It has been said that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” and I think the whole idea of politically correct behavior fits that profile.
Political correctness, despite its grandiose stupidity, started with a good intention; that being the concept that it wouldn’t hurt any of us to pay more attention to what we say and where we say it.
But in my mind that means you don’t tell the joke about the farmer’s daughter while you’re having Easter Dinner with your grandmother.
The impetus for P.C. behavior was an attempt (largely blamed on left-wing liberals) to curb derogatory speech in the hopes that if people were taught to monitor their word choice it would inevitably lead to their actions following suit.
Unfortunately I don’t think it has worked exactly the way it was drawn up.
Sure, we don’t hear as much offensive language anymore, but have we put to rest the motivation behind such talk?
I don’t think so.
I used to work with a guy who told a different joke every day. Some were funnier than others but they were all very racist (mostly targeted at black people).
When the P.C. Police forced him to stop telling his jokes (in public anyway) he consented…but as for the mentality that made him tell the jokes in the first place – well that never went away. In fact it probably grew in response to “the man” trying to shut him up. He still told his jokes, but he always looked over his shoulder before hand to make sure his audience was comprised of “like-minded” people.
So there you have a perfect example of how the idea failed.
Instead of addressing the problem at the root, we simply hid it from view.
In my mind, that’s the equivalent of covering a six-foot deep hole with a throw rug. You haven’t eliminated the danger; you’ve only made it look better.
When it comes to racist behavior, forcing people to clean up their speech will not turn them into pillars of tolerance and defenders of equality. It simply pisses them off and in some cases increases their hatred and bigotry. You’ve only given them another reason to hate the targets of their racism.
I would love to see bigotry and racism wiped out – it would make the entire world a much better place, but it isn’t going to happen by word substitution.
Will it ever happen? I don’t know, but I try to live by the words of Mahatma Gandhi who said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
If you haven’t read the first three parts of this series click one of the links… Part I… Part II … Part III