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Political correctness - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

About Political correctness

Previous Entry Political correctness Sep. 16th, 2004 @ 08:32 pm Next Entry
With a belly full of delicious pizza and cinnimon sticks I made my nighly rounds on the internet. I checked out Jeff's blog http://www.uncledirtae.com/ he has a link up to a movie called Brainwashing 101 it is about political correctness. At first I thought that it was going to be some anti-leftist NWO black helicopters type nonsense, and a good chunk of it is, but Jeff may be a bit conservative on some issues (he will call it Libertarian of course but we know different ;) but he does have a strongly thought out base of ideas and is not some blind idiot. Therefore he doesn't need the usual conservative (ahhhemm Libertarian) raw-raw like Bill O'Reily to tell him what to think this week. So knowing Jeff wouldn't put up some crap about how the UN is involved in a plot to overthrough America via Political Correctness, I checked out the link. It got me thinking a lot about political correctness, in my senior rhetoric class at oberlin I read some fabulous articles for and against PC. I feel the same way I felt then, Political correctness was at one time a movement with a noble mission, but has fallen from grace. I posted this responce to Jeff's link. the opening comments about not watching the movie is a reference to the fact that Uncle Dirtae more or less told me the same thing about Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11 and why he wouldn't watch it. But anyways my thoughts on political correctness,



"Having not seen this film and only hearing about it I can say with certainty that it uses fear tactics and emotional arguments and is thus not worth watching.


Just kidding I watched it. I found it interesting but not entirely convincing on many of its charges. At the same time, it did raise some very important issues. It is particular disturbing because the emphasis is on speech and not intent. What I find wrong with political correct speech is it lets people off the hook. People no longer have to think about their intent as long as they don’t use the “buzz word.” One doesn’t need to worry about a “Third World Nation” and solving the problems in them as long as you call them “Developing Nations.” It is tragically ironic that the political correctness movement started among intellectuals to rebel against oppressive entrenched social beliefs and standards, and has only created a new system of equally oppressive and entrenched social beliefs and standards. I believe that words mean nothing, but intent is everything. I have heard best friends call each other horrible things and they laughed about it. I have heard enemies call each other mild things but done so out of hatred. It doesn’t matter what they say, it is what they mean. Political correctness original intent was to tear down existing intent about race religion etc which is a meaningful and helpful goal. But changing intent is hard, and so PC talk went the easy way out, lost that original noble goal, and is now just a glorified word policing agent. Political correctness doesn’t fix the problem of intent, it lets it off the hook entirely. And as one commentator put it, “If I were a Republican I would love it when the Democrats are too busy arguing over if we should call the poor ‘financially challenged’ or the ‘impoverished’ because while they are busy arguing the new political correct catch phrase I would be busy passing all the tax code I want.” Yet those people that use the latest greatest PC term go to bed thinking they have made a difference, but it is only a word. I am sure that the poor would rather go to bed with a roof above them and full belly than knowing they are now called the impoverished. I am sure that a black man or woman would rather be able to walk into a bank and be subject to the same criteria as a white person, rather than walk into a bank knowing that they are an African American. I am sure that a gay and lesbian couple would rather have all the same rights, privileges, and status as their heterosexual counterparts, rather than know that they are each other’s “partner” or “lover.” When all the emphasis is put on words the words become too important. With PC talk policing words people become even more sensitive to words and intention doesn’t seem to be so important anymore. Intent is what is important not words. Words are just a construct of the human mouth. They don’t really mean anything without our minds. Our minds are what give words their soul, and that soul can be foul or beautiful even for the same word. PC talk only looks at the word and not the soul inside of the word. That is why political correctness has fallen from its once lofty and meaningful intent, because it has forgotten that intent is what really matters."
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From:dlc2k
Date:September 17th, 2004 08:49 am (UTC)

My response to YOUR response :)

(Link)
Here's what I left on Jeff's blog:

I have to agree with Andrew. I've seen people arguing over the newest PC terminology that seemed to be more concerned over which word to used rather than what they were actually saying. It doesn't matter whether you refer to a Third World Nation (eek! I said it!!) as "developing" or "third world." Your intent is what matters.

Now people hear a word that is no longer PC and instantly start maiming the person responsible for using the previous term, instead of focusing on what the person is trying to say or do.
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