• Larry

    The term became widely used beginning in the early 1990s. One major source was conservative author Dinesh D’Souza’s book “Illiberal Education.”

    So much of the blame for the term can be placed on a ultra-conservative propagandist and convicted felon.

    Donald Trump has had so much to be aggrieved at being so inconvenienced by the “politically correct”. Being born into wealth, avoiding the hardship of conscription due to student deferment, parlaying real estate and gambling investments into a multi-media empire. Declaring bankruptcy four times when investments went south on him and still maintaining his wealth.

    Aww the poor baby.

  • Jack

    Gushee doesn’t know what he’s talking about. First, the term “political correctness,” never fell out of usage. Maybe in his world of wannabe-elite liberal evangelicals — people who combine the worst of liberalism with the worst of evangelicalism — that’s true, but nowhere else.

    Second, to relegate it to conservative circles betrays a stunning ignorance of the sheer diversity of people who’ve used it — nearly everybody to the right of Robespierre. That includes traditional liberals, yesterday and today. Even at the beginning, it wasn’t just Dinesh who used it. It was a generation of JFK and RFK liberals, led by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., perhaps the foremost liberal public intellectual of his era.

    I’ll bet Gushee knows nothing about the struggle between traditional, pro-free-speech liberalism and the Berkeley Free Speech movement of the 60s which was nothing of the kind and which led to political correctness.

  • Jack

    And on race issues, Gushee really falls on his face: Dinesh is not a white guy, but is of Indian descent.

    But more to the point, the fight against political correctness has absolutely nothing to do with white male resistance to political and social change — and everything to do with the post-1960s battle between the radical left and everybody else, white and black.

    It is especially a battle between traditional liberalism and its love for the First Amendment and post-1960s radicalism which seeks to co-opt liberalism and take it in an intolerant direction by silencing dissent.

    The motto of traditional liberalism was this: “I disagree strongly with what you’re saying but I will defend with every breath I have your right to say it.”

    The motto of political correctness is this: “I disagree strongly with what you’re saying, and therefore will shut you down by any means possible.”

  • Jack

    Finally, Gushee confuses multiculturalism and pluralism….and probably doesn’t know the difference or its import.

    Pluralism is the traditional liberal notion that one can value and celebrate their own culture while still embracing a broader American identity.

    Multiculturalism is the post-1960s radical notion that celebrating one’s culture requires hostility and active opposition to that American identity.

    Pluralism celebrates America as a fundamental force for progress, in spite of its sins. Multiculturalism castigates America as a force for evil and intolerance because of its sins.

    Ours is a multicultural society, which is a strength. But to make it into an “ism” is what distinguishes multiculturalism from pluralism.

  • Larry

    Political correctness much like “reverse discrimination” is something more mentioned in the negative as hypothetical than actually existing in reality. Something relying on mostly (fictional) anecdote in order to counter pervasive and usually well founded criticism.

    When one wants to make openly racist, sexist or other blatantly prejudicial remarks they simply say, they are, “fighting political correctness”. It plays well to the sense of entitlement and privilege by those in the majority. A nicer way to say, “take that you uppity …!”. Of course it helps that conservatives more than any other group like to play off the politics of prejudice for support.

    As for multiculturalism/pluralism (an arbitrary and self defined meaningless distinction), in this context it simply means one shouldn’t go out of their way to insult people in an overly prejudicial manner. But I guess that is too hard for some people. Especially those who are used to exerting undue privilege.

  • Jack

    Here’s a good definition of political correctness:

    Political correctness refers to an unending, ever-expansive battery of do’s and don’ts that put a stranglehold on freedom of expression, forcing even the most tolerant and open-minded people to monitor their own thoughts and words as one would while living under a dictatorship.

  • Jack

    You and Gushee are obsessed about race, but political correctness can refer to literally anything. It is not confined to anything, which is part of the problem.

    But more than that, either you didn’t read my posts very carefully or you did and it rolled off you like water off a duck’s back. If identifying or critiquing political correctness were just a function of conservative white male racism or “privilege,” why were traditional liberals — including those like Schlesinger who fought for civil rights — sounding the alarm from the beginning against political correctness? And why are some of the strongest opponents of political correctness black conservatives and moderates? Are they racist against themselves? Be very careful how you answer that one, since you’re presumably white. There are few things in politics more creepy than white liberals calling black conservatives ugly names. It raises all sorts of interesting questions about motives.

  • C.V. Compton Sha

    The following is the URL of an authoritative, interesting, and well written online article by Bill Lind dated February 5, 2000, which appeared in “Accuracy in Academia”, entitled “The Origins of Political Correctness”:


    I agree with both the premises and conclusions of this article.

  • Ben in Oakland

    I first heard the term “politically correct” from a radical lesbian feminist back in 1978. So this term goes back quite a way. I thought she was joking, and then I learned the RLF don’t have a sense of humor. I was working on the handbook that was used statewide against the Briggs initiative. I told her that if she didn’t like what I wrote, she was welcome to rewrite it, but her opinion would be right next to mine, or they could scrap the whole project and find someone else.

    That was the end of that.

    All that being said, the term is now being used by the RIGHT as a way to describe and delegitimize the court of public opinion. Thus, the people who think that boys are blue and girls are pink and threatening to boycott Target are describing it’s quite good business decision as kowtowing to the forces of political correctness, entirely missing the irony that insisting on the pink/blue dichotomy is the very essence of political correctness.

  • Ben in Oakland

    There is only ONE way to describe gender, according to these enemies of political correctness. THEIRS.

    Political correctness, in short, is no longer simply the insistence upon one viewpoint as being the only true one, but is the go-to place for people who are losing their cultural hegemony.

  • Larry

    “You and Gushee are obsessed about race”

    Racism is the most pervasive and obvious form of bigotry in our culture. It was given color of law for most of our nation’s existence. Racists are the ur-example of how prejudice colors political discussion.

    Fact of the matter is racist appeals are still a major part of conservative politics. (See cuckservatives)

  • Dominic

    The term “political correctness”, as Jack stated, is still very much in use today, so I wonder where the author’s head is. Trump, as raw as he is, spoke the truth about the strangling effects of political correctness. It stifles free speech and meaningful debate. Any and all descriptions of people or events are scrutinized for lapses of “correct thought”. Comedians even complain of PC’s affect on telling any jokes or performing parodies.
    It is PC to attack the Catholic Church, but nearly criminal to attack gay marriage. Michael Sam has to be thought of as a hero, but he has never played pro football yet…and just quit. It would be vicious to cite the silliness of his “heroism”….he’s thisclose to being a Kardashian……who we can hate, but have to embrace Miss Jenner for transitioning into an old, rich, lady with the hands of a gorilla.

  • Ben in oakland

    That might be, Dominic, because my marriage and my family harm no one, attack no one, affect no one but our families.

    the Catholic Church, however, has spent millions attacking me and mine, billions defending themselves and paying out for their abuse scandals, millions more trying to prevent women from having access to birth control, and centuries claiming that everyone who isn’t a catholic is damned.

    It’s called KARMA, and it really is a beeetch.

  • Dominic

    No, Ben, its not karma, it’s a deluded idea of revenge against an institution that speaks a necessary truth.
    The Church teaches the world as God would. Gay marriage is a muddled conceit of mankind, a creation forged out of sympathy for the homosexual. It mocks the married state and now deludes society as to the definition of marriage. It is not an attack on you and yours, it is a cautionary reminder of what is truly real and what isn’t.
    Women are born with a natural birth control system, contraception sullies that gift and leaves the door wide open for sex without responsibility….it is not a means for the Church to control women, or encourage large families.
    The sex abuse of boys is the sin of men in the Church, not a sin of the Church, since the Church has never taught that behavior like that is anything but sin, and your idea that Catholicism condemns all non-Catholics to Hell is an old cliche’ that misstates what the Church believes about the fullness of it’s Faith.

  • Scott Shaver

    Jack. I’m afraid your glaring common sense and understanding of human nature has been redefined as “white anger.”

    Call it what they will, it still makes sense to me…..and I’m not angry about anything with possible exception of religio-political subterfuge from the ranks of “clergy”.

  • MarkE

    Dominic – I cannot disagree with you more strongly. The “church” you describe is only one understanding of Christianity which has tried to enforce its “authority” to speak for God from a corrupt interpretation of Jesus’ words in establishing his body on earth. This “church” has exhibited great beauty of faithfulness as well as the most dastardly and inhumane depravity throughout the centuries — and continues in that dichotomy today. Such duality cannot be taken as the clear and only expression of the will of God. It would be best if more Catholics began to engage with other Christian expressions with an openness that, perhaps, they are wrong.