Just a quick and easy question for you heathens this morning:
Do you believe that this new age of being "politically correct" is helping us? Is it making us think harder about ways we may inadvertently hurt those around us?
Or is it turning us into a bunch of people who are becoming too sensitive? Just curious.
These stories of "what's wrong with PC" sound to me more like pet peeves than something that's actually hurting us (society). Even @Davis's story about some policy change at a university because of student action--and I don't even remember what that was about--seem to me like trivial complaints.
The Deaf community capitalizes their identity word Deaf, to make up for respect lost in past history. In the past, they were indeed treated like outcasts. Are you guys up to complaining about capitalizing the word Deaf? At some point, such complaints just come from ignorance or the discounting of history.
My older son is 22 and classified as "on the autistic spectrum". He developed normally until he was around two, and after a short illness, he began regressing.almost completely losing his ability to talk by age 4. After tests,the Childhood Development Center at Vanderbilt diagnosed him as having "Pervasive Developmental Delay", which in layman's terms means "he lacks the mental skills expected of someone his age (the development delay part) and we don't know why (pervasive), but since PDD treatments were not covered by most insurance policies, they fudged it a bit and called it "late onset autism with severe mental retardation".
This was back in the mid 1990's and in the clinical context the word retard, in its denotative simply means delayed, inhibited, or slowed. The connotation, in general use however implied overall inferiority as a human being.So the PC Police sprang into action,changing it to "mentally handicapped". From that point, it seemed that every few months new PC term replaced the previous one. I quit trying to keep up with it after "Intellectually disabled".
(S)tudents have complained to administrators that Trump's very name makes them feel unsafe. In Michigan, students actually called the police. Just today at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a member of student government reportedly has been asked to resign for a pro-Trump chalking. To be fair, the chalking in question did include a drawing of the notorious red "Make America Great Again" hat, making it especially horrifying.(source)
That is an insightful story. Here are a couple outtakes from it I like:
There's plenty of it on the liberal side. But conservatives who get hysterical about the "delicate snowflakes" on campus should take a look at their own media-consumption habits. It's hard to imagine anything funnier than a 70-year-old who watches 90 hours of Fox News a week and then rails against college kids who are afraid of new ideas.
But it's not just Fox viewers. Most of the cable TV news industry is just a series of safe spaces. There are conservative channels and liberal channels, all of them huge seas of more or less unanimous opinion. Viewers tune in, suckle their thumbs, and wait to have their own opinions vomited back at them.
The commercial formula at the all-liberals-suck channel is the same as the one at the all-Republicans-are-boneheads channel. People in this country tend to follow politics in the same way they follow sports teams. They don't think, they root.
The campus safe space movement is often derided as evidence of a rise of a newly censorious political left, a movement that's ideological in character. And who knows, maybe that's true. I don't spend enough time on campuses to know.
But the safe space movement among the somewhat older members of the commercial media has virtually nothing to do with ideology, and everything to do with money.
The political punditry business is all about riling up an ad-consuming, subscription-buying demographic. We're paid by the eyeball, and you don't attract eyes by sticking fingers in them. So opinion-makers on both sides quickly learn to stay in their lanes.
If your job is throwing meat to wingers, you're not going to suddenly start admitting Mexicans are people or criticizing the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Consumers on both sides don't like pundits whose views are all over the place. They want white hats and black hats, allies and enemies, even though in real life most people are not wholly one thing or another. And when one of the performers steps off-script, it's a "problem."
To me this is consumerism, not political correctness. Capitalism in this country has become so awesomely efficient at target-scratching every conceivable consumer itch that it's raised a generation of people with no tolerance for discomfort, particularly the intellectual kind.
There are so many products available now that customers have learned to demand that every single purchase choice they make be perfectly satisfying. People want nacho chips that taste awesome every time, and they want pundits who agree with them every time. They don't want to fork over time or money to be told they're wrong or uninformed any more than they want to eat a salad.
The ultimate irony is in Donald Trump being cast as some kind of strong, heroic invader of safe spaces. Trump is exactly the thin-skinned bundle of nerves that most media consumers are (and Trump is nothing if not a media addict). If there's ever been a person who couldn't handle a challenge and demanded that reality be bent to his worldview, it's Trump. His whole campaign is a demand for a safe space. What a joke this story is, all around.
The concept of PC is Basically Silly(BS). I am reminded of how Lenny Bruce, substituted "Blah Blah Blah" for the name of a sexual act deemed obscene by a San Francisco ordinance the audience stll got the joke.