even said he would retire the character if the network goes that way. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of man who folds for expediency. In interviews he really seemed to have put a lot of thought into it.

And I think it’s pretty telling when someone essentially argues “no, my being able to laugh at a caricature of Indian-Americans is more important than someone hurting over the shallow and bigoted representation.”

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I clicked on that link and it wanted me to download an app. Forget about it.

Apu is a caricature in a show comprised of nothing but caricatures. They are funny not because people think they are true. They are funny because they are ridiculous.

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I thiiiiiink it’s on Netflix. Either way.

Right, that’s true. But. The vast majority of them aren’t racial caricatures. The humor of Mr. Burns isn’t racial. The humor of Barney Gumble isn’t racial. The humor of the Sea Captain isn’t racial. The humor of Homer isn’t racial. The humor of Apu very much is. And the “white” (well, yellow) caricatures on the Simpsons aren’t the only depictions of white people on the TV. Or one of a few depictions of them. That makes it more impactful. How many Indian-Americans or South-Asians can you think of on TV in the last… 30 years? How about an analogy.

If you have 1000 oranges and 5 are bad, you aren’t likely to think poorly about the lot of oranges.

If you have 10 pears, and 5 are bad, you probably won’t think highly of the lot of pears.

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