Symposium 2012: Has political correctness gone too far?

Michigan: Yes it has gone way too far. Certain political groups want to make it impossible to talk, and possibly even think, about ideas that challenge the established order. How about all the new words and phrases we must use now to describe certain groups and people?
Sydney: The short answer to this question is undoubtedly yes. However, that is not to say that political correctness does not have its place. Political correctness should be about including and respecting people and using language that is tolerant and respectful. So replacing “chairman” with “chairperson” is a good thing to do. This change in language also normalizes the idea of women holding positions of power within corporations and in government. Therefore, it has a broad and positive effect on society. Similarly, the term “firefighter” in place of “fireman” reflects the fact that there are many women engaged in this worthy profession. This term also encourages more women to join. On the other hand, people are becoming unsure of what to say or do in some situations. Is a Christian celebrating Christmas offending someone from a religion that does not celebrate Christmas? Do Christmas carols need to be changed to avoid the remote possibility that someone might be outraged? These are ridiculous notions. People should have the right to say and do what they like as long as society in general believes that these actions and words are not discriminatory, racist, sexist, or generally offensive in some other kind of way. We still have the right to freedom of speech but it is our responsibility to exercise this right in a responsible way.

Cartwright: I for one am tired of the bullshit political correctness. People are waytoo concerned about offending someone else and they’ve used this as an assault on our freedom of speech. Look, I certainly don’t support hate speech, but it’s ridiculous when kids in school can’t call it ‘Indian style’ when they sitting on the floor. And it’s ridiculous that you can’t call someone handicapped or disabled anymore because it may offend someone. What are we supposed to call them? Cripples? Oh, and don’t call someone fat. My God, that’s so hurtful and offensive. You should see the looks I get from others when I point out some fat ass riding a scooter through Disney World because they’re too fat and lazy to walk. And don’t use the term ‘hold the fort down’ lest we offend an Indian. Can’t call a midget a midget anymore. It’s bullshit!

And how about the assault on our Christian values and Christmas. Can’t say Merry Christmas anymore because you might offend a Muslim or an atheist. I don’t get offended if someone tells me Happy Hanukkah just because I’m not Jewish. I think it’s great; they’re spreading the cheer, goodwill, and good tidings they associate with their preferred holiday. And it’s ridiculous that we’re letting atheists dictate that we can’t display nativity scenes or Christmas trees or Christmas decorations. It’s an assault on my values. It’s an assault on American’s foundational values. And it’s an assault on my freedom of speech, my First Amendment right guaranteed me by the Constitution.

Quite honestly, if people don’t like it, they can suck it. Get thicker skin. If you’re overweight and don’t like getting referred to as fat or obese, then lose some weight. Throughout my life I’ve been referred to as ‘Stringbean’ on numerous occasions. Did I get offended? No. Was it hurtful? No. Did I find it funny? Yes!

People need to get over this issue, and the media needs to quite pushing it like it’s an important topic in America. We’re $16 trillion in debt, our economy sucks, and our political system is a bit dysfunctional right now. Don’t we have more important problems than worry about calling someone fat or saying Merry Christmas?

RMC3: I tend to agree that this whole PC stuff has been taken way too far. When it comes to not being able to say Merry Christmas or not having Christmas displays, it’s like the tail wagging the dog. The majority of Americans still identify themselves as Christians. America was founded on Christian values by Christians. Don’t recall any Muslims or Buddhists or disciples of the Church of Whatever’s Happening Now signing the Declaration of Independence. I don’t see Christians going around telling people they can’t celebrate their holidays, so why should anyone else be telling the rest of us that we can’t celebrate Christmas?

And the whole thing about certain terms can’t be used like Indian style or handicapped or midget? Come on, that’s ridiculous. I don’t think anyone that says ‘Hold down the fort’ is trying to be derogatory towards Native Americans. It’s absurd to try to change common vernacular because it may be offensive to someone somewhere. Racial slurs are different, and I object to that because that’s being derogatory and insulting. But saying that a person is handicapped or that a person is a midget when that is factually correct, I don’t see it as an insult or derogatory so I really don’t know why people are getting bent out of shape. If you don’t like the term Indian style, don’t use it, but don’t tell me I can’t use it because you don’t like it.

This is a bigger problem than I think we realize. Kids in school are being taught there are no losers. If your team lost, you came in second place. What PC crap is that? You either win or lose. Not everyone can be a winner. The real world doesn’t work that way. But it’s not PC to call the losing team the losers. To quote the immortal Reese Bobby, ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last.’

Let’s end the overbearing PC garbage. If the people who are so concerned about political correctness put their efforts to good use in other areas, maybe America wouldn’t have the problems we have. Political correctness shouldn’t be an issue in America. It’s a waste of time.

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