Have anything politically incorrect to say?

By Elizabeth Held
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
| 6 comments

Back in November I bookmarked an article entitled “10 Random Politically Incorrect Thoughts,” thinking I would blog about it. I promptly forgot about it until my friend emailed me a link to a documentary on youtube called Indoctrinate U.

Indoctrinate U seeks to explore and denounce what the filmmaker views as obsessive and excessive liberalism and political correctness on college campuses. In the interest of full disclosure, I only watched the first half hour of the documentary.

So I won’t evaluate his claims on liberalism and political correctness, today. Maybe, some other time.
I do want to talk about this idea of being “politically correct.” Princeton’s word-net defines political correctness as “avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”

In theory, being politically correct is supposed to help us all come together as one group of people, signing "Kumbaya" in a peace circle.

Nothing holds us back from achieving this than political correctness. We can never have a real conversation about race, class, gender, or whatever else, if we’re all walking on eggshells all the time, scared of offending someone or being labeled a bigot.

I’m not calling for hatred or intolerance. I’m calling for the opposite. But we can only get to that ideal if we start actually talking about things instead of talking around them.

Progress only comes by addressing reality head-on and taking risks. So try it. Say something politically incorrect. If you’re really brave, leave a politically incorrect comment and see what responses you get.

 

comments

March 17, 2009
10:52 a.m.

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newgrant18 says...

I most strongly disagree. You only have to be once called n***** or s***** or any other letter followed by ***** to realize what discrimination means. How about "Hoity-Toity Girls That Go To Exclusive Eastern Colleges Expecting To Become Rich High-Society Wives"?

March 17, 2009
3:24 p.m.

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Johnnyboy says...

Your call for more open discussion among people of disparate views is not inconsistent with Newgrant's antipathy to name calling.
Actually, his overreaction to your post is a self-parody of the people to whom Indoctrinate U is directed.

March 17, 2009
3:27 p.m.

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"In theory, being politically correct is supposed to help us all come together as one group of people, signing "Kumbaya" in a peace circle."

I disagree with your assessment. I like the idea of political correctness. It is very similar to the French language, which has both a formal and informal way of addressing certain people/groups. When speaking to family or friends I like having the option to be informal (politically incorrect.) Yet when I am addressing a stranger, or someone that I respect (professor, boss, etc.) I have the option to be more formal. It makes language and communication a little more interesting to me. And in a way, it says a lot about the person speaking.

Rx.

March 17, 2009
8:43 p.m.

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eheld says...

I think I may have over simplified this a bit. The Doctor is right, there is a time and a place for everything. And in a a formal group, political correctness is a good thing.

Newgrant18, I've been called more than one imprintable word to my face and I'm sure countless others behind my back. Yes, it stings. But I'm not calling for hate speech, at all.

When I was writing about this I was thinking about Bill Cosby who's been called "Uncle Tom" for speaking out against the high rate of unwed mothers in the African-American community. Because what he said isn't PC people feel it's ok to disregard it. When in actuality, he's attempting to spark an important conversation.

I think I'll write another post clarifying this. I hope you keep reading even if I am a "Hoity-Toity Girl That Goes To Exclusive Eastern Colleges Expecting To Become Rich High-Society Wife."

March 18, 2009
10:09 a.m.

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newgrant18 says...

But wouldn't it be better if people THOUGHT in a politically correct manner ALL THE TIME? Isn't your thesis that it's proper for someone to have a politically correct public opinion while at the same time having a politically incorrect private opinion just a rather poor rationalization for HYPOCRISY?

And please don't think I'm going away, Elizabeth. Your blog gives me more intellectual stimulation than 99% of the rest of my internet reading. Hooray for the Gazette giving us your forum!

March 18, 2009
1:40 p.m.

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isme says...

My mom despised the appellation "senior." In my youth I felt the same way about "child." What we shared (without overt recognition) was the demeaning and presumptuous use of a neologism for "impaired by age."

 

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