So this post recently came across my Facebook feed and I think it raises an excellent point which I would like to address today.
We live in a world “overrun” by Political Correctness, as I am told every day. I have had several people complain about their free speech being stopped. But here is the thing: that PC culture that has even become the but of jokes on shows such as South Park. Several seem to believe that this Politically Correct Culture is leading us to becoming a police state. There are even Presidential candidates who believe that this “PC Culture” is “Destroying America”.
So I offer the challenge that the post I alluded to earlier offers. We are not being “politically correct” but instead being human. Free Speech is exactly that, freedom of speech. It only protects one from governmental interference over your speech, not consequences. As the nation becomes more prepared to accept everyone and not just certain individuals (read more on privilege if this thought bothers you) we learn more. We, as human beings, are looking to learn from others how they wish to be treated and not assuming everyone else is just like us and therefore needs to fit into the exact same box we do (talk about police state. Reminds me of the story of Harrison Bergeron). Once upon a time, it was common to refer to a Black individual in this country by the N-word or any other number of slurs. The same was true for individuals of Irish, Italian, East Asian descent, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent. Of course since then we have listened, we began to learn (though many stopped after their first lesson it seems) and we changed. We understood that those terms were unacceptable and should not be used. We placed pressure on others to help get that lesson through and begin creating a truly democratic United States (still a very long and ongoing process). There were consequences for that free speech. While we do not live in a world where those terms are not used in a derogatory manner, there is generally outrage and a feeling of disgust when we hear of them being applied as such.
Of course today we seem to believe that all is well. We live in a “post racial” society after all. We have a Black president who has had to prove he is “American” more than any president before him. We have the rise of #BlackLivesMatter based on excessive violence from men sworn to uphold and protect law abiding citizens against particular communities. We have seen anti-immigant rhetoric as vitriolic as that of the 1930s and 40s. And of course, “I as a person am not racist” or the ever present “reverse racism card” which everyone seems so ready to play.
But hey, we live in a post-racial society.
It is time to stop the complaining and ask yourself why treating others the way they wish to be treated is such an issue for you as an individual. And always keep in mind that you are always learning; forever gaining new knowledge. Particularly when it comes to privilege and oppression, to hate, you are never the expert. We are human beings, we are fluid in our interactions and our society. This means that as you grasp one concept or idea, there are more coming.
Continue to learn, to educate, to grow.