Opinion: Keep it real

By Rachel Hankinson — Many people today are afraid to speak, fearful of being branded as something that they are not.

Today’s society has become so concerned with being politically correct that it creates offensive situations. For example when casually speaking to friends I begin stumbling on my words trying to say the politically correct term for Jewish people (which turns out to be simply Jewish). I felt awkward in front of the people I was talking to and was questioned if I was trying to be offensive afterwards.

In no way do I ever mean to be offensive towards any race, religion, or stereotype. I like to think of myself as a funny person. I frequently refer to a specific person or a group of people as “you people”. I am not meaning to be rude by this statement,which is the accusation I tend to get, I am merely talking in a witty diction.

This all got me thinking, why are we so quick to believe someone is being offensive or are so concerned with being politically correct?

While doing a little research I found that there are different types of political correctness. According to Marilyn Edelstein, Ph.D. there are three common types of political correctness.

The first describes those who are striving to achieve multicultural and pluralistic perspective. The second are those who use the term to describe someone and third are those who advocate political correctness so people will not be offended.

I find it mildly amusing that the term political correctness, which is viewed as the attempt of not being maliciously stereotypical, has itself been stereotyped. William Lind, an expert on military affairs and a speaker on cultural controversy, stated that political correctness is something new to this century. He argues that Political Correctness has defined ethnicity, sex, etc. and has become “deadly serious”.

It seems to me that we have created an ideology that only offends others and leads to violence. When people are deemed as being nonpolitically correct they are gasped at by society and in worse cases marked for violence by those offended.

In formal settings being politically correct is probably needed and is advised. But during everyday conversation political correctness has become superfluous.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]