Political correctness is not a joke

Nicole Gomez, Reporter

Today, the biggest joke in our country is political correctness. People mock it at every turn. They point at random things and dramatically say “Triggered,” or go to Chick-fil-a and ask why there wasn’t a trigger warning on the door for vegans. It’s something everyone laughs about.

But political correctness wasn’t made to be a joke. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, PC language centers around the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people. However, over time this idea of making speech inclusive and agreeable to everyone has become seen as ridiculous and impossible to some, claiming “You can’t please everyone.”

Public figures who are against being PC smile smugly, like they’re doing freedom a service. Clint Eastwood went on an anti-PC tirade during an interview for Esquire magazine saying,””We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.” This goes along with the argument that PC speech is killing freedom of speech.

For instance, in August of 2013, a Florida police officer was fired after calling Trayvon Martin a “thug” on FB. From one point of view it seems this man’s first amendment right has been violated. But in actuality it hasn’t, because our first amendment, which grants every U.S. citizen Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition, grants these freedoms so the government can’t violate citizens’ rights. Which is the reason people don’t go to jail for criticizing the government. While people have these unalienable rights it doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for saying whatever people want. In this case, it led to the officer being fired.

Political correctness has an important role in molding the way minorities are being addressed today. Coming from a place of privilege, some people will never know what it is like to hear someone speak badly about them and their cultures mindlessly; someone entering a cutting remark into a conversation, simply repeating what they have heard others say their whole lives, not even knowing their words act like walls separating them from others.

Minorities have to live with crude politicians and public figures being undisguised in their insults. Today, we have figures like Donald Trump calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers and instead of having people hold him accountable, people excuse his words by defending his authenticity. Ultimately, the only real thing he’s doing is ruining the progress made in speech.

All the effort made to change speech and incorporate political correctness is utterly useless if people don’t change their perspectives. Words don’t matter, if thoughts don’t change along with them.