Donald Trump, Comedy, And The True Meaning Of Being 'Politically Correct'

Donald Trump, Comedy, And The True Meaning Of Being 'Politically Correct'

Donald Trump has said several times that he is not "politically correct", but what being PC really mean?
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If you watch a debate, read the news, or just live in America and are an active member of society, you probably will hear something polarizing that businessman and Republican nominee Donald Trump has said. He does not speak like a politician. If you hear his informality, his lax attitude on the stage, as well as his tone and heavy dependence on adjectives, you could see that he sounds like any other person with good speaking skills would sound, as opposed to Bernie Sanders' jerky, staccato voice or Hillary Clinton's calculated, smug approach. However, the media isn't up in arms about Trump's way of speaking; it's what he's saying that's doing the real damage.

Donald Trump has insulted women, Hispanics and Muslims, and that's just in the past year, and that's in public. Despite being the front-runner for a party that does the same thing, things like this haven't been said before so out in the open. The best way to describe it is what Jason Sudeikis said, impersonating Mitt Romney on Saturday Night Live: "We at the GOP, the party of the great Ronald Reagan, we do not say racist or sexist things. We imply them subtly over decades and decades of policy, so I felt that I had to take matters into my own tanned, well-manicured hands.”

In a Republican debate, Trump had said "I think the big problem with this country has is being politically correct." Wait. Sorry. I have to analyze one thing before I get back on topic: it's the "big" problem? So many problems this country has, and the thing that plagues us worse than all else is our political correctness? Is that going to be the thing you say you're going to do in your first 100 days in office, is stopping political correctness? I can see it already: "The War on Political Correctness." Yeah, you could call it "The War on PC," but I don't think the company PC would be too happy about it, and God knows you are looking for the interest of businesses first.

Sorry. Had to get that out of my system. As I was saying, Trump has made being PC a big problem, and one could only connect his rejection of this to be synonymous to his susceptibility to very honest language, even if it's not true. In turn, you can make the claim that Trump considers political correctness to be curbing language to be soft and general, while still not making any generalizations. For example, the phrase "they're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're bringing rapists," Donald Trump's PC converter would make it "illegal immigration can lead to many instances of trouble for our country." Words like "trouble" are soft, and words like "can" makes illegal immigration seem more like a risky endeavor that is only seen through in certain scenarios, being general without generalizing.

However, I don't consider this to be what Political Correctness is about, and while the nation is starting to discuss political correctness from now (and, with South Park doing an episode about it, you know it's definitely in the national discussion), I think it's time to really dig deep and find what being politically correct really means. What's the place to look? Comedy.

Last year, Jerry Seinfeld said he stopped performing on college campuses because they are politically correct and are quick to equip jokes with the words "racist" or "sexist." This is Jerry Seinfeld we're talking about, here. He isn't clean in terms of the Brian Regan's of the world, but he sure is no Anthony Jeselnik. What Jerry Seinfeld does make jokes about, along with 99 percent of other comedians, white males or otherwise, are about minority groups.

There are a few different kind of jokes, however, and, to make it clear, I created a graph for this:

In a world where white people have been talking about minorities just to put them down forever, watching Louis C.K. doing stand-up might make you squirm at first, but when you finish watching him and re-watching him, you realize that there really is nothing offensive. You could see a the title of Louis C.K.'s clip of "I Enjoy Being White," and things are not looking good, but you watch the clip and you actually realize that it's a criticism against white privilege. Intelligence like this is why Louis C.K. is one of the most critically loved comedians of the century, but it's also why he is one of the most controversial.

Then you take people who put down minority groups. Some people do it genuinely (see above), but the Stephen Colbert's of the world do it as satire of people who actually are genuinely racist. In this way, they actually poke holes in the same arguments that they're satirically supporting, giving us a better understanding of the prejudice we actually deal with in the real world.

I'll give you an actual example, this time from Bo Burnham and his song "Klan Cookout." The song from Bo's self-titled debut is from the perspective of a modern day Klu Klux Klan member and speaks about his beliefs and practices. There are some outright — albeit funny — put downs like "And if you're black/Don't want to see your face/They're like a high school track/Just a stupid race." However, there are also some subtle put downs to his own kind, like references to incest and nazism. Again, this seems alarmingly racist, but there are no legitimate claims for prejudice that exceeds what we've already heard, and in the end, we're actually just laughing at the speaker.

How does being politically correct fit into this? Being politically correct is putting all of these categories into the genuine downputting category. In other words, being politically correct is defending a demographic that doesn't need defending in response toward a comment toward that demographic that wasn't genuinely offensive. I think that, other than our generally accepting society, a reason that our country is quick to these labels is that we are a country that is more adept to being quick and not thinking over things too much. With Twitter, you can think of something, and it will be online in thirty seconds. Likewise, you can see a bit called "I Enjoy Being White" and label it racist without really thinking over what it really means.

And these bits aren't only okay; they're essential to the path to true equality. If we suppress any talks about race, sex, gender identity, etc., we also suppress progress. Ignorance is not a virtue when it comes to accepting of other people. If you are accepting of another type of person, you should be educated on those people because if you don't, it will lead to microaggression. And, in my experience, I have heard many more microaggressions than I have heard non-put-down jokes about minority groups gone wrong. If we suppress other people, if we prefer to stay ignorant, how much better are we than the ignorant people who decided to discriminate and start this whole thing?

So yes, Donald Trump is not politically correct, but not in the way he thinks. And when he talks about who is coming over the border, it's not just that he isn't politically correct. He isn't correct. These are people fleeing violence and poverty and want to start a new life here, in America, ironically called the greatest country on Earth over and over again by the same people who don't want other people to do so, and Trump labels them as criminals?

Political correctness, on the other hand, is something we shouldn't strive for because it's superfluous, exaggerating, thus the word "political." We should strive for a truer, more honest America, and by "honest" I don't mean bigots saying what they feel. I'm talking about the true consciousness of the sum of our beautiful, diverse country.

Cover Image Credit: http://intellectualconservative.com/americas-toxic-brew-diversity/

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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