Daniel Henniger’s column in the Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2016, describes in part how political correctness in academia has put higher education at risk. He could not be more right with diversity “education” which I am challenging in my book. He states “diversity offices are now running American higher education.” The lax use of the word diversity itself has many confused and especially white males who are iced out of the conversation. When one really understand diversity education, the word diversity means to most white males “more of us (minorities and women) and less of you” referring to white males since they have “privilege.” Getting the right numbers demographically is supposed to be the “right thing to do” regardless of depth of qualifications of each individual. Enforced political correctness also ranks right up their with diversity education’s failure as a most wanted culprit of higher education’s demise.
We all can see the collective anger over political correctness in Donald Trump’s campaign for president. His challenges to political correctness are resonating with all demographics, as if their ability to express their genuine opinions have been silenced for quite some time. Sometimes his speech may offend some others even when elements of truth are attached but free speech is a cornerstone of our country. Mr. Trump is now the Republican nominee and has been successful in part because so many of us are PC-fatigued! He also must realize that straight talk must also be respectful to others who may not have anything to do with his comments. As children, we soak up established, existing values from the surrounding culture, values so prevalent that they are rarely challenged or questioned. Exposure to additional ideas and beliefs can happen through indoctrination (where students are taught what to think) or education (where students are taught how to think), or we can learn through our own curiosity and questions.
Regrettably, our own ideas and moral values are challenged by imposed political correctness, which places freedom of speech on the run from the heat-seeking missiles directed by the PC police and adherents. Free speech is targeted by those who feel that absolute political correctness must be the norm for conversations; that, for instance, if anyone is merely offended by what another says, they should not say it. However, those who believe this way also feel they can say anything they want including blasting another’s belief though name calling and hateful rhetoric; such hypocrisy. Those who jump on every word as politically incorrect desire to live in a protected bubble of comfort, without fear of anyone saying anything bad or oppose their views. Relinquishing any ability to have straight talk with respect, we are relegated to speaking only niceties or trying to mask a word with a hyphen or use a euphemism to be safe. If we do not, watch out!
Today’s normal conversations experience artificial barriers, which are thrust upon us by the hypersensitivity of a few people who may be offended by the use of a word, phrase, or belief. Do we really want to continue this downward spiral of politically correct speech? Or would most prefer genuine straight talk and the truth revealed in critical but respectful conversations? Our country was founded upon the ability to counter arguments, which can sometimes be heated, even when respect is present. We witness this mandated PC behavior on today’s college campuses, where students are demanding to feel comfortable in their higher academic safety zones of non-harmful speech. They dream of unicorns and rainbows, holding hands and singing “we are the world.” Yet, sequestering free speech is adding volumes to the America’s diversity meltdown, both on campuses and throughout our society.