Erica Hudson is a journalism junior and Mustang News columnist. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints and editorial coverage of Mustang News.
Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has made it clear he is against the idea of political correctness, a term that has been used to dismiss ideas that are not fully represented in society.
In the Republican debate, he stated: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.”
I understand why political correctness could be seen as a time commitment, but dismissing political correctness comes from a place of oppression and privilege that is not being recognized.
The push against political correctness is a form of social control that has been largely used to silence marginalized groups. The concept is often criticized as prohibiting the free exchange of ideas; however, I believe that the purpose of political correctness is to do the opposite.
When someone is asking for political correctness, they are asking for complete understanding of a cause that is being misrepresented. But it is seen as a weakness in those who seemingly aren’t equipped to handle the not-so-politically-correct real world.
Yes, the real world isn’t politically correct. But when you fail to understand what could be a great teaching moment about diversity, you’re reinforcing the harmful prejudices that are keeping marginalized groups from speaking up and being represented equally. You are telling them that their concerns do not deserve a voice. That is coming from a place of privilege, a lack of understanding and, most importantly, a lack of desire to understand.
America has never been great, and it definitely won’t be great with someone who does not see the importance of correcting all the discrimination that has led us to need political correctness. If you’re not too white-washed from your history textbook’s version of American history, you’d remember that this country was built on diversity.
So next time you want to call someone a social justice warrior demanding political correctness, you probably should be calling yourself an ignorant bigot stuck in your privileged identity categories. If that doesn’t sound like how you view yourself, ask yourself why you’re so uncomfortable with political correctness. Is it because learning about other people’s identities is too much work for you? Who is the special snowflake now?