Political Correctness has gotten a bad rap over the last few years. I first learned about the term a few years ago. All that time until now, I’ve never had an opinion for or against political correctness.
People say you should “say what you mean.” They want a short, direct, clear-cut answer to a question. You are to look strong, firm, unflinching, and have conviction in what you say. No hesitation. Let the truth right out.
The problem is, how are people supposed to talk to one another? Straight talk delivered the wrong way often creates sharp divisions among people. Political Correctness should be seen as the practice of “disciplining our tongue.” Or, as commonly known as, “taming your tongue.” See the search engines for that term.
The ability of people to work together and be at peace comes before many other considerations. The case against political correctness is often the desire to say how a person feels without being judged harshly by others. Even when that person wants to say they don’t like an idea or person.
The following is a true story. Many, many years ago, I lead a team of folks. One person on the team asked me about my background. I mentioned I had been to different countries. They had never left the county (not a typo) and mentioned they have no interest in going elsewhere. I quickly thought to myself “ok” and was prepared to move on. Right after, they said they were not interested in other cultures. I actually accepted their point of view though I was puzzled.
The point of that experience is some people see the world differently. They don’t want to be shamed for expressing a view at odds with the general narrative. That is part of the push against political correctness. A person being made to feel they are a bad person for feeling a certain way.
Whether we admit it or not, most people want to be accepted. Even those who don’t accept certain groups. They may find solace with those who feel as they do. That leads to the real question.
Basically, we are all alive. We are all humans capable of understanding each other. Working together, living with and among each other. Playing and worshipping, conversing and wondering together. The core question is … why do some people greatly dislike other people?
Given that question, the reality is most groups of people cannot be pushed aside without causing real problems, dysfunction. People have to get along for a better overall existence. Otherwise, all you get is pain. I personally embrace pain most of the time when it comes, but recognize some pain as unnecessary, unproductive, or malevolent. We have to get past that if the lives people live, all people, is to get better.
I think the people pushing against “political correctness” do have a legit gripe when it comes to censorship. At the same time words can be as deadly, if not more so than “sticks and stones.” It is time to listen. Discover the source of grievances hidden behind “politically incorrect” language. Perhaps then, progress will be possible.