With the 2020 primary debates and elections among us, I begin to question the rhetoric and actions of some of the politicians running for the Democratic nominee spot. I personally believe that by allowing President Trump to do and say as he pleases on his personal Twitter account and to the public eye, it gave other rich, white men the excuse to say and do as they please. A prime example of this in politics is Mike Bloomberg. In the company he ran, most women were discriminated and belittled by Mike himself among other males. By creating and allowing such a hostile work environment for minorities, it decreases work flow and production as well as make women not want to work and can cause mental health issues.
I am a firm believer in political correctness because it isn’t morally right to marginalize minorities who have no control or ability to change their situation and they deserve to be spoken and accounted for in their communities, towns, neighborhoods, etc.
I advocate for minorities because as a mentally ill woman, I am a minority who gets discriminated against. I had a lot of privilege growing up in a white, upper middle class family, I got everything I wanted and needed, I completed high school and some college. Most would disagree that I am not a minority because I am not a person of color, but prejudice happens not only in regard to race, but for gender, sexual orientation, able-ism, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.
As a cunning linguist for my high school’s debate team, I learned a lot about the importance of one’s rhetoric and with the actions that follow that person’s rhetoric. Without word choice and language, we are nothing. Let that sink in. Without language, we are nothing. Even verbal and non-verbal cues are a form of language. Sure, actions are nice but without rhetoric to give you a reason behind your actions, the actions then become useless.
Where does rhetoric come into play with political correctness?
The main idea of PC is to not marginalize and patronize those who are disadvantaged. It also means being mindful of your rhetoric around anyone you may meet because you don’t know what they have been through. But at the same time, you must ask yourself: how can I change my rhetoric to offend no one? It is nearly impossible to please everyone, so some people claim to not even try to be politically correct because it’s “too hard.”
By stereotyping others and profiling them based off of race, we as a community and a society close off most or all contact with that group of people. The more people use prejudice to lead their lives and opinions, the more it affects that minority and changes their outlook from a positive one to a jaded perception.
By being mindful of what we say and who we say it to, we have the power to change our rhetoric and have an impact on social matters and protests. A prime example is the Black Lives Matter movement. The movement is inclusive to all those who are of color and have faced discrimination together. Only you can fight against oppression because no one else is going to do it for you. When enough like minded people come together with similar dialogues and monologues, similar experiences, and similar cases of oppression, it unites those who are disadvantaged to stand up for themselves and demand justice and create change through their rhetoric and actions.
With the election going on, it makes me reminisce about past actions of the president, current and former. In the case of Bill Clinton, when he had his affair in the oval office and then lied about it, he was impeached for his actions. As for Trump, he mocks disabled reporters and makes statements such as, “grab ’em by the pussy” in regard to violating women’s consent and controlling them. You would think that Trump would also be impeached for some of his own rhetoric and actions while in office, but the impeachment never passed the senate, so we are potentially stuck with a non politically correct President for another four years.
So what if people are politically incorrect?
When we pardon people who are under the international spotlight of attention and possess so much power in a world that despises the United States in regard to their poor rhetoric, it gives other rich, white men the excuse to treat other minorities with disrespect and to not pay attention to their rhetoric and actions.
We must also look at comedians who insist on political incorrectness. They are in national spotlight and insist on freedom of speech along with the idea that everything should be seen as a joke, regardless of how offensive something is to one group or another.
Why is it that lots of people can laugh at a vulgar comedian and then he does a rape bit, the audience becomes either quiet or rolls with laughter? It depends on the person and their experiences with the topic at hand. If you have been raped, chances are you would be offended by a rape joke. Or if he calls out those with mental illness and makes fun of our sensitivity and need for “safe spaces”, chances are, I’m probably going to get up and leave the show because there is a difference between humor and being hurtful/harmful.
Although I do believe some people go overboard with the concept of political correctness, but depending on your position of power, you should use your strength and ability accordingly. For example, POTUS and those running to be POTUS should not marginalize women under any circumstances. Comedians have an interesting position because they have influence over a lot of the public, yet not enough for people to take them too seriously. Honestly, if I’m offended by an entertainer for their lack of PC, I can just not follow them and problem solved. I am not going to like everything that anybody says and I can’t control what comes out of your mouth, but I can advocate for those who are marginalized and not support those who do discriminate.
PC: Now or Never
I posed this as a question originally, but now I believe it be a statement. If we don’t protect and speak for those who can’t speak for themselves, who will advocate for them? The time is now to create a better and kinder world at the expense of your so-called humor. If we let political incorrectness take over our hearts, nobody is safe anymore from discrimination.
Til next time,