Political Correctness: Does it Hide the Truth ?
by B.J. Delas Armas
on 12/17/2003 07:00:00 PM
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Ever get pissed off when that shithole Simon Cowell tells some American Idler that she should drop dead before pursuing a career in show biz or when Charles Barkley announces that [your team here] does not belong in the NBA ?
Chances are, that you have because you know they are oversimplifying and not telling the full truth. These guys are often seen as the anti-PCs (anti-politically correct), the ones who are right on the money, hit the nail on the head, and other trite phrases that say these guys speak the truth.
Whenever people clash with political correctness, they tend to think PCness clashes with truth and/or at the same time takes 'fun' out of conversation.
Political correctness. What da phuq is it ?
Definition Time !
Political correctness (PC) is the state of people either: 1) describing or 2) adding people/things to avoid incurring ire from those people/things. Describing people/things, rather than using popular labels to immediately identify those people/things is what I will mostly be referring to in this here pizzost. For example, when someone on the news jumps to a conclusion and calls someone who does something odd an idiot. Keep that shit to yourself. You're calling him an idiot and you don't even know him. Why don't you just report the news ? PC is not needed when the intent is made clear to people. How subtly a label is forced upon "someone" does not make a difference 'cause those "someones" get the message either way. But what those someones and other super-conscious people do get mad about with these labels placed upon them by a predominantly white society is that these type of people may be portrayed in a negative light to the rest of the world.
However, PC accumulates most of its ire when folks add some group of people to something when it really wouldn't represent that something. For example, some folkers get mad at the TV show "Friends" because there isn't any black guy in there. This is the one time that PC becomes ingenuine and earns a bad rap from just about everyone.
But always remember, also entrenched in the term "PC" is when people use stupid, popular labels. And people of all beliefs like to cave into them and use them on the basis that PC is stupid as shown by its ingenuity in wanting to add certain groups of people to some show. Those people of all beliefs get mad at the aformentioned "someones" and super-conscious people.
So-called truth-speakers/fun guys who claim to be anti-PC speak the truth and have fun in the context of entertainment. They don't really address things in the context of spreading information, and when it is, it's infotainment as it is in most of the local news here in L.A., particularly that Fox Morning Show and whatever it is that KTLA does. So their claim to be un-PC and telling the truth is bleh.
And most of the PC that is attacked is this aspect of assigning labels to groups of people. And of course those labels are not entirely truthful and just plain offensive without reason.
This is what really happens concerning PC and the labels it seeks to eliminate.
Whenever somebody uses a label that brings to mind stereotypes with no direct negative connotation attached to it, the PC guys make the mistake of opening their mouths. They earn negative some more points for PCness. They attack something with no long bad history to the label. These should all be harmless stereotypes. Labels are harmful when it has a stigma attached to it and/or the intent is not known. So even in the realm of labelling in which PC does its good, there is still some bad to PC.
An example of a harmless label that PCness would attack.
Those Abercrombie and Fitch shirts depicting the Chinese guys. The characters in them were a cartoonish Chinese and had the unmistakeable slanted eyes characteristic of Asians so of course it was funny. With its cartoony label/depiction, the intent could be easily be seen that the shirt was made out of fun.
No one really made a big deal of it.
Why not ?
'Cause there's nothing that directly says anything bad about the Chinese in it; there's no direct negative connotation attached to those stereotypes. It's nothing that people will take seriously.
However, I can sort of see the outrage PC guys would bring. It's a white company putting out a shirt based on another ethnic group's ethnicity. Buying a shirt like that as an Asian guy would be me sort of buying into their white-washed view of things. Yeah, OK, it's sort of funny, but it's ultimately not my kind of humor because I'm not on the outside looking in; since I've lived my life seeing Asians everywhere, these Asian guys just become people. The differences I'd see from the outside as a white guy are blunted.
So shirts like that from A & F are not doing anything wrong, but they are in pretty bad taste, as are most views from the outside. And it could have been an issue if people did not understand the intent of "being funny."
Now an example of a harmful label that PCness attacked.
A case where people did not understand intent and the label was harmful is seen when some scientist labeled the first American to ever roam the continent to be "caucosoid." Most tabloids misinterpreted that and put on their covers that this first American was "white" when "Caucosoid" in science describes features such as a pointy beaked nose or some weird cusps on the teeth, not necessarily including skin pigmentation.
This kind of claim this runs contradictory to what the Native Americans believe and enabled the less-racially enlightened dumbfucks (People know my intent when I use this un-PC term. They are fuckin' stupid if they can't get past the fact that all they hate is pigmentation on the skin which can't even be proved biologically) to then claim that "they were first." Science is credibility. And this sort of claim from science threatened to wipe out a whole heritage's history and importance before scientists reasoned away that these "caucasoids" may have originated from Japan. No one understood that all this guy was doing was science and in a field already very culturally sensitive, but, the scientist should known better and elaborated the second he mentioned "caucasoid."
Being PC in that case did not go too far because no one understood the scientist's intent in labeling the fossil "caucasoid" and this label effectively shed a negative light on the history of Native folkers.
So this is about the only time that PC is good: when it acts to remove a negative label from a group of people.
PC is ultimately about making sure something that is there and hasn't done anything wrong, is respected. Only "have fun" when people know what the phuq you're talking about. It does not hide the truth in terms of referring to things because it just doesn't rely on popular labels propogated by the haves and majorities of society.
But then again, PCness should not attack 1) when a label is harmless: that is when the intent is understood and the stereotype the label propogates does not necessarily link to something bad. 2) And it does hide the truth when it wants to add something that isn't there.
So since all these 3 things happen equally at least in my opinion, remember that PC does its good at least 33% of the time.
Labels: Objectivity, Political Discourse