Monday, September 21, 2015

Political Correctness. Who cares?

When did being politically correct go out of fashion? The words politically correct have become the butt of jokes. In some circles, it’s considered an insult to accuse someone of being too politically correct. What’s up with that?
Perhaps the problem is using the word politically. I know many people bristle at anything relating to the word politics. But the thing is, most of the people who are leading the charge against political correctness these days are politicians. Some have made a name for themselves by deriding political correctness. “Let’s return to the good old days when we didn’t have to worry about being politically correct, when we were free to speak our mind”, they’ll say to the cheering crowds. I’m not cheering. I’m disgusted.
The intent of political correctness is filtering what we say so that others are honored and respected. And this is a bad thing, why? Because we don’t care about running roughshod over the feelings of others? We don’t care about how they prefer to be addressed? We don’t care about how words are often used as weapons to keep others in their place? In short, because we don’t care.
My recollection of the “good old days”, as a woman who grew up in the 50s, is that it was a time when old white men did all the talking. These days, women, people of color, the disabled, youth, immigrants, and others have found their voice. I suspect that those who are opposed to political correctness are really just hoping to disrespect, belittle and bully any voices that are not their own into silence.
When political correctness is disregarded, compassion is disregarded, as well. And perhaps just plain old human decency.
I may not always do a great job of being politically correct, but I’m trying. Not because I care about following the latest trend, but simply because I care.

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