Recently, I had someone tell me that ” I wasn’t being politically correct enough.” When I asked them to explain what they meant, the answer that I received was “Well we’re millennials, we should always be politically correct.”
And to that person, my response is this.
Just because I am a millennial and a human being, doesn’t mean I will be politically correct 100% of the time. And neither will you.
Political correctness (PC) is a term that is thrown around frequently in society today. It is used in discussions relating to a variety of issues, including (but not limited to) racism, homophobia and other LGBT+ issues, religious bigotry, etc.
While I personally support the use of politically correct terms and the breaking down of systemic institutions and the powers in place, I think being 100% PC may sometimes come at a cost.
By trying so hard not to offend or demean, we end up often confronting or berating others if they are not as socially cognizant as we assume they should be. Therefore, by belittling others for not being hyper-sensitive, we ourselves are not being PC. The original issue/topic gets muddled in a sea of false politeness and the real purpose of the discussion is put asunder.
Now, I am not saying that I think political correctness is without merit, but I do think that some people exploit it is as an excuse to justify their actions and behaviors. Some people simply assume that because they are “being PC”, it means that they are empowered to scold others for their lack of social consciousness/self-editing.
This potentially false sense of empowerment of a higher moral compass may not take into account the other individuals’ knowledge or comprehension about the subject that is being discussed. By not taking into account the person’s background, religious/cultural upbringing or general education, the PC person hinders their ability to construct or support a persuasive argument. You can’t help someone to learn if you don’t know how to teach.
To effectively evolve and create a more socially conscious global community, I believe we must first listen, even if we don’t like what we’re hearing. Mutual respect and growth only comes from those who are willing to feel uncomfortable with the conversation. In my opinion, everyone benefits when we are less concerned with being correct, and more concerned with open, non judgmental dialogue.
It is important to be conscious of the words we are using, but it is also important to be aware of the thoughts that are being expressed.