The History of Political Correctness

Written August 7, 2016
***A reminder to all who read this today, I ask you do not leave any derogatory comments. If you do not like what I’ve written just politely leave the page but perhaps contemplate what you read.. Find out for yourself if what I’ve written is true. There’s a lot I’ve wanted to write about as far as current events. Today is Part 2 of my “trilogy”, if you will. I do my best to write as objectively and honestly as I can. I also do my best to research what I write because my mom used to say, “ Think before you speak” or in this case write.

I thought I’d revisit a topic that’s somewhat near and dear to my heart, so to speak – Political Correctness(or PC for short), however, I decided to do something slightly different today. Since I found so much information by accident on the internet and since I wrote about this topic earlier, I’m calling this a trilogy so this is Part 2. I thought I’d do some cutting, splicing and rearranging what I found it would make more sense. The following information is from a variety of sources including Vocabulary (.) com(not doing proper citations so when I share with other groups I’m not breaking protocol by advertising anyone) and Wikipedia as well as others . This was the best way I could think of so that you can get a better grasp as to what Political Correctness is and why I and countless others like me dislike it. What I’d found in Wikipedia was rather interesting to read.

Political correctness, based on the various sites, is the practice of being careful not to offend or exclude anyone, especially people who belong to groups that are frequently discriminated against. It is used to describe language, policies, or measures which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society. It’s an avoidance of words, expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude, marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. In the media, the term is generally used as a word or phrase that has negative connotations or that is intended to disparage or belittle, implying that these policies are excessive. It’s a type of correctness or the quality of conformity to social expectations. It has also been seen by some as a liberal efforts to advance self-victimization, multiculturalism through language, affirmative action, and changes to the content of school and university curricula.

The original meaning of Political Correctness was ‘in line with prevailing political thought or policy’, that is, the term previously used ‘correctness’ in its literal sense and without any particular reference to language that some might consider discriminatory. That usage dates back to the 18th century; for example, J. Wilson’s comments in U.S. Republic, 1793: “The states, rather than the people, for whose sake the states exist, are frequently the objects which attract and arrest our principal attention… Sentiments and expressions of this inaccurate kind prevail in our common, even in our convivial, language… ‘The United States’, instead of the ‘People of the United States’, is the toast given. This is not politically correct.”

“In the early-to-mid 20th century, the phrase ‘politically correct’ was associated with the dogmatic(see next paragraph) application of Stalinist doctrine, This usage referred to the Communist party line, which dictated ‘correct’ positions on many political matters. According to American educator Herbert Kohl, writing about debates in New York in the late 1940s and early 1950s, ‘The term [politically correct] was used disparagingly***(see below) to refer to someone whose loyalty to the CP line overrode compassion, and led to bad politics. It was used by Socialists against Communists, and was meant to separate out Socialists who believed in egalitarian**(see below) moral, ideas from dogmatic Communists who would advocate and defend party positions regardless of their moral substance.’ “ — ”Uncommon Differences”, The Lion and the Unicorn Journal, June 1992

To be dogmatic is to follow a set of rules no matter what. The rules might be religious, philosophical, or made-up, but dogmatic people would never waver in their beliefs so don’t even think of trying to change their minds.To be dogmatic is to follow a doctrine relating to morals and faith, a set of beliefs that is passed down and never questioned. It also refers to arrogant opinions based on unproven theories or even despite facts. Someone dogmatic might insist that dinosaurs never existed or that women shouldn’t drive. Looking at pragmatic vs dogmatic; If you’re pragmatic, you’re practical. You’re living in the real world, wearing comfortable shoes. If you’re dogmatic, you follow the rules. You’re living in the world you want, and acting a little stuck up about it.  

In May 1991, at a commencement ceremony for a graduating class of the University of Michigan, then U.S. President George H.W. Bush used the term in his speech: ‘The notion of political correctness has ignited controversy across the land. And although the movement arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred, it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off-limits, certain expression off-limits, even certain gestures off-limits.’

In the wake of the mass murders in Orlando, BLM’s finger pointed to the ‘hate filled rhetoric of the conservative right’ as the culprit saying, that ‘this terror was completely homegrown, born from the anti-black, white supremacy, patriarchy and homophobia of the conservative right’ BLM continues ‘homegrown terrorism is the product of a long history of colonialism, white supremacy and capitalism.’ How can a terrorist be merely homegrown when he pledges allegiance to ISIS, which is anti-capitalist, about as nonwhite and supremacist you can get and extremely hateful of the West with jihad mass murders to prove it? Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch writes ‘Whether black lives matter and its allies will accept sharia is an open question, but in the meantime subversion*(see below)of the existing order, both by violent and peaceful means, proceeds apace. The murders in Dallas (regardless of the cosmetic condemnations from Black Lives Matter, which fly in the face of its incendiary rhetoric) reveal how all these allied groups will manifest their hatred and accomplish their goal of construction

*** Disparagingly means to express negative, low opinions in order to lower someone’s reputation

** Egalitarian is a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs

* Subversion refers to an attempt to transform the established social order and its structures of power, authority, and hierarchy.

In the 1970s, political correctness was seen as a way to avoid hurting people’s feelings or deeply insulting them, but the phrase soon took on an ironic or critical slant. Today, most people who use the term mean it as a criticism of being overly careful: “Saying ‘fire fighter’ instead of ‘fireman’ seems like political correctness that’s gone too far to me.”

Keep an eye out for the 3rd and final part…

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