free speech vs. political correctness

Stop Policing Language–We Don't Always Need To Be Politically Correct

We are all too concerned with the "right" way to say things

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College campuses across the country have become the debating ground over free speech. My own college, The University of Florida, was subject to this debate when white supremacist Richard Spencer spoke here last year. While I don't remotely agree with any of Spencer's ideology, I do believe in his right to speak because of the greater importance of free speech.

Strong proponents of free speech argue that political correctness is a threat to our democracy. I tend to agree with this line of thinking. I believe people have become too concerned with what is the "right" thing to say not knowing there are detrimental consequences in doing so.

However, I do want to make a clear distinction between being politically correct and hate speech. I'm not arguing anyone should be able to say anything they want and not expect certain repercussions. If one participates in hate speech the backlash they receive as a result of their actions is merited. But, not being politically correct does not necessarily equate to hate speech. This is because political correctness involves altering one's speech so as to not to offend anyone. This policing of our language can be relevant in certain circumstances but is typically being done in excess.

A popular form of political correctness is the term African American instead of black. White Americans are so accustomed to saying African American because that's the current politically correct term to use but they may be wrong in doing so. It isn't always safe to assume that every black person we see in America is African American. There are black Canadians, Europeans, Haitian Americans and other black people who don't identify as American citizens.

This scenario is exemplified in a 2017 article by the New York Times titled "Readers Respond: Which Racial Terms Make You Cringe?" reader Emily Brown writes, "The one I have recently begun to hate is 'African-American.' I think it perpetuates the myth that all blacks come from Africa and so there are some who think they should go back to Africa. So I've begun to use the term "black" again. Calling someone black "African American" is like calling me an "Israeli-American" just because I'm Jewish. I was not born in Israel; I was born here in the U.S. I am no more Israeli than your average black person is African."

Additionally, overuse of political correctness softens our language over time. While this may not seem consequential now we can look at history and see it has arguably cost peoples' lives. The late comedian George Carlin articulated this point exactly in one of his comedy specials. He described how the word post-traumatic stress disorder use to have multiple different names. It was initially called shell shock in World War I, then battle fatigue in World War II, then operational exhaustion to PTSD in the early 21st century.

Carlin argued that if we still called the condition shell shock perhaps more veterans would be getting the care and attention they need. However, because we have softened the word so much and left it devoid of any humanity there isn't enough concern surrounding the serious disorder. This emphasizes exactly how political correctness can be detrimental. Even though PTSD is the politically correct term, I believe the condition needs a name that accurately reflects how potentially debilitating it is and doesn't sugar coat it for people. Because while we as a society may feel more comfortable concealing or ignoring the seriousness of PTSD this only does a disservice to our veterans.

Furthermore, concern over political correctness typically serves as a distraction from things that truly affect peoples' lives. For instance, in May of this year, a debate you probably saw sparked over Twitter. The dispute was about if it was okay for a white girl to wear a Chinese style dress to prom. This was a major story in the news cycle while during that same month refugee children were being taken from their parents at the Mexico-United States border, the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and the shooting at Santa Fe high school in Texas took place. Clearly, these events should take precedence over a girls' prom dress.

On his HBO show, Bill Maher declared his frustration with this phenomenon when he stated, "What matters is that while you self-involved fools were policing language at the Kids' Choice Awards, a madman talked his way into the White House."

Lastly, as we increasingly police language or other forms of expression we are risking a domino effect. While I may not agree with the principles behind something such as the Confederate flag, every person has the right to fly that flag at their home. While I would certainly frown upon this and other forms of hateful expression if we authorize the government the power to chisel away our right to freedom of speech we are embarking into dangerous territory. The government should not have the jurisdiction to determine what symbols or words are okay and which ones are not. So, while we may hate hearing what some people have to say it is better to hear them than having silence forced upon us all.

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18 Bible Verses That Prove God Would NOT Be 'Pro-Life'

Stop using the Bible as an excuse to take away women's rights.

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"Abortion is WRONG because God (the highest authority) says so! Not because I say so, or "religious" people say so or the government says so...because the CREATOR OF ALL HUMAN LIFE SAYS SO."

This argument is bullshit and I'm sick of hearing it, because it just isn't true. All these Christians claim that the Bible and God says that abortion is wrong, and it's clear they've never read the Bible. Have you ever seen them use a biblical verse to validate their claims? Yeah, me neither. And you know why? BECAUSE THE BIBLE IS NOT PRO-LIFE. They pick and choose vague verses to attempt to back up these ridiculous claims, completely ignoring the damning evidence that the Bible, and therefore God, actually supports child murder, infanticide, and abortion.

Unlike pro-lifers, I'll actually provide some evidence:

1. Numbers 31:17 "Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him"

2. Deuteronomy 2:34 "And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain"

3. Deuteronomy 28:53 "And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the seige, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee"

4. 1 Samuel 15:3 "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass"

5. Isaiah 13:16 "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished"

6. Isaiah 13:18 "Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children"

7. Ezekiel 9:6 "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house"

8. Hosea 9:14 "Give them, O Lord: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts"

9. Hosea 13:16 "Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up"

10. 2 Kings 2:24 "And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them"

11. Psalm 137:9 "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones"

12. Numbers 5:21 "-here the priest is to put the woman under his curse- "may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell"

13. Hosea 9:16 "Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb"

14. Psalm 135:8 "He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast;"

15. Psalm 136:10 "-to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever"

16. 2 Kings 6:28-29 "And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow.So we boiled by son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son"

17. Leviticus 26:29 "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat"

18. Jeremiah 11:22 "Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:"


Stop using your religion to try and push propoganda that "God says abortion is wrong because it kills innocent children." Clearly your God doesn't care about killing children. There is more than enough proof that the Bible and God are NOT pro-life. Stop acting like you're good Christians upholding the values of God when you clearly haven't picked up the Bible and actually read it. God doesn't agree with your backwards thinking. Maybe try do your research before spewing your religious bullshit to try and take away women's rights.

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When Words Are Not Enough

Sometimes you just need to be.

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Life is a roller-coaster of ups and downs. We all desire easy fruitful lives where no one ever dies and no one ever leaves. Instead, we suffer through hardships and great trials that test our faith. These conflicts often leave us worn down and feeling helpless. This is the time when words become a languid breeze, going through one ear and out the other. This is what you should do when words are not enough to satiate the pain you hold in trembling hands.

Focus all your energy into just being. No one expects you to get over the tragedy that occurred in your life, so don't force yourself. Just eat, breathe, and sleep until you feel up to doing normal tasks. Whatever circumstance that has stolen your breath and turned your life upside down won't go a week in a couple of days or a week. Wounds like yours don't go away instantly; instead, they take time and nurturing. Sometimes it's best to keep a sore covered but in some circumstances, know that seeing someone is okay.

These tragedies you face are real, and they try to break down the very substances that make you who you are. Counselors and therapists can help you make sense of the burden you carry. There are many reasons why you might be hesitant to see a therapist, but if the burden you carry becomes too much, a therapist can help you lighten that load.

Know that what you are going through is real and it is tough, but you will make it out on top. You are a survivor and a success story. Every single bad thing that has tried to tear you down hasn't succeeded, and this will be no different. Trust me, your story is not over.

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