About Me

Find out more about me here.

29 January 2018

PC Bashing Is Not a 'Diverse' Idea

In the interest of collegiality and civility, this post may seem somewhat disconnected and vague. (No context for you!) I just wanted to get these ideas down for future reference.

"Political correctness" is a strawman invented by conservatives to more easily dismiss the people and ideas that they associate with the political left. I once wrote in a book chapter:
To be "politically correct" is to avoid offense and the semblance of injury or ill intent. The problem with both the practice of political correctness and the framing of this issue in terms of political correctness is that it ignores the structural nature of racism and the subtleties of unrecognized individual racism.
I tell the frosh in my critical thinking class to ask questions of themselves and ideas. What assumptions are you making? How do you know you're right? Do you have evidence? I have no doubt that one would be able to note isolated incidents in which coworkers and organizations "overreacted" to "misunderstandings." The more important question, though, is Is this widespread and systemic? (Spoiler: the answer is, no, it's not.) You know what is widespread and systematic? Sexism. Sexual harassment. Sexual assault. Implicit bias. Institutional racism. Structural racism. By framing "political correctness" as a problem, we actively negate the calls of those who strive to rectify actual social problems.

It is one thing to engage in discussion that seeks to interrogate the concept of political correctness, but the taken-for-grantedness that "of course political correctness is a threat!" is doubly dangerous in its insidiousness.

No comments:

Post a Comment