Kai Chang from the blog Zuky wrote a piece titled The Greatest Cliché: The Unexamined Propaganda of "Political Correctness" (http://www.kaichang.net/2006/11/the_sloppy_prop.html) which sought to ‘reclaim’ the phrase Political Correctness and to wave a finger at all those who have dared to strike back at the PC advocates. It has been hailed as the “definitive analysis of Political Correctness” by a variety of Left wing bloggers while at the same time completely sidestepping its true nature. Kai manages to both deny and misguide when it comes to this issue. His obvious hesitancy in dealing with the PC movement is both striking and revealing.
"The phrase "politically correct" can be used in two distinct ways: either with its original literal meaning, or with the mocking sarcasm that's common these days. I'll get to the former in a moment, but I'll begin with the latter. As it's commonly used, "PC" is a deliberately imprecise expression (just try finding or writing a terse, precise definition) because its objective isn't to communicate a substantive idea, but simply to sneer and snivel about the linguistic and cultural burdens of treating all people with the respect and sensitivity with which they wish to be treated. Thus, the Herculean effort required to call me "Asian American" rather than "chink" is seen as a concession to "the PC police", an unsettling infringement on the free-wheeling conversation of, I suppose, "non-chinks". Having to refer to black folks as "African Americans" rather than various historically-prevalent epithets surely strikes some red-blooded blue-balled white-men as a form of cultural oppression. Having to refer to "women" rather than "bitches" lays a violent buzzkill on the bar-room banter of men preoccupied with beating on their chests and off other body parts." - Kai Chang
Ah, yes, the Left waxes indignant about being painted with the Politically Correct brush.
There is, of course, no mention of the thousands of examples of official persecution carried out due to Political Correctness. No listing of the campus speech codes, the corporate hypersensitivity, the frightened political figures and the cowed populace at large that cannot be denied. Yet hardly a day goes by where the news does not report yet another poor individual who has run afoul of the PC crowd.
What the Left fails to admit is that the ideologies that pursue PC policies are clearly advocating the silencing and censoring of the thoughts and actions of others. The little totalitarian reservations we refer to as college campuses reek of speech codes and censorship as the fascists of the Left seek to mold us into their Orwellian servants in preparation for the coming utopia.
They are all about free speech and tolerance and diversity and sensitivity and multiculturalism until one dares to openly admit to being pro-life, or a born-again Christian, or a believer in traditional morality, or that marriage should be between a man and a woman, or that Israel has the right to exist, or supporting gun ownership, or that maybe we should not allow in millions of illegal aliens every year. Once such an admission is made, all that great liberal love and tenderness is thrown out the window and all that is left is the naked viciousness and unmerciful intolerance of Political Correctness.
Freedom of speech to enforcers of the PC doctrine means hand-wringing over polar bear populations, condemning the detention of terrorists at Guantanamo, sounding the cry of climate change, tossing and turning at night over Abu Ghraib photos and bemoaning the oppression of all others by white males in modern society. Its logical conclusion is the broad brushing of nearly all of Western Civilization with the smears of patriarchy, misogyny and unforgivable perpetual oppression. Any other thoughts or speech that might challenge the official line is simply unacceptable in their eyes.
In practice, despite the protestations of Kai and his ilk, Political Correctness is unapologetic Orwellian Newspeak - an attempt to change the way people think by forcibly changing the way they speak. New speak, new think. But instead of just being used to perhaps benignly bring a bit of civility to the English language, it has become the bludgeon to silence the critics of the rainbow of ‘isms’ that exist on the Left and a powerful weapon to ensure the ideological conformity demanded by the disciples of the great secular religion of “Multiculturalism, Diversity and Tolerance”.
In practice it is stifling to debate, a purposeful minefield that makes any discussion of society, culture, morality or current events a frightening experience that, for many, is better left undone. And, unfortunately, its breeding grounds are the college campuses that once espoused the idea of intellectual freedom and debate, but have increasingly become mere mental boot camps to create the ‘progressives’ of tomorrow.
Christianity teaches and promotes the Golden Rule concepts of respect, decency, humility, love, acceptance, and civility, but in stark contrast to the PC ideologies it also teaches the concept of right and wrong, good and evil, morality and immorality. Political Correctness is the weapon used by the secularists as they attempt to impose their own version of a moral code on the populace with any hint of God removed. It cloaks itself in the intellectual concepts of tolerance, understanding, cultural sensitivity, human rights, and dignity, while suspending all judgments concerning morality. To our secular humanist/progressive friends there is no right and wrong, only ‘different’. ‘Compassion’ trumps common sense, and the right to not be offended has become the greatest human right of all.
I've seen it, I've experienced it, and I spent my college years fighting and exposing it. It's not about calling Asian Americans 'Chinks' or women 'bitches' (red herring arguments at best), but about having the right to debate the issues of the day with full intellectual honesty. When debate is stifled and speech curtailed because of everyone being petrified of being labeled “insensitive” (or far worse) then we have lost a valuable part of what made us a great nation and successful civilization. Those who would perform a collective intellectual lobotomy, and their perpetually outraged cadres shouting bumper sticker slogans, are the enemy and we've labeled their speech codes and ideological shackles 'Political Correctness'.
Kai complains that the term Political Correctness has become the subject of ‘sneers’. It deserves every mockery and word of derision it has ever received. It is indeed true that the whiff of fascism can be detected in the air. It does not arise from the Right, but is the practiced ideology of the ‘New Left’ and their disciples. In our modern society, authoritarianism from the Right is disconcerting. When it comes from the Left, it is downright frightening. Political Correctness has no real root in America’s founding principles, law or jurisprudence. Instead, it is the intellectual equivalent of state sponsored mob rule. We have many rights in the United States. The right to not be offended is not one of them.
Perhaps novelist Dorris Lessing stated it best:
“Political Correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don’t seem to see this.”