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Bring an End to Political Correctness, Please

Here in the United States, we suffer from a long history of oppression, discrimination, and bigotry that stems out of hatred towards groups of different races, sexualities, genders, cultures, ect. To combat this intolerant history, members of society have gone on to campaign for more politically correct language. Political correctness is a form of speech utilized to avoid insulting other groups of people. While there are many benefits to political correctness, I argue that its unintended consequences are far more dangerous to society than what we gain.

Political correctness puts a chilling effect on speech that is considered hateful. While many may not see the issue with this, some of the speech that it suppresses may actually be helpful in terms of progressing towards absolute equality. Prior to the massive spread of political correctness, recognizing those who hold hateful beliefs was simpler; they preached hateful rhetoric to the public. They used keywords that indicated from where their belief system stemmed. Now, these same people who hold these same views hide behind political correctness, allowing them to rise up in politics or in private sector positions. The chilling effect of silencing their hateful views allows for them to hold positions of power and act in a way that negatively impacts members of the groups that they oppose.

If we had never asserted the chilling effect on speech, these people with hateful viewpoints may have never even been candidates for positions of power. The people who support our national move towards absolute equality would have never elected these people. They would refuse to participate in business transactions with a company if it were publicly known that the CEO only has hate in her heart. They would have the advantage of combatting hateful rhetoric through their vote and their dollar.

If we had never forced political correctness onto our country, perhaps we could find out who these people are, why they hold such radical beliefs, and take action towards educating them about absolute equality. There are without a doubt a handful or eight individuals serving and protecting the American people who embrace ideologies that stem from bigotry. These wordsmiths are artists who paint pictures with the language that they choose to use. We, as a people, would never be able to recognize them as racists, because people know better than to risk the consequences of unpopular speech and thus remain silent. If we knew who these people were, we could provide insight as to why their point of views are clouded with error.

Instead, people have the advantage of hiding behind their words today. In fact, people are almost required by unspoken public norm to hide their uneducated opinions behind nicely wrapped words. If you say what you mean, like when President Trump referred to the countries that immigrants are fleeing from as “shithole countries,” the public attacks you from every angle. People called for Trump’s impeachment through social media outlets because of the way he spoke about these countries behind closed doors. Had he spoken more politically correct and referred to them as “impoverished nations,” the media backlash would have never existed.

The media backlash would have never existed; think about that for a moment. Had he made the same point that he made about “impoverished nations” that he did about “shithole countries,” nobody would have become so outraged. Same point, different reaction. Should he have referred to these countries as “shithole countries?” Absolutely not. He is the President of the United States and should be held to a higher standard when speaking on international conflicts. It certainly would have been more diplomatic of him to refer to these countries as “impoverished nations” or “developing countries. However, he chose the words that he used and received the inevitable outcry for his impeachment.

Political correctness no longer only extends to politicians and government officials. People in all aspects of celebrity risk losing everything every time they open their mouths. Entertainment outlets such music and comedy are at the forefront of scrutiny in regards to being politically incorrect. These outlets have been traditionally used and are currently utilized today for the purpose of opening the floor for discussion about topics that we are too paranoid to discuss.

Hip hop artists such as Joyner Lucas and comedians like Dave Chappelle have used their platforms to discuss issues and topics that we, as a people, are afraid to address. This does not occur without consequence, however. Dave Chappelle currently enjoys a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes (with a 99% audience review score) and Joyner Lucas’s career is constantly on edge due to his lyrical content and his blunt use of imagery in his music videos, regardless of the massive amount of talent he has.

Political correctness is dangerous. It allows for unintelligent people to hide behind the beauty of the English language while continuing to campaign on a discriminative platform. Political correctness does nothing to solve the issues of oppression that we face in this country. Ending the use of certain words or phrases does not make racism go away; it just makes it less evident and more difficult to recognize. If we want to take actual steps towards absolute equality, we must rid ourselves from the poison that is political correctness and start engaging in honest, necessary discussions.

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