- conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated
- agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people
These are definitions provided directly from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Although being sensitive and respectful of others is an important part of everyday life, it has come to a point in the United States where we are becoming too sensitive about everything. Being "politically correct" is beginning to take away our First Amendment right as Americans to have freedom of speech.
At Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, a pro-Trump student wrote "Trump 2016" on a sidewalk and the next day students began to say that reading this made them feel "afraid" or "in pain."
In another recent controversy surrounding political correctness, GapKids released an ad which included four young girls who are a part of a dance group. The ad was to promote Ellen Degeneres' new clothing line for kids. Ellen felt that this clothing line and having these four girls in the ad would help to empower young women; society felt differently. Almost immediately after this ad was released, people started to have a problem with the fact that the young white girl was resting her arm on the young black girl in the photo. In the interview below, the girls discuss how excited they were to do the shoot and how excited they were to be a part of this dance group together. The girls felt as though they were empowering women and inspiring other young girls like themselves.
Why does society need to make these girls like their ad needs to be taken down when they were proud of themselves and felt as though they were making a positive difference?
After reading about situations like these, I am disheartened that our society has become a place where people can't express themselves freely without offending someone in some way. Despite reading about cases like these in the news, I never thought this would happen to me. Then, it did.
I walked into class last week and my professor was happy that I had arrived early. "Can you step outside with me for a minute?" he said. I stepped outside with him wondering what he could have possibly wanted to speak with me about. He warned me that he wasn't speaking to me about this because it was something that was bothering him. Rather it was because students in the class had brought something to his attention that they were bothered by. My professor wanted to speak to me about my laptop. Just like most college students, I have stickers on the front of my laptop case. Nine stickers that represent different things that I love and am passionate about. Below is a picture of my laptop case:
My professor told me that multiple students had gone up to him after class and expressed that they felt "uncomfortable" looking at my stickers, specifically the two that are aimed at guns. He told me that they feel "almost unsafe" and that it "offends them to look at." I was shocked by this. Frankly, I cannot understand how a pro-gun sticker on my computer offends someone who sits across the room from me in a college classroom. I am allowed to express myself freely under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
We are building a society that is too sensitive about everything.
My laptop stickers offend you and make you feel "unsafe"?
Someone writing "Trump" on a sidewalk makes you feel "in pain"?
When political correctness is taken to this extreme, it begins to tear down the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. I am not allowed to be pro-gun because you are offended by guns? Trump supporters are not allowed to publicly and openly support the candidate because you find that it makes you afraid? Gap has to take down and apologize for an ad that made the young women feel empowered just because one of the girls had their arm on top of another? We are creating "Safe Zones" where students can go when they feel they are being offended by something on campus. We are creating intolerant students who think that they can shut down views that another student, or anyone has that does not match their own.
If we do not end this soon, things will go even farther than they are now and the freedom we have will continue to shrink.