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The definition of political correctness says, “The term political correctness is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society.” Political Correctness is idealistic at best, but the problems with these ideas come from those who use to it censor others. If our representatives are forced to censor themselves to make sure they do not offend any groups of people is not good for our freedom of speech, but the people speaking choose whether they want to use politically correct language. But the problem arises when people are forced to speak in a way that does not represent their true beliefs in fear of risking their electability, credibility, and future opportunities to speak their mind.
The current culture around the Politically Correct (PC) movement is predatory, the people pushing for this language are using their perceived outrage to mute the argument of those they do not agree with. It is a failure of the first amendment if we allow our language to be moderated by those who seek only to further their own political agenda. The issue is apparent; the university can control who is speaking, where they are able to speak on campus, and if they are able to speak at all. Many universities with these rules lean liberal, making it extremely difficult for conservative speakers to be allowed on those campuses.
Extreme members of the PC Movement are calling for legal regulation of language that causes distress in person or a group of people. One author believes the enactment of laws to limit our freedom of speech is a concerning proposal, but it is unlikely any laws will be put into place as it goes against the constitution. The First Amendment states that “Congress should make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.” But the enforcement of political correctness does not originate from law, instead it is the rules and regulations in areas that support the concept of political correctness. Many workplaces, universities, and private organizations utilize a “speech code”, which are any rule of regulation that limits, restricts, or bans speech beyond the legal limitations of freedom of speech. Speech codes can be well meaning, but the first amendment has its limitations already that protect the legal rights of others from hate speech, true threats, incitement, and other extreme language. Speech codes aim to limit an individual’s freedom of expression and the vague terms of the rules are concerning as depending on their application they could be abused. Many of these policies ban offensive language and/or disparaging remarks. These speech codes can and have been abused to limit many protests/demonstrations to free speech zones or outside the campus. Many of these protesters need to request permission beforehand to demonstrate on campus, which can be accepted and denied at the discretion of the University. The FIRE Foundation, or Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says:
If universities applied these rules to the letter, major voices of public criticism, satire, and commentary would be silenced on American campuses, and some of our greatest authors, artists, and filmmakers would be banned. These codes also lead students to believe they have an absolute right to be free from offense, embarrassment, or discomfort. As a result, other students begin the compromise of self-censorship.
A student’s college years are some of his/her most formative years. A student’s interactions with other students, speakers, and the protests he or she witnesses will shape his or her political alignment, attitude, and character. Conservative speakers like Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos are constantly being banned or interrupted and shut down by so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJW or SJWs) who protect the ideas of those who they agree with, but are immediately triggered by even the presence anyone who disagrees with their ideas on things like gender and racial equality. If your do not allow your views to be challenged, then maybe they aren’t worth upholding. By not allowing a discussion, they are effectively censoring any views that do not align with their own under the guise of eliminating what they find offensive. As the FIRE foundation said, “… these codes lead students to believe they have an absolute right to be free from offense” and in a perfect world that would be true. But the world is far from perfect, and in order to have a healthy discourse not all parties will agree with one another. It is extraordinary to think a person could be removed from a college campus for saying something another person found offensive. What is the limit of such a rule? The current implementation of these rules makes it extremely difficult for college students to have a healthy discord without fear of “offending” the other party. The choice to be offended is a vague one, these “easily-triggered, privileged people are trying to turn society to a giant safe space”.
As for safe-spaces, or “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm,” they are beginning to pop-up all over the country. These safe-spaces aim to protect the easily offended. Safe spaces can be an asset for many minorities to come together and air their grievances in the safety of their peers. But the expectation that safe-spaces should be mandatory or universal shows how extremely privileged the PC movement is.
Most of the actors in the PC movement are minority, liberal, college students. They are the ones who protest to disinvite those speakers they do not agree with, they are the ones who police the language we can use, they are the ones that are core of the issues. But the real issue, is the administration that gives into the demands of the PC movement. Allowing their students their safe-space is one thing, but relatively harmless in practice, allowing them a place to gather and feel safe. Rooms full of their peers, no challenges to their views, essentially an echo chamber of politically correct propaganda. Coddling these young adults with safe-spaces, banned speakers, and defenses of PC culture allows them to feel validated that they are the victim. When truly, they are the bullies. The number of people that have had their careers ruined by this easily offended subset of the population is large enough to start considering removing these outrageous protections for these peoples. Once these students graduate from these universities, they enter the real world, which is unlike any of their unrealistic expectations.
They are all such bleeding-heart liberals that are so violently against any belief that isn’t their own, and they will use any means of furthering their own agenda. Their successes set a dangerous precedent that they are the right side of the argument, which could not be further from the truth, the PC movement is a manipulative, dangerous movement which threatens the livelihood of those who appose it, up to and including the first amendment.
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