Think back to the last time somebody said or did something that got under your skin. Whether they did it intentionally or unintentionally, it happened, and it got your blood boiling. Now, I want you to imagine that, no matter how scathing or hurtful whatever that person said or did to you, it’s no longer okay for you to be upset by it. You can have a straw to suck it up. This is the reality people who don’t goose-step to the beat of the conservative drum must face, and it needs to change.
Political correctness originated as a movement to understand cultures that white America had traditionally overlooked and, at best, acted callously toward. The idea was to replace the unintentionally offensive brand of thought behind things such as figures of speech and stereotypes with that of understanding. It is a logical extension of shunning hate speech, racism, sexism and other prejudice, but instead has backfired.
Conservatives have created an imaginary conflict with groups seeking equality and respect, as exposing their culture of appropriation and microaggression does not sit well with them. Unwilling to listen to the most basic of instruction on topics such as cultural sensitivity or privilege, conservatives have cried foul when called on their de facto bigotry. Instead, the right has lambasted and berated this generation with accusations of being entitled crybabies when their feet are held to the flame for jokes, clothing choices or causes they support that are found to be problematic.
America is not wasting away or weak because the long-silenced voices of these oppressed groups ask public figures to adjust their speech patterns, not wear certain clothes or hairstyles and think of better things to say or talk about than the racist drivel they’ve been exposed to all their lives. In fact, the real ‘spoiled brats’ are the staunch opponents to change that cry foul when their way of life that revolves around the crooked and unjust state of race, gender and religion is threatened. Do comedians have nothing better to joke about? Do closet racists have nothing better to say in the comments section of online news articles? Do sports teams have nothing better to call themselves beyond what they always have? Is it really such an outlandish or extreme claim to challenge the current state of American culture built on the backs of groups traditionally kept silent? I think not.
The main complaint from these ‘all-American mavericks’ who ‘won’t be cowed by some college kids’ is that there is no end in sight, no line that can be drawn as to what offends people, that everything can be construed as offensive and that there is some kind of war being waged on being white, Christian, heterosexual, et cetera. The point is, if your behavior offends someone, instead of throwing a tantrum about how liberals are ruining America, why not actually attempt to be a decent human being by apologizing and adjusting your actions? Every individual person is different inside any community, and just because you have ‘a friend who is X who thinks X people who act a certain way shouldn’t be offended about a certain derogatory term’ doesn’t make you a supreme master on what offends whom.
The fight for equality of any and all kinds has been going on for centuries, and is still far from over now that it is considered ‘cool’ to harass cultural and social groups such as the LGBTQ* community, those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Muslims. Edgy contrarian humor and firebrand speeches about how America will not be bent out of shape to appease these groups are built on the fundamental lie that these aforementioned groups want all of America to bend backward for them, instead of the iota of respect they’ve been quietly asking for.
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