The bane of political correctness


penny-and-dimeNOT EVERYONE will agree with what you say, however you say it. That is natural.

However, not everyone will read properly what you write.

There are two types of critical readers—those who will criticize your side of the issue and those who will slam you just for the words you used in your opinion. The latter group is bothersome as they like to take everything out of context.

For instance, when you describe a fanatical group as “unfit to be compared to retardates,” this group will raise a fit and pick you apart for using the word “retardate.”

These people tend to make fuss over things that are really irrelevant and have no bearing at all on important issues. They feel the need to bring it up, either because they’re simply reactionaries or they have personal, or political agendas.

They have the cancer of this era – political correctness, which basically hampers social development and blurs out distinctions and undermines truthful discourse.

Political correctness is perceived by most of people as a good way to indirectly state something sensitive, and to avoid backlash or hostile responses. But in today’s case, it is the other way around. It is used often to pompously gloss over an issue.

In his Manila Standard column, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law and an alumnus of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters, wrote that political correctness is “just a concealment of ugly truths.”

Father Ranhilio linked political correctness to circumlocution, a misconstruction intending to appease but not to clarify or elucidate.

And it is true. Political correctness does not solve anything. It just sweeps everything under the rag until the rag cannot cover it up.

The Tuguegarao native also described political correctness as a cheap substitute for true solidarity and due respect. “One can be obsessed with using politically correct terms and then rest in the foolishly comforting thought that one has been just and compassionate,” he said.

No statement of political correctitude can ever make complete sense. But people can be fooled to believe that a person speaking in a politically correct manner is sincere and means business.

As an AB Journalism student, I know it is absolutely pressing to be politically correct. I know that I should not offend. But the truth is sometimes blunt and cannot be glossed over or expressed nicely and circumlocutory.

Campus journalists should not be over-cautious in the name of politically correctness. The truth should never be muffled with fancy words.

Writers should not make a big deal out of political correctness in daily conversation and work because at the end of the day, what matters is truth-telling and honest exchange of opinion. The business of writing is intellectual exchange, not political correctness.

It is Christmas season and I’d like to greet you “Merry Christmas” in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I will not apologize for that as I am a Catholic and a conservative, in that order.

I hope the day does not come to the Philippines when greeting “Merry Christmas” and the sight of public sets of the Nativity scene offend others because they are politically incorrect. What would that say about our cultural—and Christian—heritage?


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