The Degradation Of Political Correctness
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Politics and Activism

The Degradation Of Political Correctness

That's The Wrong Word For It.

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The Degradation Of Political Correctness
New Statesman

A term people like to throw around a lot is “political correctness.” The right likes to use it as a detrimental term to describe the values of a sensitive left. The left uses it as a term to encourage people to respect individual decisions about identity.

However, both of these definitions are bastardizations of the original purpose of political correctness. Its initial intent was a tool for politicians to utilize to make crises sound better than they actually were. For example, if an air raid on a military base went wrong and citizens were harmed in the process, the President would say that there was “collateral damage” instead of telling the public the true nature of the incident. Many considered this a negative thing, because it was effectively lying to the masses.

Politicians realized how people viewed it, so they shifted the definition to apply it to identity politics. This worked in favor of many right leaning agendas. Identity politics is very much a leftist issue. These included the fight for same sex marriage, the transgender bathroom debate, and the fight for body cameras on police officers. These are all viewed as issues that only affect people who are marginalized or discriminated against because of their identities. The large majority of right leaning citizens don’t have to worry about this, so they view it as an excuse to gain undeserved benefits or protections. They also view it as disregarding the rights of people who are not affected by identity politics.

For this reason, political correctness has retained its negative connotation. However, the repercussions are much worse. The disregard of identity-based oppression has dangerous, often fatal results. It keeps people from getting the healthcare, housing and a slew of other basic necessities. People who refuse to engage in political correctness are refusing to protect the people who are affected by these issues. They misunderstand what political correctness truly is.

At the end of the day, political correctness is simply a term used to mask the definition it has taken on: basic human respect. Respecting a person’s pronouns is basic respect. Not using slurs is basic respect. Not generalizing a population based on the actions of a few people is basic respect. Being politically correct is not harmful to policy or measures taken to ensure national security. Rather, it clears the air and makes it easier to focus on the objective. It keeps politics from getting caught up in personal opinions and prejudices. Nothing destroys a policy shift more than a foundation of personal vendettas.

The term “political correctness” has lost its meaning. The way it is used today has too recent of a history for there to be a total shift to new meaning. This term is burdened with negativity and prevents people from looking into the new body it’s taken on. Therefore, they don’t practice it and people get hurt.

Be careful using the term “political correctness.” Many people still see it with all of its faults and that is completely understandable. It makes sense that they do. Be mindful of this and make sure you clarify what you are trying to get across. Otherwise, there will be consequences.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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