It is perhaps an undue, steadily encroaching curse on modern society, but whether we like it or not, political correctness is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Or is it?
It is undeniable that we have seen this disease spread to the farthest reaches of our modern, Western world; once a citadel of unrivalled hospitality, now a haven for the forces of bowdlerisation.
But why is it so bad? It is not the concept, but the implementation.
It should be, a simple extension of common decency. However, it is but an evolution of politeness into sets of now conventional rules.
This is where the problem lies.
By forging a set of rules, a society determines whether something is against these rules, whether it is right or wrong to say what one says or think what one thinks. By setting a common standard, you inevitably isolate sections of society. By coining rules based on convention, it is inevitable that interpretation will differ.
Due to the parameters which these rules impose, through political correctness we remove one of the fundamental values of the occidental world; freedom of speech. This has been one of the core principles of the West, enshrined in the US constitution and supposedly valued by our demi-God European Union masters. All hail Lord Juncker, I think not. I joke, of course, but we have seen widespread incidents of censorship.
Take the controversial neo-Republican speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, for example. He’s had his own events shut down by anti-fascist (apparently, could have fooled me) protesters using methods not all too dissimilar to Hitler’s brownshirts in the days of the Nazi rising. It’s all down to controversial humour, such as “feminism is cancer”, causing a huge rift between himself and the Liberal wings around the world for highlighting his thoughts on man-hating feminism – that single monstrous interpretation of the embodiment of a good cause.
Yet Liberal comedians employing similar levels of controversy directed against Conservatives, for example Amy Schumer in a 16th October 2016 show. She slammed Donald Trump as an “orange, sexual-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster”. These are, of course, all pure allegation (barring the ‘orange’ part, which only the angle of lights decide) that would be labelled criminal by the media if it was directed towards someone like Barack Obama.
This all shows that comedic censorship is, in its own right, a joke.
At the same time, Liberal and progressive entities thrive with the attitudes of the time. These times, however, are changing. We have seen trends of viewers swinging away from establishment figures critical of legitimate democratic verdicts. Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, on NBC’s primetime slot, was pulled after just eight of ten planned episodes because its ratings could not beat those of the rerun of Dateline when she took the Fourth of July weekend off. This was after her tiff with Trump.
Compare this with ABC cancelling Conservative show “Last Man Standing” on primetime Friday night and a worrying trend starts to emerge. This was the highest rated show in its timeslot by far and had run for six seasons before being pulled for no particular reason.
Now, isn’t that mysterious?
We’ve also seen the bias of the national broadcaster in the UK; the BBC, who have no shame going against the views of the public despite the public funding it. A majority of 1.3 million people voted to leave the European Union, although you wouldn’t think those 17.4 million people contributed to such a number.
But why anti-Brexit? That good old PC value – INCLUSIVITY! Think of the horror if it turned out that some people didn’t want the progressive, politically correct agenda to continue! But there is always one simple solution to fall back on. That is, to say, ignore those who challenge you and don’t say anything that could be remotely offensive to absolutely anyone.
Just one in six guests on Radio Four’s Today programme (in the six months since the referendum) and one third of guests across the network (during the 2017 election campaign) have been pro- Brexit.
Moreover, it is not just the right wing that has been underrepresented on Brexit. Worryingly, the left have suffered even more Brexit censorship, with only one in five hundred guests on flagship shows since the Brexit vote being left-wing Brexiteers! Their arguments were also ignored before the vote, meaning that a 4% majority could have been greater.
As Ghandi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. Hollywood and the entertainment industry continue to underestimate the power of a public which has just woken up.
Political correctness does not only undermine you. It goes completely against your will. It is completely anti-democratic, providing generic grounds on which to protest against any legitimate vote. These fallbacks? Racism, Xenophobia, sexism… The list goes on. This is why we have seen protests against Brexit based on xenophobia, putting the Leave vote down to anti-immigrant sentiment above all other logical reasoning. Protests against Trump have been founded on far-fetched, purely alleged grounds of sexism (even though he has backed Melania’s The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative) and racism (due to him deporting illegal immigrants. Yes. Only the illegal ones).
It also denies equal opportunity. It’s startling, isn’t it? A system promoting equality is using inequality to promote equality! You couldn’t make it up! We’ve seen all women shortlists for the UK Labour party, despite their main political already having two female prime ministers without employing these discriminatory shortlists. We’ve seen the “Whites need not apply” BBC hiring policy. Maybe I’m the insane one in all this, but I belong to the moral of liberty and the idea of a great meritocracy.
Political correctness is supposed to encourage unity, integration and mutual respect. In fact, it does the opposite. It promotes hate and division. We’ve all seen the ‘Hang the Tories’ poster, a beautiful welcome present for all Conservatives at their 2017 party conference. Setting aside the jokes/truths about the Conservatives not being liked very much, that is the embodiment of intolerance and hate.
And there’s worse.
We’ve seen tolerance of a lack of integration, integration being the solution rather than the problem. Less immigrants than ever come to the UK able to speak or willing to learn good English. I’m not saying that is every immigrant ever. I’m simply saying that language is vital for communication, which is in itself essential for integration.
Moreover in the US we have seen the rise of Black Lives Matter against the police for the huge numbers of black people arrested and/or killed by law enforcement. Black people are arrested at a much higher rate. But black people are also much more likely to commit crime. Black Lives Matter would rather focus on lowering judicial statistics than working with police to prevent black people, who are statistically poorer in the US, from resorting to crime.
I think that would be quite unifying.
It has also served to construct the demolition of history. This has been seen in the Statues Epidemic in America, where activists have recently orchestrated the removal of a Robert E Lee statue (a Confederate general during the civil war).
This is History!
In the same way that I would protest against a statue of Jeremy Corbyn being removed in the future (if he ever became prime minister), I protest that removing Lee’s statue is wrong. I’m not comparing the two, just linking a principle.
This lunacy has also travelled over to the UK, with prominent Guardian columnist Afua Hirsch calling for the removal of Nelson’s Column. Why? Of all things because he owned slaves in a time in which it was legal to do so. Should we also remove statues of Martin Luther King to appease all LGBT people because he was against gay marriage?
I think not.
Recent uproar about a Dove advert in which a black woman uses Dove and then turns into a white woman has also shown what lunacy has been borne unto the world. There is, of course, no mention of the white woman turning into an Asian woman afterwards. How convenient. I’ll leave you to your own conclusions on that one.
However, regular users of the brand will rightfully recognise its trailblazing championing of diversity.
Political correctness is not a force that needs to be stopped, but it does in its current form. We should promote a fair, democratic meritocracy and not positively discriminate. Most of all politeness is common sense and, although hate speech is rightfully outlawed, should not be regulated conventionally.