What’s So Political About Political Correctness?

When I was in driver’s ed., my instructor used to find every excuse he could to attempt to indoctrinate the class with his conservative values. Often, he would pace arrogantly back and forth in front of the class and remind us all that, “two things will ruin America.” I don’t remember what the first one was, because I fervently rejected his propaganda, but the second ‘thing that would ruin America’ was political correctness. Every now and again he’d slip up and accidently blurt out some kind of twisted racist or homophobic bullshit, and carelessly excuse himself with his ‘political correctness is going to ruin America’ speech.

Driver’s ed. was not the first time I’ve heard conservatives protest political correctness, and certainly was not the last. In fact, I do believe Mr. Donald Trump voiced his own concern about political correctness recently. Every example of ‘political correctness’ people give seems to revolve around basic human rights. It is politically correct believe black lives matter. It is politically correct to pay women equal wages. It is politically correct to refrain from using homophobic slurs. It is politically correct to use people’s correct gender pronouns, to treat trans people with respect, to acknowledge more than just the binary genders… the list goes on for miles.

What I find somewhat disturbing is the fact that the things listed above are apparently political. It seems to me that treating your fellow human beings as equals is not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of basic human empathy and compassion, something that I hope all people feel for one another, regardless their political leanings. Working to create a more respectful, safe and inclusive society for all people is not politically correct, it’s fundamentally correct.

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