Political correctness has gotten so out of control that it often prevents people from communicating at all.
All it does is make life more frustrating for people who are already neurotically sensitive. I worry about offending people all the time. I watch what I say and write and often agonize over a simple e-mail:
If I say A, the recipient will think I’m mad at them.
If I say B, it sounds overly familiar.
If I say C, it sounds too flippant.
If I say D, it’s too long, and of course I don’t want to offend the busy.
But as a cultural force, it’s not helping. Many people are as fanatical and aggressive as ever. But when I’m in trouble for something I’ve said, it affects me deeply. My firsthand knowledge of this is what keeps me vigilant.
Political correctness is a blight to open communication. Even when people see something they know is wrong, they won’t speak up if they think it will be perceived as an affront to someone’s race or religion.
Where I live, “Well it’s a cultural thing” is a common statement by the strongly liberal to explain away disturbing habits. In my intimate world, it’s chained dogs and garbage. It’s a cultural thing? I fall victim to this way of thinking also. I go pick up the garbage myself to avoid appearing confrontational. It’s sad and absurd, don’t you think?
As I write this, I worry about being offensive. I am neither liberal nor conservative. I hate being forced to choose sides. Why can’t we have a People Who Think About Stuff political party?
The word “racist” is the most overused word in America. No matter what your politics, you’re probably not a racist. It’s an ugly, ugly concept. Fear of being called a racist is not a true motivation for the choices we make. It’s a phobia that deepens the impact of political correctness in a way that is not helpful to anyone. It makes us feel guilty for being alive. I feel somehow slightly brainwashed.