PC culture humanized


Mary Grace Heartlein

art by Mary Grace Heartlein

Logan Crews, editor-in-chief

The first time I heard anyone use the phrase “politically correct,” I was in a hip-hop dance class where our convention teacher was trying to get us to let loose with the choreography.

“Let your limbs flail more,” he said. “Stick your tongue out sometimes. Honestly, act retarded. But I guess I shouldn’t say that if we’re trying to be politically correct.”

That’s when I said “Nah, I’m out,” and walked off the dance floor.

Political correctness is a fancy phrase for avoiding words, sayings or other actions that could be offensive to a certain community. I think it’s a bit of a misnomer, though. Being a decent human being has nothing to do with politics. In fact, if every time someone complained about political correctness, we replaced it with “being a decent human being,” I think we’d clear up a lot of what it means to be politically correct.

“If I was being a decent human being, I would honor this non-binary person’s they/them pronouns.”

“Even though my disabled friend told me I shouldn’t use this word because it makes them feel upset, I’m going to say it because I don’t like being a decent human being.

“It’s obnoxious that I have to be a decent human being and not dress up as a Native American for Halloween. I can’t believe our society is becoming so decent, unprejudiced and culturally conscious.”

Tomi Lahren, a conservative political commentator, calls political correctness “intellectual dishonesty.” She often references the First Amendment, saying it’s a personal issue if you get offended by someone exercising their right to free speech. I couldn’t agree more because, luckily, we do have the right to say what we want to say in the United States. However, there’s also something called restraint. A magical, silent way you can keep your racism, sexism, ableism, whatever it might be, to yourself. That way, you can stay intellectually honest inside your brain but be nice to other people.

To me, anyone who would think of being politically correct as a burden is obviously privileged since that’s all they have to worry about. They have to worry about thinking before they speak while victims of offensive language and practices have to deal with lower self-esteem and being seen as lesser because something about them is used out of context, often in a negative way. Poor babies.

If you’re still conflicted on whether you should censor your usage of offensive language to be politically correct or if you should just say what you want to say and everyone else will have to suck it, let me give you an example.

Imagine you saw the worst movie on the planet with your friend who happens to be gay. Instead of calling the bad movie “gay” in front of your homosexual companion, think “gay” to yourself, then call it, say, “bad” out loud. Or, if you really don’t want to conform to political correctness, go ahead and call it gay. You have the right to do so. But will your friend lose respect for you and think you’re a jerk? Probably, yes.

Even though the media can twist political correctness to seem like a left-leaning way of corrupting freedom of speech, to me, it’s pretty simple. Think for a second longer about what effect your language can have on someone, or say what you want to say and don’t complain when you get called out or people walk off your dance floor. Be a decent human being or don’t. The choice is yours.