People of the world, we are living in dark times. I’m not talking about an economic crisis, or global warming. I’m talking about the continued rise of political correctness. What is it? A dictionary definition defines political correctness as “the avoidance of expressions or actions that might be perceived as insulting to people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against”. Nobody uses that definition though. The more popular definition is “the censorship of free speech based on a perceived fear of offending certain groups of people”. In a way, the latter is the truest of meanings. I want to tell you that it’s not only hypocritical, but also dangerous to any free society. To do so, I have divided this post into three sections.
1. Political correctness and racism
On the issue of racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination, we as a society are encouraged to treat everyone equally, regardless of who they are, and a lot of the time we do. That is where political correctness is a problem. Political correctness is actually very hypocritical in this regard, because just like hate crime laws, they encourage the idea that certain groups should be treated differently. If we curtail our right to free speech just because someone of a different gender, race, or sexual orientation could get offended, then we’re actually letting the issue of discrimination dominate us. Do we want that? I say, absolutely not! If we want to be free, we can’t have something as hypocritical as political correctness.
2. Political correctness and religion
In 2005, the animated comedy series South Park aired the episode “Trapped in the Closet”, a vicious satirical attack on the Church of Happy-ology (I’d use their real name, but I hear they like to sue people for everything they’ve got, nothing), which they believed was nothing more than a diabolical cult. They also used it to mock Tom Cruise. Naturally, the episode was pulled by Viacom, who wanted Tom Cruise to keep his promotional obligations for Mission Impossible III, which was released in the middle of 2006. What this means is that any religion can complain about being offended, and exploit sensitivities towards religion. Say an episode of any TV show was pulled because it offended, for example, Muslims. If that happened, other religious groups can demand that other episodes be pulled, and so on and so on until the show’s eventual cancellation. This is the exact same issue raised in the section before, political correctness is also hypcocritical with regards to respecting people’s religious beliefs.
3. Political correctness and terrorism
This one’s another South Park example. In 2010, two episodes aired, “200” and “201”, which, as the title implies, are the 200th and 201st episodes in all of South Park. They were pulled because Comedy Central censored an awful lot of them. Why? A radical Islamic website known as Revolution Muslim posted a warning that the South Park creators risked “getting murdered” for airing the episode. I’m certain it’s just an empty threat that the media took way out of proportion, especially since the man who posted it said himself that it was a “call to protest”, rather than a violent threat. Guess what happened after they were pulled? The “terrorists” won. And I put that word in quote marks because those weren’t terrorists. They were just radical nutjobs posing as terrorist wannabes, and yet they struck a critical blow to the values of our society. And after that victory, more and more of them will undoubtedly try to screw up the free world. This is the reason we shouldn’t cave in to political correctness, because if we do, we’re letting the extremists win. If we oppose extremism in our society, then we must oppose political correctness. Besides, this is based only on some radical, and thus false, interpretations of the Koran.
My point remains, if we support censorship based on fear and paranoia, then we are not a free society. If we pride ourselves on equality and freedom, then we must abandon the notion of political correctness, because if we do so, then I think we’ll be more likely to embrace equality for all. Political correctness is actually an antithesis to equality as well as freedom because, much like hate crime laws, it still views certain groups of people as needing special treatment, whereas in equality everyone would be treated the same way.