Politically Correct to a Fault

Topics: Political correctness, Freedom of speech, Hate speech Pages: 11 (4084 words) Published: August 7, 2008
Politically Correct to a Fault
For the first time in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. There is an importance of using politically correct statements to address the diverse population. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic. (Lind) The First Amendment is not supporting the theory of free speech currently because everyone from authority figures, to the schoolyard population is challenged by what they say. Politically correct, or PC for short, is defined as: of, relating to, or supporting broad social, political, and education change, especially to redress historical injustices in matters such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. In most recent history, the phrase “not politically correct” was introduced in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Chisholm v. Georgia, in 1793. (Blazquez) The term defined a statement that literally defied the U.S. political status at the time, and was therefore incorrect.

Following the Cold War, the term described a challenge to social and political changes within the curriculum of American universities and high schools. (Beard) To deal with the changes, the American population decided to declare certain topics off-limits, and essentially ban the use of derogatory language. There are notions of political correctness that are concerned with aspects of language and power; however, such use is to do so with social groups who are in some way seen to be a minority and disadvantaged. This extreme protest to the progress of society and the education system is still felt by American citizens today. A survey conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE last year found that more than half of college students at both public and private institutions believe that a student club espousing traditional beliefs about women's roles should not be allowed on campus; this view is also shared by a quarter of administrators at public universities and nearly half the administrators at private ones. Other results from the survey confirm that when it comes to unpopular views on such issues as abortion or homosexuality, many college students and administrators hold freedom of expression in fairly low regard. One recent trend is for Christian student groups to be denied recognition if they "discriminate" by requiring their leadership to subscribe to the Christian faith. (Young) On campuses across the country, the censorship of speech and ideas in the name of sensitivity continues unabated. However, the concept of politically correct speech has become part of the curriculum, more specifically targeting the proper way to address audiences during public speaking. Censorship is a direct violation of the First Amendment and therefore affects every American’s basic rights laid out in the Constitution. The trend then is to inform the population about this commonly held theory of censorship and maintain unity between all citizens. Politically Correct

Whiles sounding as though it is a positive term, because of the word ‘correct’, the phrase ‘politically correct’ is largely used negatively as a criticism of language use. (Beard) When you claim something is politically correct, often you are making a political judgment on the attitudes shown by others. The true test to our American society came in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Political heads went on a crusade to point fingers on the terrorists, and started to claim that all Muslims were at fault.

In the times of great uncertainty, American’s join the witch hunt and target anyone who appears to look Middle-Eastern. However, political heads need to have a contingency plan for crisis situations where they need to administer some decorum. Representative John Cooksey, R-La., made outstanding remarks in the wake of the attack: “If I see someone comes in...
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