Political correctness

Our culture has become too sensitive. In this modern era, political correctness governs conversation. When we converse, there’s always that sudden instinct to not describe someone as “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe,” “anti-Semite,” “bigot,” and the like.

We fear acting offensively in public, such as playing with imaginary guns or praising our religious preference. We fear openly talking about our religion because of the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College and mass killings of ISIS. We fear talking about any hyphenated American because we would instantly be accused of stereotyping. We fear speaking our minds. We are living in an era in which every personal decision is open to scrutiny.

The tradition of being politically correct began as the American promise for bringing equality closer to reality. However, from the very start, political correctness has failed to keep this promise. Political correctness in the U.S. became widespread during World War I, a time when people had to watch what they said about the American military and war itself. And as years continue to pass, this action continues to hide prejudice as a veil of deceit, undisclosed and never to be heard.

More so, once a potentially politically incorrect statement is blurted out the mouth of a person, there will be swift and hasty punishment. Political correctness creates a negative overreaction.

For example, in Trappe, Maryland two first graders were arrested for using their fingers as guns to play Cops and Robbers. In Fort Worth, Texas, 14-year-old Dakota Ary was given in-school suspension for his words against homosexuality in German class. At Columbus High School in Texas, a track team was suspended after one of the athletes made a gesture praising God at the finish line. At Live Oak High School in California, several students were sent home for wearing shirts bearing the American flag on Cinco de Mayo.

However, the students aren’t the only ones being censored — schools and teachers are too. A school in Seattle renamed its Easter eggs ‘spring spheres’ to avoid offending people who did not celebrate Easter. Walt Tukta, a substitute teacher in New Jersey, was fired after he gave a Bible to a student who asked for one. Teachers are banned from talking about politics. Schools are banned from putting up Christmas trees, unless it’s a “holiday tree.”

Consequently, we see this type of “equality” in the classroom. We students are forced to censor what we say and be cautious of what we do or face social consequences. Political correctness has become the teacher and the Big Brother of the classroom.

Political correctness has gone too far. While the original intent of political correctness may have encouraged tact and sensitivity to others’ feelings regarding issues of gender, race or religion, the effect of political correctness has been to make everyone avoid these topics altogether, thereby hindering our freedom of free speech and making us fear disclosing our opinions.

By Joshua Shen, Sports editor