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13 May 2013

The PC'ing of Issues and Its Fallout

The New York Times ran a story a couple days ago about how marketers are increasingly walking back advertisements that are received as "offensive." Emotional "pain" and "offense" are the wrong frames for these kinds of ads. It is more accurately about creating and reinforcing structural inequality and subtle and unconscious prejudice and discrimination. By thinking in terms of offensiveness, critics set their own argument up for dismissal. It ends up being interpreted as some people having thin skin instead of some people being systematically disadvantaged. Structural and subtle framing is more precise and leads to more robust dialogue and progress.

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