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Politically Correct or Too Sensitive?

Updated on September 17, 2010

You could interpret my introduction an explanation or a disclaimer because it's both. I am not shy about tackling tough topics because I thoroughly believe people don't learn unless challenged. When I tackle these topics, I get a variety of comments and most I enjoy. I like the fact there is still individual thought flourishing in today's cookie cutter lifestyles and life goals.

Even more amazing is when I write about a fun topic or something I would never consider serious and out from the woodwork come those who take offense or have a long list of their opinions. My intention for "fun" hubs is never to spark debates or in depth discussion. Then I realized; are we all striving for an impossible politically correct sense of society? It's as if we're all judges, but simultaneously the culprits on trial.

If you look up the definition to "politically correct" (PC) I bet it says- a conspiracy to get people fighting amongst each other while the politicians sneak behind our backs and do everything politically incorrect. Let me give you some web definitions on the fun Urban Dictionary, perhaps meant to be funny or politically truthful (you decide, I'm staying out of this debate):

  • A way we speak in America so we don't offend whiners.
  • A powerful form of censorship.
  • An agenda for people who believe their way is "right" and force it onto others.

The flaws of being politically correct are numerous. We would all have to have ESP and be psychic to know everything that offended everybody. There are generations that are unaware what is currently acceptable. There are foreigners from certain countries known to be passively blunt and truthful, but we don't reprimand them because us Americans should know better. There are things acceptable within a race or culture that is not acceptable for an "outsider" to do or say. There are wonderful people not getting involved for fear of what they can say or not say. We would also have to know and gauge every individuals sensitivity level before speaking to them as well.

My goal on this site is to write in a way that people learn from each other, aren't afraid to ask questions, or talk to anyone different than them for fear of "getting in trouble". Free speech is why I love writing. I think it is the last form of unspoiled freedom available to us, but it is dwindling. We are now a self-righteous, self-important society that values individualism as long as it doesn't step on someone else's individualism.

Dr. Laura

Dr. Laura; Too far or too truthful?

Recently, on Dr. Laura Schlessinger's radio talk show, she spoke with an African American female who was offended by her white husband joking with his friends using the N* word. Dr. Laura simply explained to the woman, the N* word is used without discretion by black people on HBO for example, all the time. It is true, I have been witness to black people using this word with ease. It doesn't seem to represent a touchy subject, however, if a white person uses this word, it is not only completely not politically correct, but a national witch hunt is currently in progress for what Dr. Laura said on her radio show. To be precise, she used the N* word 11 times.

Criticisms against Dr. Laura range from "That isn't funny", "It represents an ugly history", "There should be consequences", "it's more than just a word". Many argue the reason we have a black president is for racism to ease it's way out of social issues. If it isn't funny, then why do comedians, mainly black, use this word so consistently? Can't they be funny without it or at least let white folk in on the joke. What comedians' act doesn't contain openly offensive dialogue? Comedic humore is often at the expense of others.

The fact that blacks will use this among each other is proof, perhaps, there is no forgiving or resolving the slavery issue. Generation after generation live to pay an insurmountable and impossible debt. Nobody needs to be punished for this past anymore. No one needs to be slaves to words or chained and restrained by political correctness. As Dr. Laura replied, " We've got a black man for president and more people complaining about racism than ever".

More PC backlash: In my state (WA), a female cartoonist was posting images of Mohammed for, what she declared, an 'Everybody draw Mohammed Day'. There was a facebook page and website promoting this and Muslims soon banned it. In addition, the FBI prompted her to go into hiding because of death threats and is considered a "prime target". Read more...

Here is some truth: "Almost all traditional attitudes on morals, Christianity, patriotism, crime and punishment and education are hated by the small, frenzied minority who have seized control of our culture. They wish to censor them, but we live in a free society and censorship is not allowed. So they have fastened on the idea that certain thoughts are 'offensive'. Whatever is written or spoken must be judged on the basis that some theoretical person in an advanced state of hypersensitivity and paranoia - an imaginary male transexual who is also a black, lesbian, disabled, Muslim single mother - is constantly present in all offices and factories, listening in at all public meetings and conversations, reading newspapers and watching TV programs and films. If anything might possibly offend this phantom lunatic, however remotely, then the person involved must be disciplined, sacked or prosecuted." Peter Hitchins


Try telling your kids Santa isn't coming because he's not politically correct

How does this effect you?

  • what you or your kids are being taught in school will all be "politically correct" first and foremost. Some facts and important info will be withheld.
  • More lawsuits. People have become more sensitive and manipulative.
  • A justified right to take action, and violence, against others. People of certain nationalities or groups do not go to the court system to get justice.
  • Holiday traditions, such as "Christmas" being referred to as "X-Mas". Christmas carols ban.
  • History being taught in a way to focus on the negative aspects to "teach" kids sympathy and guilt.
  • One-sided viewpoints and censorship, including freedom of speech.
  • Backlash on humor and comedy
  • Religion of any kind, being a sensitive topic and filtered out of mainstream society. Maybe one day you won't be able to say grace before eating your food in a public place- just a thought. Religion is not only targeted by other religions or atheists, but from the political arena as well.
  • Throw out the classics; no more Baa Baa Black Sheep, Snow White and the Seven Little People or vertically challenged.
  • You can't drink "black" coffee anymore or use slang; no "nit-picking" or "brainstorming".
  • No more telling the truth. It must be given careful consideration before doing so.

Many years ago we dealt with segregation and built for us, a melting pot of everybody living together in the same country, but with different backgrounds. The melting pot theory was soon replaced by a tossed salad representation of people being separate, but still living amongst each other in this country. The melting pot was not acceptable because it suggested everybody, no matter what background, should assimilate themselves into American culture. This idea is similar to an American visiting another country and respecting that culture, not trying to change it, file lawsuits or becoming violent when their own personal culture is not recognized. Political correctness is trying to appease political agendas while losing our (U.S) identity.

There is definitely a problem of inconsistency with being P.C. What I find interesting is people within their group may refer to each other or speak to each other in ways that are not politically correct for others outside their group. For example, the N* word is OK if used among other African Americans or women who call each other "bitches", but take offense to a man saying that to them.

If we have to be politically correct every time we speak to or about someone else who isn't exactly the same as us, then we will soon not bother to associate with people outside of our race, religion, ethnicity, sex, and age. We will further drift apart and segregate groups this time, not by law, but by natural disconnection. Good judgement tells us when someone intends to offend us and that should not be tolerated. Otherwise, people are being oversensitive as a result of political correctness.


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    • profile image

      brian 3 years ago

      I think that white men should change their skin color to black. You can seriously not have to watch what you say nearly as much. Black skin makes you look much stronger and is good for protection.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

      THank you very much Nick

    • profile image

      Nick Lucas 6 years ago

      nicely written and very true!

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks michael ely!

    • michael ely profile image

      michael ely 7 years ago from Scotland

      That was a good read, and i really agree that everything everywhere is too pc, and usually to keep quite a small minority happy.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      tjmatel3~ I love your comment- well written. I've noticed that the diversity within my friends has lessened due to political correctness. Lately, there doesn't seem to be any tolerance for people understanding each other. Being PC means knowing how to talk to different people without talking to them to get to know them specifically. For most, my self included, it seems easier keep to people I might not offend. You better know how to talk to someone and if you don't, better off just walking away.

    • tjmatel3 profile image

      Peter Grant 7 years ago from McDonough, GA

      It is naïve to think that people from so many races, backgrounds, cultures and of varying persuasions can exist without offending one another. We repeatedly offend each other unintentionally. What we need is a greater willingness to understand more about our neighbors and learning how to co-exist amicably. PC is simply a form of dishonesty. Yet, we teach our kids to be honest. A pig is a pig and it doesn't matter how much lipstick one puts on it.

    • Zellio profile image

      Zellio 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Oh politcally correct is purposeful. It's purpose is making money off of people thru artificially created racism.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Zellio~ I agree with you on most stuff, but I'd give it longer than 5-10 years.Being politically correct will certainly divide people more than before then actual purposeful segregation.

    • Zellio profile image

      Zellio 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Anyone should be able to see it. People are honestly tired of being treated like racists/bigots if they say anything. People are divided, and people are making money off the dvision. Having a falling economy is certainly helping this.

    • Zellio profile image

      Zellio 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I don't think that politically correct issues will continue. I think it will eventually cause civil war in the US and global thermonuclear war across the world. I hate to be such a downer, but people are stupidly dividing themselves, and a civil war in the us would sink global economies.

      I hate to be like this but I honestly think in about 5-10 years our worries will be living in non radiated areas and food.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Elefanza~ you definitely bring up great examples of why political correctness is getting out of handand being exploited. Thanks for the comment.

    • Elefanza profile image

      Elefanza 7 years ago from Somewhere in My Brain

      Yes! I so thoroughly agree with your hub. This culture has become incredibly over sensitive to some things. Say one word, and you're racist/anti-feminist/anti-whatever minority out there. The PC claim just seems like another insidious power tool and a very arbitrary one at that. The way this climate is headed, it makes me think of this custom I once heard where the way a knife faced at your place setting meant you were or were not accepted by that house. How extreme is that? I recently saw a youtube video in which a guy made a derogatory comment about a woman who cut in line while talking on his cell. The woman harassed him and then got her husband to beat this guy up. The only reason the wife/husband duo were caught by the police was the husband had to go back inside to retrieve his cell phone, which he dropped. Crazy.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest


      Boy am I glad to see you. You're back! Yes to your comment- I totally agree with the second paragraph especially about names and words. Many people from another culture aren't going to understand that blacks can call each other names but another person can't call them the same names. This can cause a lot of problems not just with whites and blacks, but all groups who have double standard rules.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 7 years ago from home


      politically correctness... where to begin-

      It is a way for the guilt of the few to be placed upon the many The worst part is the FUBUism for us by us crowd- I dont mean Blacks specifically i am talking about any group that does not want to "assimilate" into the US culture-a free culture that they can effwct once they are in it-

      A good saying should live on its merits, if whites blacks chinesse etc wanna use the word thats offensive to whitesfine but that does not mean I have to use it- same way if i choose to use a term for a group I am not a member of-They should not get all spazzy - everyone just needs to chill words are just words WTF.


    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      epigramman~ I agree. We've never seen him wearing pants in his photos so I'm beginning to believe it's more than a gimmick- lol.

      The Dill Will~ sounds like a Chinese Proverb, but you are so right!

    • profile image

      The Dill Will 7 years ago

      Political correctness is an invention of the politically incorrect!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ....maybe we both should find our good friend - the Man - a pair of pants - lol lol

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      wait did I miss something? Who are we talking about? I think I remember our friend mr. manwithnopants saying I was like a pitbull. What a guy! I can't believe he said I was a pit bull and somehow made that into a compliment. He gave you wonderful reviews- nothing knew. I knew that already. So to you and your comment above- it takes one to know one ;-))

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ...well it`s certainly not hard to make great comments on someone like you with your wealth of enlightenment and high level intelligence.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      epigramman~ great to see you here. I take that all as a compliment and you stopping by my pages of hub as a compliment as well. There are certain people who visit and put a smile on my face just by doing so- you are one of them. I just love your words, even your comments are great.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago have the best BS detector in the business: the pages of Hub business that is ..... and your hubs are always enlightening, entertaining, witty and informative and to my acute sensitivity that is a very correct apolitical way of thinking!!

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Christoph Reilly~ I'm with you, percentage-wise. I don't believe people who were truly offended should be shut-up nor do I believe people should shut-up because of political correctness. I think it's what we used to call manners. lol. Yep, people get others going and soon they say to themselves hey I have been offended too. THanks for your comment.

      jayb23~ "Its high time we become comfortable with our ownself and laugh at ourselves", quoting you- brilliantly said. Sense of humor plays a big role in this for sure. THanks for your compliments.

      James Watkins~ so nice to see you. I could never match up to your intelligence and wit on this topic, but it was just some thoughts needing to come out. I am glad to be a voice to many others with the same thoughts. Welcome back, by the way.

      saddlerider~ You put it best when you stated bowing down to extremists. This is the way they are getting attention, government basically backing them up, and so they run with it. Instead of celebrating and/or laughing at our differences, we are being backed into a corner to ignore truths. Great comment and thanks for stopping by.

      Silvergenes~ Great to see you here. I absolutely believe this has distorted many important aspects within society and I'm tired of remaining silent too.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 7 years ago

      Great hub! I agree completely with the above comments. I'm tired of remaining silent for fear of not offending someone and watching truth distort beyond recognition. Well done!

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      I'm with James A Watkins, you have my head nodding like one of those little headnodders you place on the dash of your car.

      Political correctness is way out of hand and I am sick and tired of reading and listening to America or any part of our globe feeling they have to bow down to extremists for fear of reprisal.

      It's time to stand up against tyranny in all radical forms. I rate this HUB UP...thank you for speaking out.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Your article is awesome! I was nodding my head in agreement all the way through. Brilliant!

    • jayb23 profile image

      jayb23 7 years ago from India

      Brilliant hub Izettl. The problem is most people are not comfortable of their existence be it their religion, caste, nationality and hence they become sensitive. These people in turn influence other people and the world becomes too sensitive place to live. Its high time we become comfortable with our ownself and laugh at ourselves. Keep up the good work.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      In my opinion, 95% of the time it's a case of being too sensitive. I think many times it also is simply a way for a group to gain attention, and perhaps, power or legitimacy or what have you.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Breakfastpop~ Good morning! "distorting the truth"- YES. I coulnd't agree with you more and thanks for stopping by.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Being rude and offensive is one thing. Not speaking the truth for fear of retaliation and insulting someone is entirely different. We are distorting the truth these days in the interests of being PC and in the interests of appeasement. That is a huge mistake and personally I am sick of it.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      tmwnp~ I'm as shocked as you are that I haven't received major negatives in my comment section. It was something I was thinking about for a while as many others have expressed too. It's nice to know I'm not the only one, but wanting to be politcally correct, I was hesitant to bring it up outwardly.

      sweetsusieg~ thanks so much for stopping by. I'm realizing by everyone's comments that I'm not the only one thinking similar thoughts about what should have remained common sense and good manners, but has turned into a politically correct nightmare.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      What a terrific Hub, I had been thinking about this for some time now and you put it into much better words than I ever could have! Excellent job!

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image

      TheManWithNoPants 7 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      You put a lot of hard work and effort into this, and it's so good in my opinion that I read it twice. I think you know where stand on political correctness, and you may have broken my writer's block with this piece little girl. Were like Siamese twins (except for my penis) when it comes to thinking.

      Great job, and so far no whacks in the comment section.


    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks Char M~ I agree.

      Silent reed~ yes, you are right. It is basically good manners, being considerate, but when we do goof up (not on purpose) we shouldn't be backlashed and also there shouldn't be double standards.THanks for comment.

      Fred allen~ Ha! lol. Gave me a good laugh today, but that's the way I feel sometimes too.

      Shalini kagal~ Your statement made a better conclusion than in my hub. Very true to all of it, especially the sense of humor part. Well done, thanks for comment.

      Petra Vlah~ Yes ,very true! I once heard drug dealers should be called unlicensed pharmacists- of course it's a joke, but at least it's politically correct. lol

      justom~ I totally agree with you, for me personally, I don't find some things in good taste to say. But on the other hand it has gone over the top as to what is expected, like not calling Indians that, but native americans instead. I grew up next to two indian reservations and they didn't care which you called them. So some of this amounts to a few oversensitive individuals and government/politics interference.

      soumyasrajan~ I didn't even realize how much of this was in other countries. I will be researching that more, it's very interesting. Your statement is so ture and well spoken. I knew talking about it certainly isn't pc, and I am surprised and relieved to find many people who agree with me so I don't feel like it's just me sometimes. I'm not and insensitive person, but I've had times when I've offended others and not on purpose. THanks for your input.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      You are quite right izetti! Even to talk about this issue is now being considered politically not correct.

      Your last paragraph sums it very well what we may be headed with this attitude. Signs are already there. Silent majority does not see reflection of its attitude and which it identifies to be one any average guy in a country will have. What it sees in in media press or political statements is only meaningless politically correct statements generally supported by quite absurd arguments. It may be called "politically correct" but motivation generally is what we call in India "vote bank politics", "TRP/circulation rating worries of media" or "pseudo-secularism". Result is one sees polarization of attitudes of people towards right or left out of frustration.

      This phenomena seems to be now every where in democratic world. It is much worse in countries like India than USA.

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      While I would agree that political correctness goes too far I never have and never will call anyone of another race or from another country the names that some folks use. Peace!! Tom

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      As a way to express fairness and extend courtesy to sensitive groups, I have a few “politically correct” suggestions: gang members = equal opportunity fighters, religious fanatics = God’s defenders, career politicians = devoted citizens.

      I am sure that our collective consciousness of vividly aware decency could find a few more euphemistic ways to get around the First Amendment and make it even more of a joke, so please don’t hesitate to call IT by whatever other name and it will stop quacking.

    • fred allen profile image

      fred allen 7 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Your conclusion is right on the mark. Hope that doesn't offend anyone named mark. ;-D

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Hi izetti - I'm so glad I came across this hub. I do agree wholeheartedly with you that we have gone off the rails - and it's global, not just in your country. I tend to think that half the problem is that we seem to have lost our sense of humour and can't laugh at ourselves anymore. Add inflated egos to that and you have a perfect recipe for hypersensitivity. The trouble is, what starts off as a harmless joke in most cases is taken badly and that causes ill feeling and hardens the stance on both sides. Unfortunately, political interference for their own gains in these matters just make it worse!

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 7 years ago from Philippines

      This issue can go both ways. But I have to agree with you that it has become ridiculous. This sensitvity to the feelings of others in the old days when the word "political correctness wasn't yet coin was called "Good Manners".

    • Char M profile image

      Char M 7 years ago from Pacific Coast

      The political correct movement is misnamed because there is nothing correct about politics and ironically it's the politicians that enforce or encourage these PC ideals.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      I think you are totally correct. It was well intentioned originally, but now it is ganging up people against each other. Thanks for your comment Robwrite

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 7 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      For myself, I'm finding that the whole "political correctness" phenomenon has gone off the rails. It may have started off well intentioned but it's gone askew.

      In my old job, at Christmas time, we were allowed to hang decorations for Chanukah and Ramadan, but not Christmas, because it would "insensitive to non-Christians ". I can't imagine why non-Christians would have a problem with it.

      I knew someone once who got hit with a sexual harassment charge for calling a woman "dear".


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