A couple weeks ago a video showed up on my Facebook feed. It was made by a pastor who was “telling it like it is.” Its introduction went something like this: In this age of political correctness, are you hungry for a video that covers what everyone’s thinking but is too afraid to say? Then this video is for you.
The things he went on to talk about were things that frankly I haven’t heard anyone be too afraid to talk about. Muslim extremism, immigration, gays, prayer in schools, etc.
But honestly, he lost me at the introduction: In this age of political correctness.
We talk about political correctness like it’s a bad thing. Sure, I talked to someone recently who told me when he was in college there was a movement to call people “hupers,” a combination of “human” and “person”, while removing the masculine parts of those words. Not sure I see the need, but at the same time, if “hupers” was the established term, we wouldn’t think twice about it.
What I see at the heart of political correctness is another word, courtesy.
I don’t get to decide what someone else should or should not be offended by. I don’t get to call an Asian person a name that they may have been called 100 years ago, watch their horrified reaction, and then say, “Lighten up.” Treat people with the dignity they deserve.
Don’t be a jerk. It’s not that hard. And if, out of ignorance, you do happen to say something wrong; if the word that was acceptable 20 years ago is no longer acceptable, then you say two more words: I’m sorry.
Don’t be a jerk. It’s not that hard.