Point-Counterpoint: Is Being “PC” a Problem?

The Problem With Political Correctness
by Andrew Blanchette

What is political correctness? It is the fear of offending someone by saying or doing a certain action. Political correctness, or PC, makes me sick. I believe if we keep going in this PC direction, American society will begin to suffer.There is no doubt that the introduction of internet and in particular social media has led to this sudden phase of PC. People can easily hide behind a computer screen and complain about how they have been offended by something. They write articles on why certain things are offensive, and do not have to face anyone. Twitter, Facebook and other online blogging sites are an aphrodisiac for these “activists.”

One example of this is the NFL’s Washington Redskins. The Redskins are one of the league’s oldest franchises, but over the last few years the team name has been labeled as an offensive racial slur towards Native Americans. The team owner, Dan Snyder, has refused to change the name. I am with him 100%. In a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post, it was found that nine of 10 Native Americans are NOT offended by the team name. Nine in 10. That’s 90%. So what is the big deal? Are we really going to cater to the needs of 10% or less? Why has no one cared about the name for the last 100 years? It will only be a matter of time before PC infects other professional sports teams, and this needs to stop.

Another example is Christmas and the holidays. It is technically considered not politically correct to say “Merry Christmas” to someone during the holidays. Really? Christmas is a holiday that has been celebrated in America for centuries. I understand not everyone celebrates Christmas, but to be forced to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” to avoid offending those of other religions is absurd to me.

Fellow PC-hater Rob Congdon said, “I think it’s pretty ridiculous that all of the sudden Christmas offends people.” Well Rob, I couldn’t agree more. If someone wished me “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanza” I would say “You too!”, although I do not celebrate Hanukkah, I can respect other traditions. Is banning Christmas the next alternative? Wake up America.

Finally the biggest issue is the sudden problem with the American flag and the national anthem. At multiple high schools and colleges across the country, our flag has been banned from sporting events. North Carolina’s CBS affiliate, WNCN, reported that at Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina students were not allowed into the game because they were carrying flags. This happens while others such as Colin Kaepernick of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers have been praised as “brave” for sitting for the nation’s anthem. His protests started during the NFL preseason in August and since then various players, teams and even fans at the University of Alabama have followed him. I find this disgustingly sad. Our flag is a symbol of our nation’s rich history and has been proudly waved across the nation as it should be. The National Anthem has been sung at every sporting event for years and players, coaches and fans have always stood for it. However, political “activists” have deemed the flag and anthem as “outdated” and “irrelevant.” Well I could not disagree more. I will always love our flag and anthem and I will stand for it until I die.

These are only a few examples of the “politically correct” storm that has engulfed America and several other areas of the world. It is one of the topics I feel most strongly about. I really can’t understand the way some people see the world. Neither can Nick Moore, who said, “I think political correctness is ruining our society and making us weak.”

People like myself, Rob, Nick and so many others need to stand up to this awful problem and end it before it gets any worse. I understand there are a few select words that should not be said, but that is a very small number.

The Fear of PC
by Jack Dakin

Political Correctness: “Agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people” (via Merriam Webster Dictionary). Political correctness, or PC, is not a problem, nor a solution to the problems in society.

The popularity of social media has created a platform for the people who have been quiet for so long. This has had positive and negative effects across the nation.

The positive side of this is that those who have been discriminated and hated for so long are able to voice their opinion and speak freely. The negative side to the increase in social media are trolls having the power to spread their hate. They don’t have to hide their faces anymore. They can hide in their online accounts able to speak as freely as they desire.

Some people who are spreading a lot of negativity on the Internet are white supremacists, whose voices are heard louder than ever before in America. They have a lot of hate triggered towards recent news involving: black-white racial tension, increase in women’s rights, terrorism, Muslim refugees, increase in gay rights, anti-Semitism and Hispanic immigrants.

Commenting on the issue, senior Nick Rajotte says, “The reason for this backlash against PC is because equality to the big and powerful feels like oppression.”

Now this reality of the alt-right in power happened November 8, 2016. When Donald Trump was elected president, he gave validation and seeming support to to these white supremacists. Trump’s message of building a wall to keep immigrants out, banning all Muslims, and the disrespect of minorities and women, are all music to their ears. Donald Trump’s newly-appointed Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, stated proudly after the Republican National Convention, “We’re the platform for the alt-right.” He is the executive editor for a white nationalist online blog, Breitbart News Network, and now Trump is appointing this man to a cabinet position.

Adding more fuel to the alt-right’s power, Trump was endorsed by the former Grand Wizard of the KKK before the election, and Trump has retweeted multiple KKK and other alt-right tweets. Obviously not everyone that voted for Trump is one of these white supremacists, but everyone who voted for Trump is guilty of putting them in charge.

You do not have to be politically correct in order to respect those who are discriminated against and, just because a person is “politically correct” does not make that person better than anyone else. However, being PC does make you a lot more open-minded and more socially-conscious. I hope that if you use PC you are doing it for the right reasons: to help those discriminated against, NOT to make you feel better about yourself.

Some people are just tired and annoyed by the constant corrections of society and do not really care because they are not a minority being discriminated against.

“People just need to stop being sensitive,” says Tom Reynolds. “Why can’t they just worry about themselves and stop annoying everyone else?”

I fail to see the validity of the arguments against political correctness. I try to keep an open mind and listen to the opposing arguments of PC but the best argument is that people should just “worry about themselves.”

I would hope that those annoying politically correct people you see everywhere on the internet now are only trying to be respectful to those who are discriminated against. They are using their rights and peacefully protesting something that they think might offend someone.

As society is constantly changing the overall trend of humanity is that we will be more tolerant. In 2016 we are seeing a backlash, but 20 or 30 years from now we will look back on this time and view the anti-politically correct as we viewed the KKK members back in the 1960’s. Although these changes won’t happen overnight, history shows that the intolerant never prevail.

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