Political correctness has negatively skewed conversations on college campuses
If hearing “ladies and gentlemen” offends you, you’re probably a college student.
The concept of political correctness is oppressive in nature. People deem certain words PC (politically correct) if someone thinks they are offensive. As reported by Campus Reform, “Merriam-Webster defines ‘politically correct’ as ‘conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.’” In practice, it means that viewpoints and speech that aren’t far-left aren’t tolerated. The motive behind political correctness is to control what people can and can’t say. It’s a threat to free speech and freedom and must be fought.
Having a PC mindset means you care more about appeasing others than speaking the truth. Sometimes speaking up for what’s right makes people feel uncomfortable but such discourse is key to having a vibrant society. An example of political correctness in action comes from the same article by Campus Reform. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Inclusive Excellence Center “aims to ‘raise awareness of microaggressions and their impact.’” Whether it comes from other students, professors, or university faculty, policing students over negligible differences in diction doesn’t help anyone. I’ve talked with too many students that tell me they’re afraid to say their opinion because it doesn’t fit the PC narrative.
The PC culture doesn’t just discourage free speech, quite often it shuts it down. In recent years, we have seen riots erupt when conservative speakers come to college campuses. The birthplace of the free speech movement, UC Berkeley, has become one of many campuses that are not safe for freedom-loving students. CNN reported that when Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at Berkeley, rioters attacked the event by shutting it down, assaulting conservatives, and throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, causing $100,000 of damage. At a later event in which conservative Ben Shapiro spoke, large numbers of police officers were needed to secure the event because of the threat of violence from the left. These aren’t isolated instances, and it happens far too frequently.
It’s one thing to protest and another to assault your opponents. On college campuses, anything that certain professors or students disagree with is labeled hate speech and shut down. This is a fascist tactic that poses a real threat to campus culture. If you disagree with someone, don’t be afraid of them speaking. Free speech means you have the right to say what you want. Sometimes you have to listen to people you disagree with. You don’t have the right to control what someone else says, so long as they are not explicitly calling for or defending violence.
Colleges and universities are no longer places of open minds, tolerance, or critical thinking as a direct result of political correctness. To fix this problem, we need first to call out political correctness for what it is and speak the truth. Second, we have to be open-minded and realize that those who disagree with you generally have good intentions. People need to man up and accept that they may have to hear things they disagree with and be bold enough to stand up for what they believe even if it’s not PC.