Bilerico Report

There’s nothing wrong with being politically correct

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Bil Browning

Donald Trump touts his opposition to so-called “political correctness,” and he very consciously insults and scapegoats undocumented immigrants, Muslims, Mexicans, Native Americans, women, people with disabilities, and other groups while figuratively using their bodies as stepping stones toward his takeover of the White House.

Nicolle Wallace, a former spokesperson in the George W. Bush administration, heartedly supports the Bush era CIA agency’s “enhanced interrogation” (a.k.a. torture) techniques on suspected Al-Qaeda operatives. Wallace, a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” defended the policy on the show in fiery language.

“The notion that somehow this makes America less great is asinine and dangerous…. But the notion that what we do affects terrorists is a lie. It’s a lie perpetrated by political correctness and liberals, and it’s dangerous.”

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas has organized a movement to call the fall holiday season what he believes it really is, the “Christmas Season,” and he asserts that businesses who display “Happy Holidays” greetings are simply stooping to “political correctness.”  

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh argues that “Feminism is one of those issues which has established itself in the political correctness hall of fame. As such, it is not fashionable to take issue with or poke fun at the philosophy, which underlies the movement.” He characterizes women’s rights activists as “feminazis.” In addition, he asserted that “political correctness, PC, is literally the law of the land on many campuses.” And Iowa Republican U.S. Representative Steve King refers to “political correctness” as “intellectual fascism.”

The political Right coined the terms “political correctness,” “politically correct,” and “PC” as pejorative rhetorical ploys to intimidate, discredit, and outright dismiss the statements, policies, and actions of the progressive Left generally, and more specifically, to inhibit anyone from thinking critically and challenging societal inequalities. They did this not only to maintain their own privileged status quo, but more importantly, to roll back advancements progressives have made to ensure that our nation actually lives up to its promise and potential of becoming “a more perfect union.”

Conservatives originally deployed the terms in the 1990s as a reactionary backlash to the critical multicultural and social justice educational movements in our schools, and against attempts to promote sensitivity of the numerous cultural traditions that make up the fabric of our nation. These educational movements, with a foundation built on developing and enhancing critical consciousness of self and society, stood and continues to stand as a contradiction to the so-called “neoliberal” era of standardization, corporatization, globalization, privatization, and deregulation of the business, banking, and corporate sectors.

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