Students weigh in on political correctness

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedista DeeMusil on Wikimedia Commons

By Maggie Turkovich
Contributing Reporter

Political correctness has come to the forefront of modern-day culture, and within the heavily divided issue many feel that American society does not do enough while others believe that the notion is taken too far. Citizens who are more neutral on the topic feel that it is now just a battle of the extremes.

For those who advocate political correctness striving to keep from making assumptions about people and working to cover their agenda without offending anyone are common tactics. With a perspective viewing political correctness being interchangeable with politeness by creating inclusion and a myriad of positive effects.

This can however be taken to an extreme when speech is put under a microscope. Those who feel society is not politically correct enough can sometimes go out of their way to ensure that others are speaking in a way they deem appropriate. Some feel that this is an infringement on their freedom of speech because they are being told they cannot voice their opinion in the way that they please.

A study done by Cornell University in 2014 found that practicing political correctness in diverse groups made members more creative and comfortable when speaking their mind.

Others believe that America is too concerned with political correctness and view current day society as an over-sensitive population which has become far too demanding.

They point out some of the hypocrisies of the issue as well. Many PC advocates feel that labels are simply a social construct, yet they go to great lengths to use what they deem as acceptable terms for people belonging to certain groups.

This can also be taken to an extreme where it seems that people purposely try to be politically incorrect. Rush Limbaugh is one of the most notable examples of this. He believes that political correctness is part of the “liberal agenda,” and consistently says things that offend thousands of people.

German Mendoza, a first-year sociology major, stated that America has “become an example to the rest of the world of what it means to be an overly-sensitive nation.” Mendoza feels that when political correctness is taken too far, it creates an inflated sense of self.

First-year criminal justice major Clara Ochoa took the opposing stance. Ochoa believes that there can, and should, be more done because it is integral in moving society forward. She commended RU for its welcoming and politically correct environment that allows students to “say what [they] feel and why [they] feel that way.”

Political correctness will continue to be an issue in American society until an agreement can be made on how to appropriately speak to others in a respectful manner.

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