Political correctness


I even have difficulty in spelling it, let alone achieving it or even to truly understand it. I keep seeing it on Facebook and hearing people say that they are “over or tired of political correctness.” But the entire subject or heading just confuses me. I suspect people are being either deliberately or lazily mischievous in their use of the term. Some things I hear or see that are put under the heading of political correctness are just silly. I will take for instance that I have heard many schools have given away singing the National Anthem because it may offend someone. That is just silly. There are so many benefits to kids singing the National Anthem that far outweigh an individual’s set of morals. For instance by singing as a group you get a real sense of community and group well-being. You may even learn to hold a note. You learn to remember words of a song. You learn how melody works, that to start together is a good thing, that some things are not jokes.

These are things that are real and tangible. Now if schools are giving away singing the National Anthem because it is too difficult to find a suitable backing track or the right transmission equipment or teachers can’t be bothered. While I understand all of those things, that should not come under the heading of political correctness, that comes under the heading of “Lazy” or “I don’t give a shit”. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I do understand it. If it is because it is going to offend someone, that is probably political correctness and I don’t like it too much.

When people say that the SSM yes vote is political correctness, I don’t understand that. In many cases I feel It is easier for them to pop that into their personal mental filing cabinet under “uncomfortable internal dialogue”. That way they don’t have to deal with it on an emotional level. I understand also that many people don’t want to deal with emotionally sensitive issues unless it directly affects them personally. Unless it is their daughter or their son, or their aunt they would prefer to call it political correctness. But is that truly what this is?

I read yesterday a comment from a woman who said she was being bullied by advocates of the YES vote because they were strident in their belief for a universally held YES stance, and didn’t agree with her position. Now that seems to me to be another piece of intellectual laziness. There is nothing surer than her right to vote NO. However if she is going to go public with that stance, she cannot then say she is being bullied by the YES supporters because they don’t agree with her. It is petulant and immature to describe people on the other side of any debate as bullies. It is the sort of thing certain radio jocks say. It has a ring of authenticity to it because no-one likes to be bullied, but it isn’t necessarily correct.

It is not OK to go public with your support for one side of the debate or the other with an ill-considered, poorly articulated point of view. Just shut up and vote if you can’t articulate your reasons. If you haven’t really applied all of your intellect to the issue, just shut up and vote. Ideally though it would be better to have a robust conversation about truly why you think what it is you think. I have done things and behaved in certain ways because I am afraid of the dark. I jump higher than I need to when I hear a loud noise late at night. Sometimes the things we don’t know and cant see scare us more than the things we can see and understand.

Is the movement to more political correctness directly tied with our move away from societal thinking and toward individualism. Sadly it probably is. America and Australia are the two standout countries in the world when it comes to this shift in our thinking and motivation if the current band of social researchers have it correct. Where once the modus operandi would be “what is best for our community or society?” it is now “what is best for me?” Food for thought.