Paul had first hand knowledge of political correctess and affirmative action while working for the federal government and also teaching.
Political correctness or being politically correct has been a great part of our daily lives for the past 20-30 years. Although historically it has not been a new idea, political correctness did not affect us that much until it was started to be advocated in the 1970s. Under the guise of political correctness, we have been instructed to change our ideas and behavior toward various groups of people. Failing to do this, we are labeled as racists, bigots, and insensitive, uncaring people. After defining political correctness, this article examines the reasons for political correctness today and then tries to answer the question of whether political correctness makes everyone a winner.
Politically Correct Definition
Being politically correct can be interpreted as changing one's perceived language, ideas, or behavior toward various groups of people. The intention of doing this is due to concerns about not offending or expressing bias toward various groups of people characterized by race, gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, occupation, and other special features.
Politically Correct Words Today
When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, we called people old, fat, crippled, blind, deaf, and dumb. We also referred to some people as Negroes, Indians, and Mexicans. Jobs well-known as garbage collectors and gas station attendants also existed. Today we are admonished when we use these words. In an attempt not to show outward bias toward people and make them feel better about themselves, we use politically correct words. The following table of examples can go on and on. I have included only some of the more common words. As an elderly person, I can appreciate how being called a senior citizen makes me feel better than being called an old geezer.
Political Correctness Versus Political Incorrectness
|Politically Correct||Politically Incorrect|
petroleum transfer technician
gas station attendant
Christmas and New Years
Why Do We Have Political Correctness Today?
The political correctness that we have today started as a liberal backlash against the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male stereotype which has been dominant for so long in society. Since the 1980s, it has been manifested through the following policies:
1. Affirmative Action
In an attempt to level the playing field and give more opportunities for women and other minorities to be hired and promoted, the U.S. federal government initiated an affirmative action policy around the late 1980s. According to affirmative action, set quotas for women and minorities must be hired and promoted regardless of their overall ability compared to white men. This affirmative action policy was quickly adopted by state governments and schools. As the policy applies to schools, for example, medical schools must reserve a certain number of positions in each class for women and minorities regardless of their grade point average or aptitude for medicine compared to white male applicants.
2. Equal Employment Opportunity with no Discrimination
Reflecting on the civil rights gains made by Afro-Americans, women, and other minorities in the 60s and 70s, all employers today must show equal opportunity in hiring all genders, races, ethnic groups, sexual orientations, and disabled people.
3. Make People Feel Good about Themselves
One manifestation of this is the new politically correct words we use in referring to ethnic groups, races, jobs, and people with disabilities. This is also seen in education. When I attended school in the 1950s and 1960s, students received an "F" for a grade which meant failure and not passing. Starting in the 1970s, the "F" was replaced by an "E", and now in schools in Thailand, students not receiving a passing grade are referred to as those who merely need to improve their work. No student is "left behind" and everyone moves on through social promotion. On talent shows such as "The Voice" and "Thailand's Got Talent," which are copied after the U.S. shows, there are no losing contestants announced. Only the winners are announced.
4. More People Win Than Lose
If you want people to feel good about themselves, everyone has to win all or most of the time. Don't we see this in the schools' social promotion policies? Isn't this also evidenced by the number of lawsuits against private individuals and companies for discriminatory and other harmful actions? In my school in Thailand, everyone was a winner when they took the Cambridge Language Proficiency Test. Instead of giving the students scores, shields were awarded resulting in the better students getting more shields than the weaker ones. In a group photo that my school took recognizing the students who participated in the test, you couldn't notice on the photo which students had the most shields. You might say that in sports there are still winners and losers. That may be true but lately, there have been more chances for teams to win than to lose. In all sports, the number of teams that are eligible to make the playoffs has increased year by year.
Does Political Correctness Make Everyone a Winner?
The federal government's policy of promoting political correctness has not made everyone a winner. To be sure, a lot of women and minorities have benefited by being able to reach higher positions in business and the government. However, a lot of older white men have been adversely affected. The country and society overall have also suffered. The failings of political correctness can be seen in the following:
1. Reverse Discrimination Against the Older White Man
When I worked for the federal government, I received my final promotion at about the time the affirmative action policy was instituted. Until my retirement 20 years later in 2007, I remained in the same pay grade and was always passed over for promotion by women and minorities. There wasn't a problem with my job performance since it was outstanding. If this isn't reverse discrimination, I don't know what is. A few people in the same situation hired lawyers and were promoted.
2. Lower Standards of Excellence
Affirmative action has led to lower standards of excellence in education and training. Will a minority who gains admission to medical school through affirmative action at the expense of a more qualified white person be a better doctor? What is the exact value of a high school diploma which wasn't earned but merely obtained through social promotion?
3. People Think They Are Better Than They Are
Students who skate through high school and graduate through the social promotion system are only kidding themselves when they think they can attend college. There was no social promotion policy when I went to college, and I think there still isn't. If our latest generation thinks it is so good, then why is the United States lagging behind other countries in education and quality of life?
4. People Can't Handle Failure in Life
Kids who are the product of the social promotion system have never had to accept responsibility for doing well in school. When they go to work in the real world, they will have to accept responsibility for their work or be fired. Having never dealt with failure before, will these people be able to deal with failure in life? As we all know, life isn't a bed of roses.
5. Society and the Country Suffers
The real losers in making everyone politically correct are the country and or society. Lower standards of excellence affect our education and also the value of our goods and services. Because people have not learned to accept responsibility for their actions, a group of whiners has been created in a society that expects the government to attend to all of its physical and emotional needs. Are we more of a winner now than we were in the early 1980s?
Failures of Political Correctness
Another Hub Related to Political Correctness
- Pet Peeves of an Older American White Heterosexual Male
In the wake of increasing political correctness and affirmative action, the lives of most older white heterosexual males are not very pleasant. Read about a white heterosexual male's pet peeves .
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2012 Paul Richard Kuehn
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on October 25, 2017:
Thanks for the comment. I will check out the video.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on July 09, 2017:
Thank you very much for commenting again on this article, Paula. The problem is that people aren't learning moral values in the home and having them reinforced in the schools and society.
Suzie from Carson City on July 08, 2017:
Paul....I remember this article of yours very well. It is one of my favorite and I'm glad to see it making the trip around again. This is one of those articles that everyone should read, whether they agree or not. It helps to keep aware, some of the foolishness we get ourselves into, "trying" (so to speak) to improve things! really?
I couldn't help but agree with your most recent comment about "hurt feelings." I shouldn't get started because I'll not stop! There are an awful lot of whining, crying, babies having silly, useless tantrums, who look an awful lot like full-grown adults!!
Guess they forgot to actually grow up, educate themselves, live a purposeful & independent life and prepare themselves for the inevitable ups & downs. The sound of "Boo-hoo, poor me," just keeps getting louder while the babies wait to be rescued & pampered.....even expecting someone "else" will wipe away their phony tears!!........Hope you're doing well, Paul! Paula
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on July 08, 2017:
Having one's feeling hurt is part of life. I agree that we have raised a bunch of spoiled brats. Thank you for your comments.
Susan Sullenberger from Lakeland on July 07, 2017:
All I can say is "why?" I think we've raised a bunch of spoiled brats. Heaven forbid someone is insulted, their feelings are hurt...I say, "too damned bad."
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on April 12, 2017:
Thank you very much for your comments. I appreciate your views on political correctness.
Brad on April 12, 2017:
This hub is still relevant today.
My opinion on PC is that it is an artificially created liberal political device to give them more voters. It was originally pushed by Ted Turner the founder of CNN.
PC has weakened the US Constitution as it stretched and morphed the constitution. For example. the 14th am didn't give Women or Black men the right to vote. Yet, the 14th am has been the water boy for the PC movement because the politicians and the judges on the left intentionally misinterpret the 14th amendment to conform to the ideology of the liberals.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 16, 2016:
Thanks for the headsup.
yourhomiebrian on December 16, 2016:
I am on twitter now @yourhomiebrian trying to teach the world that black skin can be a positive.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 07, 2016:
@Sanxuary , Thank you very much for your excellently stated opinions on political correctness. Promoting good behavior by tolerating differences is an excellent idea.
Sanxuary on December 07, 2016:
There is nothing wrong with being politically correct but in truth its being used to promote good manners because society has become so evil. One has to know that politness does not change beliefs and who we are. The problem is the message has been drawn up as some kind of rule attempting to change your beliefs. Its being promoted at a time when people are attempting to achieve certain rights. I do not disagree with anyones individual rights but understand the perception as the problem. For a while I was being bombarded by the LBG community on political correctness as if i was guilty and these are new laws of some kind. Then it occurred to me that i have never cared about anyones sexualality and on a daily basis I could really careless. Yet it still occured to me that I will never understand it and will never care enough to ever want to understand it. If you violate the individual rights of someone then they will fight for them. This begins a revoulution that eventually becomes a counter revoulution. Instead of protecting all individual rights, we create a system where no one has rights. The hardest thing to over come are social norms. Any neighborhood that has only one group is more likely to find its political correctness within that group. Until difference is tolerated it will be difficult to be a member of all groups. Promoting good behavoir is a better idea then telling everyone thay must act a certain way to your group only.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on July 08, 2016:
Thanks for the comment. Yes, if the white police could disguise themselves as black it would make the situation better.
big E on July 08, 2016:
If the police that shot Alton Sterling were black they would not be getting crucified by the media. I would not want to be a white cop for anything in the world. The white police wouldbe wise to figure out a way to disguise themselves as black on the job.
I remember on family matters carl winslow a black cop disguised himself as a woman on the job. I think white cops should disguise themselves as black on the job.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 26, 2016:
I will do that. Thanks for the comment.
Brian on June 01, 2016:
Google Peyton Manning black. It is a cool and funny picture.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 14, 2016:
Big e, Are you saying that someone has copied my article and published it in a book?
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 03, 2016:
big E, No, I don't think there is a safe and affordable way to change white skin to black. A lot of the women in Thailand spend so much money trying to change their brown skin to Snow White color. I haven't found Griffin's book yet, but I am looking on line.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on January 30, 2016:
You don't have to be a racist to dislike Cam Newton. Many people think he is too arrogant in the way that he celebrates on the gridiron.
Big E on January 30, 2016:
I have another example for you. Cam Newton an african American quarterback has accused fans that dont like him as being racist.
if a white person doesn't like Cam Newton I guess they are racist and have to deal with racial politics. Well guess what if a white man changes their skin color to black the black man can't pull the race card on you.
I think I have made a solid case for the white man to show white skin the door.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on January 16, 2016:
Thanks for your comments. Posting a Youtube video is so easy. If you have a video or camera app on your smartphone, you can shoot a video and then upload it to Youtube.
Big E on January 16, 2016:
wow that is cool. I actually bought a 40 dollar can of spray tan one time and tried it on my leg. It did not go black. They said if you keep on doing it will eventually turn black.
one of the tanning places in my area they they have a custom air brush and they can get your skin Jamacian dark in 5 minutes. It sounds too good to be true. But they said it.
My family would get real upset if I tried to change my color to black. So unless I am in some kind of emergency where I need black skin for protection like George Zimmerman or I find out I only have 12 months to live I will just have to be white for now. But I can inform others.
there have been a lot of black employees going off on white authority figures in my area. One white boss got shot in the back with a B B gun by a black employee and one got chased by a knife and the employee did not even get fired.
I think if the white bosses were black this would not happen. If I get a chance maybe I will try to inform some of these bosses about the benefits of black skin.
95 percent of the people I have told so far are not interested. I am so glad you give me the time of day on this.
Have you told any of friends about my idea? If so what are their reactions?
I wish I knew how to make a youtube video. I would give a non controversial watered down version of why I think black skin would help the white man.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on January 09, 2016:
& Big E , I have been very busy so I am just getting around to reading your comments. I haven't read the book yet or looked up Jeff Kephart on Youtube. This is something I will be doing. About a month or so ago, I had a dream about changing my skin black. A small sample on my leg was successfully changed in color, but unfortunately I woke up about right before all of my skin was turned black!
Big E on December 30, 2015:
I just watched the movie Daddys home.
Black skin would have really helped Will Ferrell in that movie. I wish I could have walked in the screen to tell Ferrell black skin would have protected him.
Big E on December 05, 2015:
From what I have read melonotan is not FDR approved. Maybe the tanning salons have some kind of tanning pills that can get you black in 5 months. I do think that there is a way to get black skin on the white man. Trust me black skin is a shield.
Big E on October 15, 2015:
Just think if a white person was black they could call black people out. Tell them to get their grades up , work harder, stay away from crime. And a black teacher and boss could get better results without all the pc bs.
I think melatonin II could be a gift. If you can contact Jeff Kephart maybe he will tell you more details. I saw his picture his skin looks good. He needs to shave his head though.
Big E on October 13, 2015:
I have some good news buddy! Look up the name Jeff Kephart on youtube google it. Jeff is a white man who has been living as a black man for 4 years. He has blue eyes though. I seen where he left a comment on a video where he has been living as a black man for 4 years and has NOT experienced any racism. He has lived in Pittsburgh and Daytona Florida during that time he does have blue eyes but nobody takes him as white.
He claims he became black by taking melatonin II pills. I do not know how to contact him.
There was another man who claimed to be living as black for 20 years and has not had any problems.
I also have talked to a couple of college kids who are taking criminal justice and I told them I think black skin could help the police. They mostly agreed with me.
so perhaps melatonin II is the answer. I already have brown eyes so maybe one day I will go for it. Progress is being made.
Big E on October 01, 2015:
If only you could take a white man's brain and put it inside a black man's body.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on September 29, 2015:
No, I haven't had time to read the book yet, but I eventually will.
Big E on September 28, 2015:
I changed my name to from oreo to E.
Black skin can protect you from white bullies to. You may need to be a little bit assertive at times but black skin is pretty good for protection.
I would prefer to live in suburbs if I was a black man. It would be more fun to be black in a white majority area.
So did you read that book yet? I think even if you put a black man in
prison with all whites he would be safe. Maybe 1 or 2 might mess with him but all the other white inmates would stand up for black inmate.
if you took a white inmate and put him in an all black prison god help him. He would be lucky if one black person took up for him.
black skin is much better for interrational relations. Obama got almost half the white votes. Mitt Romney got very few black votes.
If I ran for president against Obama I would prefer to be black or have a black vise president to help me.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on September 08, 2015:
If you are travelling in big cities, it certainly would benefit a person being black.
big daddy oreo on August 28, 2015:
It is very possible that black skin would have protected the roanoke news crew. The safest thing to be in america is a black male in my opinion. A dark chocolate tan is my dream. Black skin would be like an angel for the white man. An angel of protection.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 25, 2015:
Billie and big daddy oreo, What you have written has really been enlightening. I will definitely read "Black Like Me" before I make any more comments about political correctness.
big daddy oreo on August 24, 2015:
The negative stereotypes of black people do not bother me. Black people do commit more crime. But black skin does not make you a criminal it protects you from criminals. A white boy is much more likely to get mugged.
A black cab driver is much less likely to get robbed. And if a black cab driver does not want to pick up a dangerous looking black dude you can not accuse him of racism because he is black. Black skin would be the white man best friend.
Black skin would have protected hulk hogan, george Zimmerman , darren wilson, donald sterling, hank williams j, richie ignitito just to name a few.
PLEASE TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS BLACK SKIN WOULD BE LIKE A SHIELD LIKE AN ANGEL LIKE A BODYGUARD FOR THE WHITE MAN!
big daddy oreo on August 22, 2015:
I bought the book at a book store. Barnes and noble. African American history section. About 11 dollars. I was just trying to figure out how he did it. Pages. 6 through 12 talk about that. It sounded complicated.
I already know black priveledges every white man would get if they were to change their appearance to black. I have been obsessed with race for many years. Black priveledges are
1. Dark Black skin makes you look stronger and much more masculine. It can make an average man look like a tough sob.
2. Black skin makes you look younger.
3. Black skin gives a man more sex appeal.
4. You can criticize black people without being judged.
5. You can criticize the opposite race without being labeled a racist.
6. You are less likely to get robbed going to your car at night vs being white man going to car at night.
7. You are more protected from getting fired from a job.
8. You can easily make friends with white people. And you can protect your loved ones much better.
Billie Kelpin from Newport Beach on August 19, 2015:
Paul, I read "Black Like Me" that Big Daddy Oreo refers to back in the 60s when I abt 18. It probably shaped my entire view and before the concept of "privilege" became a topic in the fields of sociology and psychology, I understood what white privilege meant. The book is enlightening. The fact that "Griffin underwent a regimen of large oral doses of the anti-vitiligo drug methoxsalen, trade name Oxsoralen, and spending up to fifteen hours daily under an ultraviolet lamp" for this experiment is extraordinary. Of course people will read the book now and say, "Oh yeah, but that was 'back in the day'. However, after spending a weekend at a "White Privilege" conference in Pella, Iowa with Dr. Eddy Moore, I walked away understanding the subleties. This example might not be valid, but how I see the subtleties: As an older white woman, I can go out of my house with my hair all over the place, a crumpled blouse and less than stylish jeans, sloppy old sandals, and walk around, even in Newport Beach, and be viewed as having a casual style. If, as an older black woman walking around Newport Beach in the same outfit, I'm viewed as homeless. Multiply that a thousand times in different aspects of our lives, and it's easy to see. He paid a great price for that experiment and I'm glad BDO brought him up because I want to revist that book because Wikipedia states that Griffith added an essay included in later editions of the book, where "he described the hostility and threats to him and his family that emerged in his hometown of Mansfield, Texas. " Apparently he had to move to Mexico for a number of years for safety. '
People may read this and/or the book and say "Well, that's back in the 50s." Negating what a group or an individual is telling you is like me telling my husband, for example, that I have a strange persistent pain in the upper quadrant of my back, if he replies, "Oh, that's nothing, I get that pain all the time. It will go away," not only is the pain still there, but I feel as if I am not being understood or respected for what I KNOW is not supposed to be there.
Again, it's not about being "politically correct". It's about listening and respecting what another is telling you. It's about walking around in another's shoes and truly understanding. That's what Griffith did.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 19, 2015:
Is that book available online? I would like to read it.
big daddy oreo on August 18, 2015:
Just to let you know black skin would have protected Hulk Hogan a couple of weeks ago.
I got a book called black like me where a white man changes his skin color to black. I am letting my friends borrow it. One of them is trying to be a police officer. I told him black skin would be a cops best friend.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 16, 2015:
Thanks for your comments, Yes, black skin will protect you from political correctness.
big daddy oreo on June 16, 2015:
Well I guess white people have options now. Rachel Doezal president of the naacp was a white lady disguised as a black lady. They only found out because her parents snitched her out. It is perfectly okay to change your skin color from white to black. You just can't lie on job applications.
all white people have the right to change their skin color from white to black. And black skin will protect them from political correctness.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on May 26, 2015:
I tend to agree that if you are a black man in America, you don't have to watch what you say nearly as much. Yes, if I were a black man, I would see political correctness in a different way. I appreciate the comments.
mr oreo on May 26, 2015:
So paul have you thought about my comments? Perhaps you can change your appearance to a black man. Cut all your hair off. You can be a bald black man or get a wig. If you're eyes are not already brown you can get color contacts. Than maybe talk to a dermatologist or a tanning salon employee and see if they can change your appearance into a black man.
as a black man you will be much more protected in america. Black skin is like a personal bodyguard. You don't have to watch what you say nearly as much.
Tell all your friends about black skin. I am putting the word out and hopefully I can get this going.
The best way to beat political correctness is to change your appearance into a black male.
Google robert Downey Jr in tropic thunder to see a white disguised as a black man.
big daddy oreo on February 16, 2015:
What is the best way for a white person to change their skin color to black? I would love to be a black comedian.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 08, 2015:
Thank you very much for your comments. You ask some very good questions and I appreciate you sharing your views.
Sanxuary on February 08, 2015:
The words we once used to describe something were they not politically correct until we changed them? Its one thing to change something but calling it some kind of crime is harsh. I think changing the term when it was ugly to something more appropriate is probably a good thing. Still I am unsure why we have so many labels and even if the label was not something ugly simply recognizing a truth can still be viewed as something bad. Age is a good example, Do you help this person or fear being discriminating by helping them? Should I recognize that you our a different sex? If you our a certain race would you be offended if I celebrated your culture. What if you do not celebrate it are you offended if I wonder why? If I disagree with your faith is that ok? Can I tell you about mine and you can disagree and not be offended. Eventually, I guess everyone will be fighting for their own rights just to be heard. If I believed that men should be fighting for their rights today I would be assumed as someone angry with women. What if all I wanted to do is see my kids and not be forced on top of paying my child support to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to have any rights? I am not surprised that all men in poverty probably never see their children.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 03, 2015:
It is very interesting reading your comments.
brian on January 31, 2015:
Yes sir! Thank you very much for taking my idea seriously. Just think how much it would have helped the Ferguson police department if they could have white police go undercover as black officers.
advantages of black skin.
1. Black skin makes you look stronger.
2. Black skin makes you look younger.
3. Black skin is good for protection. Less likely to get robbed and better job security and long as you show up for work and make an effort.
4. Black skin gives you much more flexibility on what you can not say.
5. Black skin can help you with the ladies.
6. Black skin is good for interacial relations. It is easier for a black male to be accepted by white people than a white male to be accepted by black people. A black person can be the life of the party in an all white area.
I hope that one day I can change my skin color and live as a black man. A dark chocolate tan would make me so happy. I think it would be a lot of fun being a black man.
and as a black man I could use my blackness to PROTECT my white family and friends. I could use my blackness to help white people get more black votes. This is something every white man should think about.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on January 28, 2015:
I appreciate your viewpoints and you have given me something to think about.
brian on January 28, 2015:
Change your skin color to black! You don't have to watch what you say nearly as much if you are a black man.
you can also go undercover as a black boss or black teacher and try to motivate black employees and students. Real talk.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 23, 2013:
Thanks again for reading and sharing this hub. I understand where you and Billie are coming from in your arguments. Gays and physically impaired people have been openly too bashed before. So have elderly people whom I can really identify with now!
C E Clark from North Texas on August 22, 2013:
I'm with Billie Kelpin. Politically correct language merely attempts to keep people from saying some of the ugly things they would say if they thought they could get away with it. If they must, they should say those things in their closet with the door shut assuming they can't bring themselves to abstain all together.
Sometimes saying what a person thinks is not necessary and sometimes what that person thinks is based on garbage, so it's best kept to themselves anyway. What good purpose is served by making someone feel badly about themselves? Especially about something they aren't to blame for and can't change?
People who use civilized language don't usually complain about politically correct speech. It's those people who feel hemmed in by not being able to voice certain intolerant opinions or who use certain demeaning words frequently who do the complaining. People who are accustomed to speaking in a civilized way don't use ugly demeaning language in the first place so they don't feel put upon for not being able to spew it in public without possibility of reprimand.
Going to share this again with my followers and and pin it to my 'Politics' board.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 27, 2013:
Thank you very much for your very insightful comments. After further reflection, I agree with you that the real goal of political correctness should be reducing the unjustness shown to certain people due to prejudices. I wasn't aware of many of these prejudices until I moved overseas and got older. There are a lot of prejudices against older people, and yes, I prefer to be called senior rather than old or aged. Thank you for really giving me something to think about.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 26, 2013:
Yes, I agree that political correctness is a way towards being more civilized in treating disadvantaged persons. The only thing that disturbs me is taking political correctness to extremes. Examples would be the native Americans demand that schools stop calling their teams Indians, Braves, or Warriors. Yes, diversity must be respected, but in the end every one who is a citizen of a certain country is a member of the whole. Thank you for your very insightful comments.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 25, 2013:
Thank you very much for your insightful comments. Yes, most of the political correctness has gone way overboard. I appreciate your votes and sharing this hub!
Billie Kelpin from Newport Beach on June 25, 2013:
Paul, You hit a very hot button for me.
The TERM "political correctness" should never have been adopted because it obscured the CONCEPT! It isn't about politics NOR about correctness. It's about RESPECT and understanding of groups different than ours. It should have been called RESPECTFUL DISCOURSE or something that reflected the intent more accurately. Terms we use change through the years. What's acceptable by one generation is not by another due to NEW INFORMATION GLEANED AND UNDERSTANDING of the IMPACT on individuals. It is NEVER about what YOU think a term should be. It's about what a group of people want to be called.
Most importantly, the concept is NOT about "making people feel good" about themselves! It's about NOT DESTROYING them or being unjust with your prejudices! It's about NOT being so cut off from a group that you might have NO IDEA of what's important to them. Slinging around the phrase "making people FEEL good about themselves" simply mocks people who want to understand the origin of social problems and work to make it better.
Often people argue that a members of a group themselves use terms would not be respectful for the rest of us to use. Surely we can understand that concept. My father lovingly called me "dapus" meaning clumsy because I am left-handed. Of course, I would be insulted if you called me clumsy unless we were friends. My deaf adult students could use a sign for deafness that I, as a hearing person, would not use in deaf company if they were unknown to me. I might be able to use that term if I were a hearing member of the deaf club or use it with a very close deaf friend for fun, but it was reserved for the community because they understood the impact to outsiders. Surely, each of us in our own families has experienced this. But just don't call me "a liberal lunatic from Minnesota," like Rush Limbaugh did years ago when I called into his talk show. It's simply diminishes me.
It's all just about respect. And how do you know if you're respectful to another? Just follow the directive of the 50s Packard commercial. If you want to know what what the car is like: "Ask the man who owns one." We all "own" our age, our race, our political views. Ask the person who "owns" it with the understanding that Packard's day is gone and as a dear friend once told me, "Billie, we mustn't be dinosaurs in our thinking."
Subhas from New Delhi, India on June 25, 2013:
Hi Paul Kuehn! Being politically correct is a way towards civilization and a realization of one more human aspect that we should not be proud of ourselves while calling the disable or ugly or old by their names. We must know to respect the nature and through nature's verdict we are so and a few things are not in our hand. We must respect the diversity.
moonlake from America on June 24, 2013:
You left our housewife we are now homemakers or domestic engineer. I guess Paula Deen found out this week what it is like not to be political correct in this day and age. I think most of political correctness has gone way overboard. It's just crazy some of the things we are supposed to change because of a few people. Voted up on your hub and shared.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on May 12, 2013:
Thank you for your great comments on this topic! What you say is very true: political correctness is all good and fine in moderation.
ketage from Croatia on May 12, 2013:
Having good manners is important, but political correctness has taken it to a whole new level, bordering on the ludicrous.
Traditional way of describing myself, I am 6 foot 4 inches tall , and weight 220 pounds, with a thinning hairline, of mixed Asian/European descent.
politically correct way of describing myself, vertically endowed, weight challenged, follicle challenged, a delightful mix of heritages.
If I am short call me short, If I am fat call me fat. Changing it to vertically challenged or horizontally challenged is not going to make me grow taller or slimmer.
Political correctness is all good and fine in moderation. I do not want to insult or hurt any ones feelings, but I do not think I am the only one who thinks this is getting ridiculous.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 09, 2012:
Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub. I really appreciate your opinion.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 09, 2012:
Thanks for reading and your great insightful comments. Your arguments on the pros and cons of affirmative action and political correctness are well-stated. Thank you very much for sharing.
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 09, 2012:
Personally, I think being politically correct is ruining our country. With a little common kindness, we would not call someone fat, stupid, ugly or any other words that would hurt someone's feelings. In my opinion, if you are a garbage collector or a gas station attendant and those words bother you, work at getting a better job or just take pride in the fact that you do the best job you can.
As far as equal employment opportunity, that is a joke! People are still being discriminated again in the work place and replacing someone who can do the job the best, with someone who is less capable just because they are a woman or a minority is sad.
Social promotion is one big mistake. It was a huge incentive for children to not fail a grade. Now, what difference does it make? Our children are growing up with a very poor education!
I see so much "reverse discrimination" these days! It's just getting to be a crazy world. There is a lot of unfairness in this world, but sometimes we go too far the other way to correct it. With some manners, kindness and good common sense, none of this would be necessary! Sorry about the rant! Voting this up and awesome!!! :)
C E Clark from North Texas on December 09, 2012:
An interesting hub. As with everything, there are advantages and disadvantages. Even with affirmative action, women are still discriminated against in the workplace and in higher education. The people who discriminate have simply learned how to get around the law. I know this from personal experience.
I've never heard of 'horizontally challenged.' We say sanitation worker instead of garbage collector. Gay and lesbian are perfectly acceptable terms here (Texas), and even Mexican is OK if the person being designated is in fact an unnaturalized native of Mexico.
I personally work with special needs children and young people ages 3-22 some of whom are mentally challenged. I've never heard the phrase intellectually disabled before reading it here. The words blind and deaf are still used and a gas station attendant (if you can find one anywhere) is still a gas station attendant.
Some words are more offensive than others and that is where politically correct speech comes in most strongly. A lot of the old speech before politically correct speech became expected was hateful, rude, and totally uncalled for.
I've found that some people use ugly speech whether its acceptable or not. I'm not offended because it tells me outright with no hemming and hawing exactly who they are. Even some of my professors at the university have said in words rather than name calling and stereotyping that they are woman haters. When they state before the entire class that they have not always been treated well by women and now they have the upper hand, that tells me who they are. I appreciate their candor and drop their class because I know I will never get a fair grade from them.
Just a couple of years ago my STATS prof said that most of the homeless people in this country were 'mental cases' so there was really no reason to worry about them being homeless. In other words, people who have mental disorders can be written off and allowed to dumpster dive for food and manage however they can because they are disposable people. Nice guy.
The last few years a lot of people who have never faced hardship, especially hardship not of their own making, have made it clear that they believe the long term unemployed are disposable. When companies refuse to even consider hiring someone who is unemployed and then the same people or like minded people turn around and call these unemployed people lazy because they can't find a job, they are discriminating and definitely not being politically correct. Many employers are still being mean spirited and hateful. They don't come out and say anything so much, but they trash applications as soon as they determine a person is unemployed.
As with so many things, the combination of affirmative action and politically correct speech is a double edged sword.
Social promotion in school or passing children who have not mastered the majority of their lessons to the next grade, is not doing the children or society any favors. Ignorant poorly educated people are more easily managed and manipulated, so maybe that's the reason that having 25% of our high school grads illiterate is somehow desirable to the powers that be. If it were not desirable to those in charge, why would it not only continue, but keep getting worse?
I do not think anyone seriously under qualified for a particular responsibility should be given that job regardless of their race, sex, or other personal issues that should be irrelevant. Quotas mainly affect employers with more than 50 employees. Hopefully this will correct itself and more minorities and women will become better qualified.
I have to say that I've seen a lot of white men who got their jobs because they were white, not because they were qualified or particularly intelligent, so there's plenty of unfairness to go around. In fact it wasn't so long ago that the only requirement for many jobs was being a white male. Women and minorities need not apply. I've been told, and not that long ago (2006), that the reason I would not be considered was because I am a woman.
Interesting and thought provoking hub. Voted up and will share.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 06, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by and your great insightful comments. Political correctness indeed stifles free speech.
Rick Bostick from Spearsville, LA on December 06, 2012:
This is a well stated argument against one of the worst trends in society today. Political correctness harms the individual by stifling his free speech. The individual today cannot speak frankly on any ethnic group's failings lest he be labeled as offensive or intolerant.
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 06, 2012:
Thank you very much for stopping by, and I really appreciate seeing your comments. Yes, political correctness and affirmative action do warrant more publicity!
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 05, 2012:
Thank you so much for reading this article and commenting on it. Your comments are well stated, and yes, political correctness indeed stifles debate.
Suzie from Carson City on December 05, 2012:
Paul....I probably shouldn't comment too much here. This particular topic is one I do not deal with very well, nor calmly. I will just say that the Political Correctness trend, when ever it began, by whomever, for whatever reasons....is some of the most ludicrous, insulting, unnecessary and Child-like ideas/behaviors/creations.....we have ever stooped low enough to even CONSIDER. I do NOT participate. I also do not insult nor demean nor do any harm to any living thing. So, in fact, it is not necessary for me to alter my language...........Thanks for this Paul. I've jotted this "Topic" down on my list of possible future hubs......I believe it warrants more publicity........UP++++
Davesworld from Cottage Grove, MN 55016 on December 05, 2012:
The largest impact political correctness has is that it tends to stifle debate. You cannot oppose gay marriage without being labeled a "homophobe" even though there is an intellectual case to be made against it. You cannot decry the appalling rate of out-of-wedlock births among the black community without being labeled a "racist," never mind the fact that this is a huge social problem in this country. You probably can't even use the words "black community" - at least a white probably guy can't. You don't dare notice that the overwhelming majority of "homeless" are alcoholics, drug addicts and mentally retarded (oops, can't use the word "retarded" either).
Once your language is restricted, so too is the debate. In some cases, the debate, though necessary, is simply impossible within the contraints of political correctness.