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Political Correctness

June 20th, 2010

Right-wingers are agreed: political correctness is crap, and should be snubbed and never observed. People should be able to say whatever they want, call others what they prefer. Some right-wingers claim it is a Communist plot (I’m not kidding). Many insist it is a form of Orwellian mind control. It is evil, evil, evil.

Once you get past the hysterical bits, Conservapedia’s basic definition of “political correctness” is “the alteration of ones choice of words in order to avoid either offending a group of people or reinforcing a stereotype considered to be disadvantageous to the group.” This offends them–they don’t like to be told what they can refer to other people as, and hate having to “clean up” their speech and use terms others insist on, or avoid subjects others are touchy about. They want the freedom to say anything they like without constantly being nagged about how it makes others feel.

The emphasis on “they want the freedom.” Not others. They hate political correctness–except, of course, when they don’t like what others are saying. Like, if you want to say that you don’t believe in God, we don’t like that so you’d better be sensitive to how we feel and shut the hell up. If an atheist group puts up a billboard or an ad on a bus simply saying “Don’t believe in God? You’re Not Alone” then that is completely unacceptable. If a man wants a vanity plate that reads “ISNOGOD,” that’s offensive and shouldn’t be allowed. And just see what happens when a store puts out an ad saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”–you’ll see right-wingers demand others be not just PC, but hyper-sensitively PC.

Or calling teabaggers “teabaggers” despite the fact that they themselves coined the term just months earlier, that’s not cool either. It upsets their gentle sensibilities. Now, intentionally subverting the adjectival “Democratic” to a pejorative “Democrat” because they can make commercials emphasizing the “RAT” at the end, that’s OK. But calling us tea-baggers, we don’t like that and you’re being an ass for using it.

Or talking about things America has done wrong, you can’t do that, either, or we’ll be miffed, so shut your yap. Sure, identifying one’s own country’s wrongs is the adult, responsible, and educated thing to do, garners the respect of others around the world, and helps prevent future wrongdoing–but I don’t like the sound of it, so you better stop “apologizing for America,” because it offends me.

No, the right-wingers don’t hate political correctness–they demand it, but in true conservative form: only when it’s to their advantage. When someone says something that offends us, it’s “disrespectful,” and you’d better change your tune right quick. But when we say something you don’t like and you’re offended–well, tough luck, you whiny liberal–when you’re offended and want us to stop, that’s political correctness. And that’s Communist.

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