I acknowledge that certain terms and stereotypes should be done away with, but I firmly believe that non-PC terms and stereotypes based on ethnic and cultural differences are what allowed the various immigrants who spoke no common language to work, play and intermarry, creating the unique local culture of Hawaii.
Those not from Hawaii would probably be shocked at one of our most beloved comedians, Frank DeLima, who pokes fun at all ethnicities, often based on stereotypical traits, both physical and verbal. Heaven forbid his comedy is banned because it’s non-PC.
“Politically Correct” has become a term of derision, and sometimes taken to extremes, but do we really want to go back to the days when someone could be referred to as a nigger, faggot or spastic in ordinary conversation. The problem is not so much the language as the casual racism/sexism/?ism that lies behind it.
When people complain about “political correctness,” they invariably mean that it is no longer permissible to say racist things or sexualy harass women. I fail to comprehend how casual racism and misogyny positively contribute to anything.
Comedians do this all the damned time. Seriously, is this post just an advertisement or something? Yawn.
Accusations of ‘political correctness’ are a cry by those in power for a ‘safe space’ just as the kids in college do. They want a space where it is permissible to NOT suffer the consequences of the actions and speech.
The difference is, those calling for opposition to ‘political correctness’ are grown-ass adults (theoretically) and those in college asking for ‘safe spaces’ are kids who are still learning to be adults.
You have a right to say what you wish, willy nilly, even rude and harmful things. That doesn’t mean you won’t be sanctioned by society for those statements.
It’s fairly common in old books to find terms like “Jewess” or “Negress.”
If you accused those authors of NOT being polite, they would have thought that you were absolutely nuts. And yet if somebody used those terms today, they would be metaphorically crucified for not being PC.
The political left and right clash so much over “PC” because they have drastically different notions of what PC means.
The left thinks it means just being polite. Don’t call people queers, N-word, retard, etc.
The right thinks it means the extreme subset of the left who get upset over ridiculous things like “Oreo cookies are racist because they are black wafers surrounding a white core” or “the restaurant floor is yellow, therefore it is racist against yellow skin.”
And so when the right says it opposes PC, the left is aghast - “you WANT people to be able to use epithets freely?” And when the left says it supports PC, the right is aghast - “you WANT this societal thought police whereby Oreo cookies and yellow tiled floors are condemned as racist?”
Because words change meanings over time. It’s simple: if somebody asks you not to call them a name even though it was acceptable in a time past, it’s the polite thing not to call them that. I grew up with a friend named Caroline. We called her Carrie growing up. It was not impolite. But, in her 20s, she decided that she preferred to be called Caroline, and told her friends. Since I’m polite and not an asshole, I go by her wishes and call her Caroline. If somebody tells you “I don’t like to be called that” why would anyone go on calling them that except to be an asshole?
As a side note, it’s strangely inconsistent that society considers “black” or “white” to be an inoffensive reference to skin color but “red” “brown” or “yellow” skin is an offensive reference. They’re all direct references to skin color.
No. There is no such place, becuase every possible group of people has rules - spoken and unspoken - regarding what can and cannot be said. Take me to the freest, least resticted forum in the world, and sooner or later I’ll think of something to say that’ll piss everyone off.
And a lot of people on the left think the “oreo cookies are racist” crowd is a bunch of utter loons. I suspect a lot of people on the right think that the people who want to call their coworkers a “nice piece of ass” without consequences are sexist assholes.
Do you really think you can understand language on the purely denotative level, completely dehistoricized, de-contextualized, and without any regard for who has used it and for what purposes? Do you think language exists purely in a sterile, hermetically sealed bubble, disconnected from any past, disconnected from previous political motives and power relationships? I think you’re smarter than that.
People who complain that “politically correct” just refers to not using racial slurs are clearly not paying attention to what the youngest and craziest left wingers out there are trying to do.
For example, go look at some of the topics that some people think need “Trigger warnings” on Tumblr.
For example, as this article notes:
I have also seen people say that the phrase “Trigger warnings” itself shouldn’t be used because the word trigger could remind people of guns.
Someone I am acquainted with on Facebook recently posted a memo from their workplace saying that they shouldn’t say “have a nice day” to people anymore because it could upset people who are going through something tragic and can’t have a nice day because of that.
When you set the precedent that the words people say are dangerous and that people’s speech needs to be controlled, it’s just a matter of time before it gets taken further and further extreme.
I find it very scary. I also don’t think it does anything to stop racism. Even if you punish people for saying certain things in public, they’re still going to think about and talk about these things in private. You’re just making it harder to even have a debate about why these ideas are wrong if the only time they are discussed are in racist echo chambers.
And I also notice how the same people who say they oppose “political correctness” are the ones who complain the loudest when anyone says anything that offends their sensibilities.
Anyone who has ever complained about somebody saying “Happy Holiday” or kneeling during the National Anthem or seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple has no business telling other people they need to be less sensitive.