By: Luke Byerly ~Copy Editor~
In light of the recent primary election and the rise of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, the issue of political correctness has entered into a strange gray area. Trump does not worry about being politically correct. In fact, he admits to thinking political correctness is a problem in modern politics. What’s more concerning, however, is the warm reception this has with people, some of whom applaud Trump’s disregard for being politically correct.
We use politically correct terms to not offend people or groups in our society. Not using politically correct terms doesn’t mean people are trying to offend a group or person, but it may still be the result. Throwing political correctness out the window is a statement of disregard for the feelings of others.
The disregard of political correctness is not entirely destructive on a minor basis. One or two accidental slips may give someone the cold shoulder treatment, but it probably won’t have any dramatic effects on our society as a whole. A national shift to abandon political correctness, however, is a lot more concerning.
By making an effort to abandon political correctness, as Trump is currently doing, we open our society up to a regression in equality and a rise in racism, sexism and xenophobia.
These incidents don’t dramatically harm our society when the number of infractions is low, but when the mentality spreads, when every other person is using these taboos, it polarizes our society and allows for an “us versus them” mentality to arise.
Although we shouldn’t condemn someone for one mistake or slip in political correctness, we need to conserve the mentality of respect for every person or group of people. This mentality of respect only serves to help our society function as a whole and remain stable. The action of being politically incorrect isn’t necessarily the problem so long as it isn’t intentional. In reality, it’s the possibility of offending others and the possible disrespect that being politically incorrect carries that commits harm.
Until we find a way to demonstrate an understood respect for everyone without words effectively, being politically correct will remain an important aspect of our society, despite what Trump may believe. Do society a favor and choose your words wisely.