Logan Bryant is a friend and former co-worker of mine from my Stu Paint days. He commented on my post from a few days ago about my energy drink company, and jokingly inquired about guest posting. I told him that I would post an article if he wrote it, and he did! I really enjoyed his piece on “patriotic correctness” v. “political correctness”. No matter which side of the aisle you fall politically, I think it’s important to keep an open mind and understand that it’s okay to have differing opinions. We hope you enjoy, and thanks for writing Logan!!
(If you have something to say and want to guest post e-mail me and we can discuss! firstname.lastname@example.org)
Before I begin, I would like to thank Eric for inviting me to write a piece as a guest-writer for his blog. I was originally going to write a piece about the problem of dumbing down your writing versus writing for your audience, but I decided that was a little too boring. I may still write that piece, but I’ve stumbled upon something much more interesting.
I read Eric’s post yesterday about the controversy surrounding flag burning which inspired me to write this, a piece about political correctness in the United States. Political correctness has grown from its original definition:
“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.”
As minority populations have grown in our country, so have our left wing politics grown to support them. This has created a huge divide in our country that is alarmingly close to a 50/50 split. Because of this, our patriotic, conservative Americans have come to see themselves as a discriminated against group. I’m not saying that they’re wrong, in fact I agree with them to an extent. What I am saying is that this has evolved into republican/conservative America having its own form of political correctness.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard in recent years is that our country is too politically-correct. The common man must tread lightly for fear of offending a bystander. We must wish our friends a “happy holiday” instead of saying “Merry Christmas.” We’ve re-written the dictionary to include words that are less offensive to minorities and those with disabilities. We try so hard not to offend anyone that it has become difficult to voice our true opinion in a public forum.
Many republicans have bashed political correctness as a violation of free speech. In his campaign, Donald Trump was quick to note that the “PC movement,” as it is being called, is “crap.” Trump has blamed political correctness for the rise of terrorism, mass shootings, and has said that it even kills Americans. Trump supporters hail him as a man who “tells it like it is,” and call him a “straight talker.” While I will acknowledge that Donald Trump does “tell it like it is,” I will not support the statement that Donald Trump is not politically-correct.
What most people fail to realize about the PC movement is that it does not strictly come from America’s far-left. Like every controversial topic in 2016, “political correctness” has two different sides, but the right-wing of our nation just doesn’t see their actions as politically correct.
In truth, our right-wing counterparts are more “politically” correct, as the issues they choose to support are more closely centered around politics. Alex Nowrasteh of The New York Times has dubbed right-wing political correctness as “patriotic correctness.” Conservatives bash political correctness as a violation of free speech, but what they fail to realize is that they want to oppress free speech as well. The only difference is that these issues are ones that they support.
Conservatives have their own ideals that they choose to support that revolve around American nationalism and Christianity. For conservatives, it is taboo to speak out against the military. Anyone who opposed the War on Terror after 9/11 was deemed un-American, and if you don’t support our troops, well then you can just leave this country.
There was a public uproar when Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem. This event sparked a PC debate between my family at home. My own father said that Kaepernick’s actions “just weren’t right,” but at the same time has stated that he thinks political correctness has gone too far in our country. This is yet again another display of “patriotic correctness.”
Finally there’s the issue of burning the flag. Conservatives do not want us to violate their free speech when it concerns their actions, but the second someone burns the flag in protest, it is all of the sudden okay to jail someone for this action? I’ll stick to my original comment about this; we should not let a symbol mean more than what it stands for.
In conclusion, I’m not trying to say that conservatives don’t have fair points. All I’m trying to say is that these conservatives who bash political correctness while simultaneously shaming those less patriotic than them are being hypocritical. Free speech is free speech. I will not say we cannot (because clearly we can) censor speech in this country, but we should not censor speech when this censorship only benefits half of our citizens. Before we complain that we are being oppressed, we should make sure that we also aren’t oppressing others.