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The Impact of Political Correctness
The culture of political correctness existing today impacts every segment of our society. The question is whether this impact is good or bad. I must start by providing the definition of what the term political correctness represents. According to Merriam-Webster it is “conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities should be eliminated.” The oxford dictionary defines this term as “The avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”
Political correctness has found its way into the textbooks within our education system. The manner in which this has taken shape has in my opinion harmed the real history of our country for the future leaders of tomorrow. We in this country should pride ourselves in the history and culture of how our country has developed over the centuries. The philosophy of political correctness has changed many of the events and issues with which our country has been involved ignoring the reason they occurred. This changes the whole perspective and does not present a valid understanding that most of us learned when we were in school.
In some of my research as what has made it into our textbooks political correctness has changed the content of how the events of our country unfolded from our early days as a country through the Revolutionary War up to and including the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another example of political correctness is the concept of common core philosophy. The subjects and approach taken has not been accepted by all states several have opted out as they learned what common core philosophy represents.
In the area of politics political correctness is being used in some cases to avoid angering potential voters when running for office. The events being reported by some media also takes this type of approach. In the beginning of our country individuals were not worried about this type of language from my understanding. Today this is all government and sometimes the general public is worried about offending others by avoiding certain language. In some cases this may be appropriate but it others it does not.
Political correctness also extends to the way we greet individuals during the holidays and even the names we have given some holidays. Businesses in some cases display happy holidays which may include all the holidays around Christmas. Our beliefs regarding such things as wanting to greet others with the term Merry Christmas is missing to a large extent from our vocabulary during this time of year.
The examples of our educational institutions and the political environment are not the only places where political correctness exists. We as individuals in our daily interactions with others are exposed with terms which have become so familiar that we do not even think about them being politically correct. This philosophy has changed the way we talk so much that it has become routine. While we need to be considerate of others feelings the manner in which we look at things is different now than in the past.
Our country has changed in other ways and this philosophy is part of that change. The terms used by the media and government officials about who our enemies are does not identify them as terrorists in some cases. Political correctness in some circles has changed the way our country is seen around the world. We have become a country so worried about what the rest of the world thinks about us that we change the terms we use for certain events.
We have become a country so focused on trying to please everyone we end up in some cases pleasing no one. We also should not apologize for the conflicts, actions and decisions we have made in the past or will make in the future. If our decisions were or are the right decisions at the time there is no need for apologies. This type of philosophy is so engrained in the character of our country at this point in time it has changed from the character of our country from when it first began. Granted events have happened in the past that we may not want to remember but it is part of our history and the language used to teach about the events of our country should not be changed to avoid offending any individual or group of individuals. The facts need to be presented as history has recorded them not as individuals want to present them today. It takes away from learning our true history. We as individuals and as a country need to learn from our history not change the words to project political correctness.