The debate over so-called “political correctness” has dominated mainstream political and cultural discourse over the past decade and, frankly, it’s getting tiresome and boring. The debate’s been spearheaded by pundits like Dave Rubin, Tomi Lahren, Ben Shapiro, and many other corporate-state apologists on both the right-left spectrum. On the outset, the “Anti-PC” crowd has some appealing points, though most of it tends to fall on the aphoristic front–people have a right to express their opinions in the name of rational debate, even if it runs the risk of being “offensive.” But is it seriously that big of a deal if, say, Colin Kapernick chooses to kneel down as a sign of protest against police brutality? Or if students at Yale want a former proponent of slavery’s (John C Calhouns) name scrubbed off a residential hall? Will the oceans rise to smother us all in a wave of sexual perversion if, god forbid, transgender or non-binary individuals get to be called what they want to be called? I can’t help but feel that those who spend their days brooding over these so-called “cultural” issues are the real “snowflakes” here.
Those who proclaim to be “victims” of “PC run amok” have very little to lose when compared to actual victims of discrimination run amok. The former might lose the freedom to say “faggot” or “dyke” but that’s about it, whereas the latter might lose the freedom to walk down the halls safely without being called a “faggot” or a “dyke” and be once again reminded of their historic dehumanization and disenfranchisement. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t really compare. Would one cling on to the “Anti-PC” argument if asked to address a Black person as, well, Black instead of “negro”? No. Thus, I see no reason why people need to get so up in arms over keeping the “Redskins” football team name or calling non-binary gendered person “Zhe.” It takes very little effort to do so. And the fact that some people put so much effort in trying not to says more about them than they’ll ever know. It’s akin to the obnoxious shit stain of a classmate who goes around the schoolyard calling everyone “retard” and then getting mad that nobody wants to play with him.
Overall, the debate over “political correctness” is so frivolous an issue, it’s hardly worth getting one’s panties in a knot over. Where are people like Dave Rubin and Sam Harris’s equivalent outrage over the bigger social issues, such as our country’s immense rate of childhood poverty, massive wealth inequality, wage and infrastructure stagnation, institutional racism/sexism, our scandalous and savage healthcare system, and the impending environmental catastrophe? Where are all these “Anti-PC” pundits on matters such as the fact that our snake oil salesman of a President has proven thus far to be utterly incapable of remedying any of those above issues, planning to massively cut social spending in favor of an already excessive military budget (in defense of whom I wonder), and a Congress more or less dominated by the interests of the corporate class (and which will continue to be dominated by this class with the appointment of several of Trump’s new cabinet members).
Look, I admit, I occasionally roll my eyes at fellow liberal friends who resort to hyperboles, trying to prove that their opponents come straight from the depths of fascist hell. And it can be annoying. But let’s face it. The main group of people who think “coddled college students” and “political correctness” are the greatest threat to our current stability and democracy are, ironically, those who are probably coddled in their own safe spaces, spaces in which the only permissible idealization of life is a corporate office space with a view. If the Anti-PC people spend half as much time on actual substantiated issues, such as issues which have a real impact on the lives and wellbeing of millions and millions of Americans all across the racial and political spectrum, as they do on “social justice warriors”, then maybe we would be more on the same page. Right now, these people just seem to have nothing else to complain about, which, again, says a lot more about them than they probably realize.