Political correctness: a social necessity or a liberal nuisance?

Protecting the integrity of conversation, political correctness should be valued
by MaryEllen Cagnassola
Politically correct speech is often dismissed as part of the liberals’ agenda to destroy the First Amendment. In popular culture, being “politically correct” has become synonymous with the hypersensitive human resources guy at the office who butts into every water-cooler conversation to ensure no one utters an offensive word. The term politically correct itself has taken on a negative connotation, unsurprisingly assigned by the far right of the political spectrum, clouding its true intentions.

But being “PC” is a badge that should be proudly worn. It is not merely a means of policing the English language to ensure that it is never vibrant or expressive, and it is not identical to the censorship that robs books and movies of their authenticity. Instead, politically correct should stand for someone who is sensitive to the cultures, religions, and races of the world.
“The phrase ‘political correctness’ was born as a coded cover for all who still want to say Paki, spastic or queer, all those who still want to pick on anyone not like them, playground bullies who never grew up. The politically correct society is the civilized society…” wrote British journalist Polly Toynbee in defense of political correctness.
Political correctness is not a threat to free speech, nor is it a hindrance to honest and open conversation. It simply sets barriers to protect social groups from insult and intolerance. This is not to say that words like Negro, cripple and faggot should be erased from memory, because they do hold value in reminding us how far we’ve advanced socially. But they should certainly be regulated so that their use does not become commonplace as it once was; political correctness acts as a guide to ensure that hateful words are unacceptable, not illegal.
“A lot of high school students use the word ‘gay’ to describe something stupid or lame, and this demeans an entire group of people. Political correctness is important because it ensures that words that have been given negative connotations are not used to insult others,” said senior Ross Alexander.
Those who assert themselves as “politically incorrect” should not boast so loudly, for they are not the rebellious cowboys of conversation and they are not equated with those who fought for our freedom of speech. Would those same people so proudly proclaim that they are racist, that they are insensitive to others’ backgrounds?
Using hateful language, though perhaps not loaded as a direct insult, does not make anyone noble or honest.
A formal annoyance, politically correct speech is unnecessary
by Kelly Lapham
The difference between fact and judgment is frequently confused or misunderstood. In the name of politically correct speech, many are assigned  false intents. Though these individuals may not have spoken with ill intentions,  they have been outright labeled as racist, sexist, classist or another “ist.” The overbearing sensation of undeserved shame and humiliation inevitably impairs anyone’s ability to defend an account. The speaker is shattered by these misused labels and left deprived of worth in discourse. The bottom line is, students are merely presenting facts, not opinions, and therefore, while there is no aim to be politically incorrect, students are being assigned so.
This unfairly appointed objective results in students restraining themselves from expressing their thoughts due to a fear of being accused of discriminating against or judging others.
Speaking in a politically correct manner can be a hard habit to drop. We all know it is easier to avoid the touchy subjects or at least butter them up a bit. Political correctness typically transpires during conversations regarding sensitive topics, including religion, political parties, race or gender roles in society.
Students should be allowed to speak about these topics in a factually. For instance,  religion is based on history and is a part of many peoples’ cultures. Much of political correctness is over thinking, as in avoiding words like mailman or chairman when referring to a woman.
“It is unnecessary for women to be upset over the use of gender specific words because it has been the standard for so many years. People shouldn’t have to be affected by it now,” said senior Allison Geissler. Facts are facts, even when they are embarrassing or sad or offensive.
Though it is reasonable and natural for humans to attempt to make something seem less unpleasant, political correctness robs discussions of clarity, truth and frankness. Now, there’s a fine line between being politically incorrect and being disrespectful. Everyone should be respectful no matter what the circumstances are. Nonetheless, people should feel comfortable speaking their mind as long as it is without malicious intentions. Remember, politically incorrect does not mean wrong.

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