PC culture on the wane?

Well, I don’t know if it’s really on the wane, but it seems to be a lot less pervasive than most people think. According to a new article in The Atlantic by Yascha Mounk (screenshot below), based on a new study by an organization called More In Common (click on green screenshot below, and see pdf here), fully 80% of Americans think that “political correctness is a problem in our country.” First, though a bit about the author and the study, both of whom seem to be on the liberal side.

Yascha Mounk is described on his own website as “one of the world’s leading experts on the crisis of liberal democracy and the rise of populism. The author of three books, he is a Lecturer on Government at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at New America, a columnist at Slate, and the host of The Good Fight podcast.”

And “More in Common” describes itself like this:

More in Common [is] a new international initiative to build societies and communities that are stronger, more united, and more resilient to the increasing threats of polarization and social division. We work in partnership with a wide range of civil society groups, as well as philanthropy, business, faith, education, media and government to connect people across the lines of division.

Let’s just say I’ll accept the study’s results for the time being, though I’ve only glanced through it (it’s 166 pages long). The Atlantic article gives a decent summary.

Click on green screenshot below to see the study:

The authors divide Americans into seven “tribes”. The figures below are from the study:

You can read the report to see how these figures are derived, and most of the report is devoted to how tribal membership predicts a number of political views and actions that contribute to the polarization of America. The reason several readers sent me the article, however, is because of one small part of the study: the part about how Americans dislike “political correctness” (henceforth “pc”).  In fact, the authors don’t really define the term, but it appears to mean, to both them and the respondents, social strictures about saying what you think if what you think isn’t a widely accepted and liberal opinion.

One might think that if 80% of the American populace are concerned by “political correctness,” then they’d be in favor of free speech. And they are. But in fact most Americans of all seven tribes also feel that “hate speech” is a serious problem (“hate speech” isn’t really defined, either, but I take it to mean speech that demonizes minorities or members of groups to which the speaker doesn’t belong). The figure below shows where each group sits on the pc axis vs the “hate speech is bad” axis:


On average, conservatives tend to think that political correctness (henceforth “pc”) is less of a problem, with “progressive activists” largely rejecting that idea. Conservatives, and moderates, as expected, see pc as more problematic. The two extremes are, then, “progressive activists” (8% of the population) and “devoted conservatives” (6%). That leaves 86% of Americans outside these tribes, and among those, 75% or more, including “traditional liberals” and “passive liberals”, see pc as a problem. The conclusion here? Those who assert that political correctness is a canard, with few people thinking it’s problematic, are dead wrong.

As for hate speech, and free speech, most groups are strongly in favor of free speech, but nearly equally in favor of “protecting people from dangerous and hateful speech”, with devoted conservatives having the greatest disparity between the two figures (86% in favor of fully free speech, 43% saying we need protections against hate speech). The more liberal one is, the more protection you want against hate speech.

The figures below are a mystery to me. How can so many American be in favor of free speech—even offensive free speech, and yet want protections against “dangerous and hateful speech”? The two elements both fall under the First Amendment—unless you consider “dangerous speech”  to include things like workplace harassment or speech calling for immediate violence. All I can conclude is that Americans either don’t understand the First Amendment, do understand it and disagree with it, or don’t see the manifest contradiction between allowing speech when it offends people and preventing speech that is “dangerous and hateful.” For, as we know, a vast amount of “offensive” speech is considered not just “hateful”, but “dangerous”. Witness the cry that people are actually harmed when offensive speech occurs, like criticism of Islam or the use of the “n-word”. Or when people like Ben Shapiro or Charles Murray speak.

Here are the data from the survey:

A few more counterintuitive findings:

  • Young people are as wary of political correctness as old ones: 79% of those under 24, for instance, are uncomfortable with pc.
  • Nonwhites, surprisingly, are often more uncomfortable with pc than are whites: 79% of whites are pc-averse compared to 82% of Asians, 87% of Hispanics, and 88% of Native Americans. However, blacks are 75% pc averse; still a substantial majority, but only 4% less than whites (I would have expected a bigger difference).
  • The rich are less wary of pc than the poorer: 83% of those earning less than $50,000/year are pc-wary compared to only 70% who make more than $100,000/year.

In general, then, the pro-pcers comprise only the “progressive activists,” who tend to be rich, white, and college educated. These are precisely the people who are running American universities, which explains a lot.

So what does this all mean? The authors, as well as the article below, think it means trouble for much of the Left, for if we ourselves act in a pc way, as many do, you’ll find many of the populace aren’t sympathetic. On the other hand, there is that overwhelming desire for protections against “hate speech”, and I don’t know how to reconcile that with pc-hatred.  I’ll let you hear Mounk’s conclusions:

It turns out that while progressive activists tend to think that only hate speech is a problem, and devoted conservatives tend to think that only political correctness is a problem, a clear majority of all Americans holds a more nuanced point of view: They abhor racism. But they don’t think that the way we now practice political correctness represents a promising way to overcome racial injustice. [JAC: this confuses me, because one way we practice political correctness is to call for restrictions on hate speech or dangerous speech—precisely what most people think should be regulated!]

The study should also make progressives more self-critical about the way in which speech norms serve as a marker of social distinction. I don’t doubt the sincerity of the affluent and highly educated people who call others out if they use “problematic” terms or perpetrate an act of “cultural appropriation.” But what the vast majority of Americans seem to see—at least according to the research conducted for “Hidden Tribes”—is not so much genuine concern for social justice as the preening display of cultural superiority. [JAC: I’ve often said that Authoritarian Leftism, of which pc is a symptom, can damage the Left, and may well have damaged Clinton and helped Trump in the last election. Clinton’s characterization of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables“, for instance, is a prime example of this, and my guess is that her remark cost her dearly.]

. . . The gap between the progressive perception and the reality of public views on this issue could do damage to the institutions that the woke elite collectively run. A publication whose editors think they represent the views of a majority of Americans when they actually speak to a small minority of the country may eventually see its influence wane and its readership decline. And a political candidate who believes she is speaking for half of the population when she is actually voicing the opinions of one-fifth is likely to lose the next election. [JAC: Are you listening, HuffPo and New Yorker?]

In a democracy, it is difficult to win fellow citizens over to your own side, or to build public support to remedy injustices that remain all too real, when you fundamentally misunderstand how they see the world.

Finally, the article below, by Tyler Cowen on Bloomberg view, is relevant to the above (h/t: reader Barry), for it suggests that by focusing too intently on identity, the Left is eating itself: a job that Republicans then don’t have to do.


A few quotes:

Of course there is a lot of racism out there, which makes political correctness all the more tempting. Yet polling data suggests that up to 80 percent of Americans are opposed to politically correct thinking in its current manifestations. Latinos and Asian-Americans are among the groups most opposed, and even 61 percent of self-professed liberals do not like political correctness.

The PC weapon reared its head again this week when Senator Elizabeth Warren made a big show of her genealogical test showing she is some small part Native American. To someone immersed in the political correctness debates, this obsession with identity might seem entirely natural. But the actual reality is more brutal

The reality is that many Americans already think that the Democrats talk too much about identity. Warren would have done better to drop the topic altogether, as both right-wing and left-wing critics agree. Instead, she has kept the identity issue in the limelight, and reminded Americans that elite, mostly Democratic-leaning institutions, such as Harvard, like to pat themselves on the back for their diversity in ways which seem phony to most of the rest of us.

Cowen’s ending:

Here’s another ugly truth. The biggest day-to-day losers from the political correctness movement are other left-of-center people, most of all white moderate Democrats, especially those in universities. If you really believe that “the PC stuff” is irrational and out of control and making institutions dysfunctional, and that universities are full of left-of-center people, well who is going to suffer most of the costs? It will be people in the universities, and in unjust and indiscriminate fashion. That means more liberals than conservatives, if only because the latter are relatively scarce on the ground.

Another bout of political correctness is about to dominate the headlines, and that is the lawsuit against Harvard for allegedly discriminating against Asian-Americans in its admissions decisions. Whatever you think Harvard did, or however the court rules, this issue is not a winner for the left. It at least appears to pit the interests of Asian-Americans against those of African-Americans, and thus it fractures what might otherwise be a winning coalition for Democrats. It makes a mockery out of phrases such as “people of color,” because in this case like many others the aggregation obscures some very real and important differences. The lawsuit also will remind Americans that attempts to be more fair to one group will, in practice, involve hypocrisy and unfair treatment toward other groups, in this case the Asian-Americans who found it much harder to get into Harvard because they were not a targeted minority.

Every time identity politics is in the headlines — rather than, say, wages or health care — Donald Trump’s re-election chances go up. As Tony Blair said recently: “If you put right-wing populism against left populism, right-wing populism will win.”

Were I Warren, I would have demurred and moved on; I now think that campaign video she issued makes her look a bit ridiculous, even if Trump is far more ridiculous. And the three paragraphs above ring quite true to me. The “people of color” fight mentioned below is especially distressing because it shows the shattering of the Left most clearly. Predictably, the Left is against the Harvard lawsuit with Asians claiming they are discriminated against in college admissions (as I believe they are), but yet Asians are also considered people of color, and are treated as oppressed minorities in other ways. One example is when the New York Times and many of its readers defended the racist lucubrations of technology editor Sarah Jeong because, they claimed, she was simply responding to being attacked as a female person of color. An ethnic group can’t be both oppressed and privileged!

h/t: Grania, Barry

47 Comments

  1. DrBrydon
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I question the “tribes” that the author has come up with. Does it really make sense to define the different political groupings in America based on what they “are” rather than what they believe? The descriptors seem rather subjective. Are “progressive liberals” really more cosmopolitan? The far left seems more blinkered than cosmopolitan (unless he means urban). Being “moralistic” hardly seems to be a monopoly of the right.

    • Bruce Lilly
      Posted October 21, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Poking about based on Jerry’s article led to a related web site, Hidden Tribes, which gives detailed descriptions of the “tribes”. There’s also an abbreviated quiz (which doesn’t address PC or “hate speech” per se) which offers “Find out which tribe best describes you. Answer questions on your views about the world, and our algorithm will tell you which Hidden Tribe fits you best”.

  2. mikeyc
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    “PC culture on the wane?”

    ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 21, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      If wishes were fishes, Mikey … (well, then, Charlize Theron would be knocking on my door right now wearing nothing but a mink stole* and a pair of high-heels, with a bottle of Cristal in one hand and a can of whipped cream in the other).
      ____________
      *Hey, I’m anti-fur, too, but it’s just a harmless fantasy (and, as I said below, I suspend PC requirements in matters of humor). Apologies to Ms. Theron for getting her involved in this.

  3. Posted October 21, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    “How can so many American be in favor of free speech—even offensive free speech, and yet want protections against ‘dangerous and hateful speech’?”

    Yes, the word “dangerous” here is ill-chosen and is almost bound to skew the results. You can’t tell from the question whether it’s assuming that all hateful speech is dangerous or if it’s talking about speech that is dangerous in addition to being hateful.

    Someone who understands the First Amendment would disagree that people need protection from the former (all hateful and/or offensive speech) but might well agree that they need protection from the latter (hateful speech that is also dangerous), depending on how one interprets “dangerous.”

    In short, not a good question.

    • AC Harper
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:11 am | Permalink

      Agreed, I was thinking the same thing. The phrase is biased and shouldn’t be regarded as the other side of ‘free speech’.

      Personally I’m against the use of terms like ‘hate speech’ or ‘hate crimes’. Speech can be criminal or not, actions can be criminal or not. Arguably the use of ‘pc’ terms hate speech and hate crime terms may lead to the regularization of ‘hate thought’ usage. Indeed you can argue that it is already happening and that it worries most people.

      The accusation of ‘hate thought’ can be made freely, but is almost impossible to defend apart from denial… and perhaps that’s why people have become wary of political correctness.

  4. Steve Pollard
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    “If I agree with what you say, that’s free speech.

    “If I disagree with what you say, then what you say is hate speech”.

    Applies pretty well across the spectrum, these days.

  5. Posted October 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  6. Posted October 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    “On average, conservatives tend to think that political correctness (henceforth “pc”) is less of a problem, with “progressive activists” largely rejecting that idea.”

    Did you mean to write “more of a problem”?

  7. Giancarlo
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Count me among those with the apparent cognitive dissonance of being both against hate speech and against political correctness. I can do this by how I define the terms. Simply put, hate speech is speech that insults someone for who they are (n-word), political correctness is avoiding speech that criticizes their beliefs (e.g. islamism). I don’t know if in the study these terms were defined, but it is possible that at least some of those surveyed interpreted them this way.

    • Posted October 21, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      A question and an observation.

      Question: by being “against hate speech” do you mean that you think people should be protected against it by the First Amendment?

      Observation: you say you’re against political correctness, but by using “n-word” instead of “nigger,” you’re being politically correct.

      • Posted October 21, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Observation: my views on political correctness can’t be summarized by saying “I’m against it.” Nor do I say that in this post, though I tend to be in favor of free speech. As for the word in question, I’ve used it in both forms for years, depending on my mood. By failing to recognize this, you’re just trying to score gratuitous points, trying to show I’m a hypocrite. What you show instead is that you’re a Pecksniff.

        As for my views on the First Amendment, I’ve talked about them and their relationship to hate speech repeatedly. Do you not read the posts here?

        • BJ
          Posted October 21, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          mirandaga was replying to Giancarlo’s comment.

          • Posted October 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            Yes, thank you, BJ. My apologies, Jerry, if it wasn’t clear that I was replying to Giancarlo and not to you. I both understand and totally agree with your views on the First Amendment.

      • Giancarlo
        Posted October 21, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        By “against hate speech” I mean what I assume it means in the article, a personal opposition, not constitutional.
        By my definition, any racial epithet is hate speech, hence I am personally opposed to using it. I don’t count that as political correctness, which I defined as avoiding criticism of an individual’s beliefs. I’m all for that, and thus against political correctness.

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:40 am | Permalink

          Got it. I already apologized to our host, and I apologize to you if I misconstrued your post. My only point was that using “nigger” as a word instead of “n-word” is not a racial slur; it’s simply the accurate reporting of one.

          Gary

          • Giancarlo
            Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            You’re right, when discussing their use, epithets aren’t actually offensive. They become so only when hurled at someone.

    • max blancke
      Posted October 21, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Being against something is not the same as wanting it banned with the force of law. They used the phrase “protecting people from dangerous and hateful speech”. That implies prosecuting those accused of speaking the forbidden words.
      We have had centuries of being free to say pretty much whatever we want to, with very narrowly defined exceptions. Those exceptions were mostly tied closely to imminent physical harm. It was never about offense or hurt feelings.
      If you ban hate speech under force of law, someone is going to get to define what they feel hate speech is. You already mentioned “speech that insults someone for who they are”. That is a pretty broad range of speech.

      You may be very reasonable in your personal views on what might constitute hate speech. But plenty of people subscribe to “outrage culture”, where they are always searching for things to be offended by. You can never satisfy such people. Appeasement only results in them finding smaller and more obscure issues to generate the same levels of outrage. Besides which, a large part of it seems to be about being offended on behalf of someone else. It is power seeking behavior.

      I abhor the idea of a leftists going around policing everyone’s speech and behavior like Islamic morality patrols. That is what PC culture means to me.

      • Giancarlo
        Posted October 21, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure where the phrase “protecting people from dangerous and hateful speech” comes from, since in the article and graph the survey asked respondents whether they agreed with “hate speech is a problem in the country” and “political correctness is a problem in the country,” without implying any legal repercussions to such practices. As Mounk points out in the article, and the Professor confirms, the terms “hate speech” and “political correctness” are not further defined, though one must assume they are to some extent different, since they are two separate questions and are displayed on different axes of the graph. In my original post I was trying to explain how someone could be against both: when someone hears “hate speech,” they may be more likely to think of racial or sexist epithets (which I personally oppose using because they subtract rather than add substance to any discussion about ideas) whereas when they hear “political correctness,” they may be more likely to think about issues like de-platforming speakers because of their views or the criticism they have about other people’s views (and I’m also personally against de-platforming.) From a constitutional point of view, I’m a free speech absolutist, except in the proverbial case of screaming “fire” in a crowded theater, et cetera, and I will stand up for your right to say any words you wish otherwise. I just won’t be repeating them if they are racist epithets.

        • Giancarlo
          Posted October 21, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          Max, I went back and found the phrase you were referring to in the table below the graph I was looking at, and it looks like a separate survey. Well, as my previous post explains, I don’t agree with legal protections against hate speech, but I do think that each of us should try to keep discussions and debates ideologically constructive rather than personally destructive.

          • max blancke
            Posted October 21, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            Thank you for the clarification.
            At some level, we are really talking about good manners.
            But many people are serious about using force of law to punish speech which they find disagreeable. To me, the consequences of that would be far worse than the potential harm of someone possibly being insulted or having their feelings hurt.

  8. KD33
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Interesting results, and fairly heartening. But “PC” is too vague a term for me to make much sense of, and is skewed to the eft, whereas there’s no counterbalancing characterizing of right-leaning views. “Identity politics” is much more to the point, especially if construed as allowing one to make a judgement based on a person’s “tribe” instead of treating them as an individual without prejudice.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Seems to me that anti-“PC culture” (avant la lettre) had its genesis in the late Sixties with the reactionaries who balked at calling black folk “African-Americans” and who insisted, for years after his name change, on calling Muhammad Ali “Cassius Clay.” Unfortunately, PC culture spun off into something else entirely.

    I still believe in observing political correctness in its original conception (in all matters save humor, anyway) — viz., by showing people the common courtesy of calling them whatever the hell it is they wanna be called. But I don’t believe in forcing others who don’t want to show such common courtesy to do so under penalty of law.

  10. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    There is no inconsistency inherent in people being for ‘free speech’ but against ‘hate speech’.

    Obviously these terms are fuzzy in their definition. Equally obviously they overlap in some areas. As always, it’s a matter of drawing a line, and as always, opinions vary on where that line is.

    This is not uncommon. As a parallel, consider ‘innocent until proven guilty’ (a good thing) vs ‘letting criminals escape justice’ (bad thing). The whole criminal justice system is devoted to drawing a line there.

    cr

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Regarding that line drawing: as someone once said, a liberal is just a conservative who’s been under government investigation, and a conservative is a just a liberal who’s been mugged. 🙂

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 21, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes. I have not seen an iota of research on how hate speech laws would lower (or raise) the quality of human rights or democracy at large. US has made absence of hate speech laws a very basic law that is hard to touch, but it can be done of course.

      Seeing how US started to become a compromised democracy in the 30s (according to The Economist analysis) – and continue to embrace aggressive war, killing of foreign citizens and their torture abroad – it cannot be held up as the ideal society.

    • Davide Spinello
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Being against hate speech mean going after hate speech with the law? I hope you realize that there is a difference.

      • Davide Spinello
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        mean –> means

  11. BJ
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Another finding I found very interesting is that the two groups who are most comprised of white people are progressive activists and devoted conservatives, which are 80% white and 89% white, respectively. It seems like a lot of further interesting study could be found here.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 21, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Wypipo — can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em, huh, BJ? 🙂

      • BJ
        Posted October 21, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        I’d extend that to just people, generally 🙂

  12. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    How can so many American be in favor of free speech—even offensive free speech, and yet want protections against “dangerous and hateful speech”?

    It is obviously possible since it is opinion, and in fact it is correlates with the opinions in many other nations. It is not a dumb opinion, since freedoms and rights encroach and it is a legal useful position on UN Human Rights.

    And who knows, maybe that is the better human rights and better political method. Hate speech laws are seldom utilized [Sweden], it seems to me extremists are more often attempting personal harassment. (I need to check that though.) Come to think of it now, I do not think I have seen people speculate that laws against harassment is a political problem. Is that a consistent set of political views – rejecting hate speech laws but ignore harassment laws – ?

    • Davide Spinello
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Now that you reassured us that hate speech laws are seldom utilized I feel relieved.

  13. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Far more alarming than hate speech is the political indifference and laziness of people who just aren’t into politics.

    =-=-=

    I have two far right friends on Facebook who seem to think than anyone who doesn’t agree with them is ultra-left, and don’t understand the thousands of Americans who are neither.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:08 am | Permalink

      I know some far left people who think like that also.
      Neither wing has a clue about the mainstream. Or exhausted mainstream as stated in the study if I remember correctly.

  14. Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    There was a lot of overlap in those tribes. I fit in somewhat with all or most all of them. Reminded me of reading personality types on an astrology chart.

    I really din’t like pc and think it has gone way to far. But I get upset when my groups are dismissed with demeaning terms.

    People are losing their jobs over pc violations that I don’t think justify such actions. Every instance reported in the news gets more votes for the right. The article our host mentioned is correct about that.

  15. AC Harper
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    I’m not in a position to do the research necessary to form a conclusion, so I’ll ask the question:

    Assuming there is some merit in the categorization of the ‘Tribes’ how much of the news and opinion reported by the media arises from the ‘Wings’ rather than the ‘Exhausted Majority’?

    My guess is that a great deal of the ‘polarisation’ of politics (not just in the USA) is driven by the media seeking (and generating) thrilling and simplified articles to attract their audiences. Politicians scramble to get positive headlines and perhaps this drives the polarisation further still. A social equivalent of Fisherian runaway selection perhaps?

  16. Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    To many folk in Europe locutions such as “People of color” sounds, frankly, weird and prissy–like a culture desperately trying to find a way of saying something…without saying that something.
    And that’s a sure sign that there is underlying fault line that is going to crack at some point.
    It leads to odd phrasing in conversations I’ve had, like refering to someone as a “Professor of Color” (and I admit to laughing out loud when I heard that one–what are they, a Chromatologist?)
    The right has is grotesque euphemisms as well of course, although they are less widely known (such as “globalist” for “Jewish”).
    I don’t know what to make of this stuff. Part of me thinks that this shows that, as a species, we are still far too immature to be playing with stuff like nuclear weapons and the climate. The other part (the Pinker reading part) thinks that maybe these silly language games are way stations on the way to improvement.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I agree with the Europeans. And I also laughed out loud the first time I heard the expression. I was in a class of about twenty people . We had a discussion and it was explained to me slowly. The person who explained it was unable to explain it with a straight face.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Euphemisms have a way of slipping in under cognitive radar but then looking ridiculous to the unititiated. “Mom! Mom! That horse is going to the bathroom on the lawn” was one I heard a few years back.
        POC has a clumsiness to it which isnt going to go away–simply due to the grammatical circumlocution. Imagine banners saying “The live of persons of color matter”. It works–but lacks the impact of “BLM”. The “Experience of persons of color” grates too, as opposed to the “The black experience”.
        Look–we get it. All the words used to make distinctions have been used to make horrible distinctions–sometimes such words get reclaimed, sometimes not, but all get tainted over time.
        But the solution to this is not to keep throwing good words after bad. Its to change the thoughts behind the words–not to pretend that thought reduces to language.
        The mere fact that this keeps happeneing shows the Sapir-Whorff linguistic relativity hypothesis to be false

  17. rickflick
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m not opposed to PCness. It can be seen as simply trying to avoid rudely pointing out things that hurt peoples sensitivity. We use a large quantities of PC when we have a family get-together. PC employed out of fear to avoid speaking important truths in certain situations is, of course, not so good.

  18. dreamsareus
    Posted October 23, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

  19. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted November 27, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s black ass-lickers (eg narcoleptic Ben Carson) can certainly be privileged. Ethnicities are social constructs and are far less monolithic than the PC crowd assumes.


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