PC: A Virulent Infection?


Jayel Taylor, Guest Columnist

Over the last few years, America has been overtaken by a virulent infection. Not your usual infection, where illness and disease occur at pandemic levels, followed by mass deaths and an eventual salvation, but a social infection. I’m talking about this wave of politically correct speech that has contaminated everyone’s mind and intentions when communicating with others. Seems a bit unnecessary, but this really needs to be talked about, because it is seriously being taken too far.

For those who don’t get it, politically correct speech is a new trend in communication of all forms in which you speak like a traditional politician does, in an effort to avoid offending listeners. Sounds like a phenomenal concept, but the execution of it is so poor, you wouldn’t be able to believe it. The idea has been transformed into more of a form of silencing people rather than filtering them.

Photo Credit: Sarah G... via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Sarah G… via Compfight cc

The idea was originally that there are certain keywords and phrases that are capable of massively offending people, and that their use should be incredibly limited in order to prevent yourself from accidentally offending too many people. Once this reached the internet, it began to spiral out of control, until it essentially became a divide in speech types, where half of the people spoke their minds, and the other half spoke against those speaking their share.

It all seemed so idealistic and perfect, until it became a more common practice, and more of its flaws were uncovered, the primary of which is that people have taken it to the extreme of protesting people and such in order to attempt to coerce them into silence because of their thoughts and beliefs. Basically, the idealism behind politically correct speech ended up leading to a more oppressive social space in which ‘immoral’ beliefs and thoughts are not welcome and will be met at the door with resentment and aggression as opposed to common discussion.

Photo Credit: nooccar via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: nooccar via Compfight cc

This is my biggest problem with the obsession over politically correct speech. How can you expect people to be open and respectful to other paths of thought and action that are considerably different from theirs and maybe even a bit distasteful, yet you cannot even allow them to voice why they have their points of disagreement? It basically kills any attempts at depth that a conversation would have at the door by completely preventing any type of ‘negative’ thoughts from being expressed or discussed. This system of conversation gets us literally nowhere as a society since it prevents any form of thought or discussion provoking, opposing statements from being made as it is seen as pejorative, derogatory, or morally incorrect, when all of those descriptors are subjective and are subject to change as a result of a good and thought out conversation.