Political correctness not an issue; bigotry is

If you’re a part of the thousands of people that gripe about the continuing political ads, relentless telephone calls, and debate analyses that clog up the daily news, some bad news awaits you: this election season is just getting started. By next week, people in Iowa and New Hampshire will cast the first votes of the 2016 presidential election cycle, creating a visual approximation on who may be the United States’ 45th president. This campaign process has been unique to say the least, particularly with the Republican nominees. For example, to many people’s surprise, political outsiders Donald Trump and Ben Carson have been frontrunners for the Republican Party since early fall.

Though Trump and Carson have had very different backgrounds, they share a similar appeal of being unique political candidates to the American voters. One central issue that both candidates raise is our country’s recent obsession with being politically correct. It’s in almost every speech, rally and ad the two candidates create. The two candidates strongly believe that our country will improve if we shed this incessant fear of offending people, and they intend to enact this movement if they become president.

A Donald Trump supporter recently expressed on CNN that she feels she is afraid to say how she really feels because this country is becoming too politically correct. Why does the term “politically correct” come with such a negative interpretation? Complaining about our country becoming too politically correct is just code for complaining that people cannot spat racist, sexist or homophobic views without backlash. It is not illegal to assert personal views, no matter how ignorant, so there should not be a problem with a movement to view certain hate-filled statements as offensive.

Issues regarding religion and holidays have also sparked this debate. Many Americans encircle themselves in these debates every year during the holiday season. In the past decade, places like corporate companies and schools have moved to eliminate Christmas-themed parties and festivities. Since many Americans celebrate Christmas every year, this push away from Christmas has been seen as ridiculous and absurd. The separation of church and state is the heart of this matter, because whether people realize it or not, these holidays stem from religion. Thus, since everyone in this country does not practice the same religion, one religion’s celebration — Christmas — should not be favored over other religious celebrations.

Being politically correct is something that people should take pride in. It simply means that you are informed and respect the many differences and cultures in this country. The intent behind statements is a different situation. There is a distinct difference between someone being ignorant on purpose versus being ignorant because of misinformation. This open-minded movement that we have labeled as political correctness isn’t about jumping down the throats of everyone who mispronounces something or repeats an insulting joke that they don’t understand. However, with today’s Internet and information provided to us, how much of this ignorance intended or not can be excusable?

So no, Mr. Trump and Mr. Carson, the problem is not that our country is easily offended. The problem is that people need to stop shamelessly offending minority groups.

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