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Rebuttal: political correctness doesn’t infringe on people’s right to free speech

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    Politically correct (PC) is a pejorative term. It is used negatively throughout conservative news media to demonstrate the “oppressive” nature of the far-left. In fact, Matthew Noyes, the president of SUNY Albany’s Turning Point USA chapter states, “It’s a threat to free speech and freedom and must be fought. For Turning Point USA, “freedom” is their calling card. This is why I found it so intriguing that their president does not know what free speech actually is.      

    Free speech is being able to say what you want when you want, as long as it does not cause clear and present danger. Turning Point USA has every right to say what they wish, PC or not, courtesy of our First Amendment Rights. This is why our police officers protect KKK members and neo-Nazis at public rallies. Someone may correct you, but you can still say what you want. That is free speech.

    If anything, attempting to stop political correctness as the norm is the opposite of freedom. Being PC prevents the marginalization of minority groups and individuals. Being PC also prevents minority individuals from being homogenized into the majority. Being anti-PC is the very definition of ethnocentrism, something that America cannot allow to continue. Every publicly educated child should have been told that America is a melting pot of different races, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions and values. Being PC allows those variations to blend together, while still acknowledging them for what they are. Forcing an individual to adhere to your norms simply because you are too lazy to learn word differences is dangerous and anti-freedom.

    In Matthew Noyes’s article, he states that PC culture shuts down free speech and is exemplified by the numerous riots that have occurred when a conservative figure comes to speak on a college campus. His logic fails to recognize that being PC has nothing to do with the riots on college campuses and is a separate issue all together. Rioting occurs because individuals do not want to listen to conservative talking heads. I can understand not wanting to listen to conservative logic, but the key to defeating legislative gridlock is through compromise. Compromise must include listening to the opposite side of the political spectrum. Violence is not okay, and the inability to communicate with political adversaries is counterintuitive, but it has nothing to do with being politically correct.

Political correctness is something that should be celebrated. As American citizens we should want to adhere to the correct way to describe a person, regardless of what group they fall into. The PC mindset does not come without challenges, as most people make mistakes regarding pronouns. Personally, I am guilty of using the term “guys” to describe all people, and it is something that I am working on. Someone who uses the term, “man up” in an opinion piece is ignorant of the situation all together. So please, don’t be lazy. Learn from your mistakes. Being politically correct is synonymous to being correct, and the rhetoric of the ignorant should not convince anyone otherwise.


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