About Political Correctness   Leave a comment

Trigger Warning: Rape, Mental Illness

Today, someone close to me was hurt very deeply. They were hurt through the thoughtless actions of a thoughtless person. It caused me to reflect about political correctness.

Political Correctness has almost become a smear. Political incorrectness is almost worn as a badge of honor. How many radio jockeys have started out a sentence by saying, “I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but…”¬†Political correctness is viewed by many as a form of censorship. As making mountains out of mole hills. As a form of elitism.

And that really ticks me off.

It is not politically correct to call someone crazy. It is not politically correct to use the word “rape” casually (as in, “that lineman raped the quarterback on that last play”). These things are not politically incorrect arbitrarily. These things are not politically incorrect because the thought police have decided to clamp down on free speech. These things are politically incorrect because the world is full of people who aren’t privileged.

I am privileged. None of my friends or family suffers from a serious mental illness that I know of. I have not been raped, nor am I aware of anyone close to me being raped. “Rape” and “crazy” are words that carry little emotional content for me. I can hear them without having some of the most painful experiences in my life dragged to the front of my thoughts. I am privileged in that way.

But not everyone is. Some people have suffered from mental illness, or been close to others that have. Some people have been raped. For these people, “rape” and “crazy” are not necessarily simple words. They can be gates to some of the most awful memories that a person has. And that’s why we have political correctness. That’s why the people who condemn political correctness are not champions of free speech, they’re just privileged, unsympathetic A-holes. I’m not saying political correctness is always right; it isn’t. I am saying that the people who dismiss it out of hand suck.

Privilege really is a problem. It allows people to not see the point of political correctness. Privilege allows people to let painful words fall carelessly. And I know it’s a problem because my friend, the one who was hurt, wasn’t hurt by a lack of political correctness. As restrictive as the critics of political correctness seem to find it, it wouldn’t have prevented my friend from getting hurt. My friend was hurt simply because a privileged person didn’t take the time to understand their situation.


Posted 07/16/2012 by reluctantliberal in Generic Post

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