Political Correctness Is A Polite Way Of Saying “Stop Thinking”

Mert Erenel, Contributing Writer

In the past week, while having breakfast with two other freshmen who were majoring in politics, I was asked, “What do you think about political correctness?” I gave my short opinion but could not go on further as we had 10 minutes left until class. So if I had to answer fully it would be along the lines of this:

There is a difference between political correctness and etiquette. Etiquette is the set of rules and social tools that we use to successfully interact with one another. Systems of etiquette vary differently among cultures, but the foundations are the same. We use things like euphemisms, and specific mannerisms, so we can have these social interactions to begin with. Etiquette is a negotiation. It is a complex toolbox that we use so that we are able to get along with each other without forcing anyone to adhere to a certain moral code. This negotiation also helps us have better conversations while discussing controversial topics. It involves choosing our words carefully — to the point where we don’t silence the opinions we wish to address. It also requires that we be very tactical and conscious of getting the other person to understand our perspective. Basically, using words and linguistic tactics can get both of you in the same boat.

Political correctness, however, is not a negotiation. It is a monopoly on truth and language with a set of principles that compels you to act and speak in a particular way that you may not agree to. My biggest problem with this idea apart from the fact that it only makes people sometimes pretend to respect each other is this self-righteous claim on what is acceptable to say and what is not; even though some seemingly politically incorrect statements can be somewhat true. This is all said and done in the name of not offending anyone.

Well, what is wrong in being offended? Why is it a problem to confront anything that is not in our borders of comfort? If you are offended by an opinion or some statistical fact, then is your fear of confrontation due to the constant support of your thoughts and perspectives in the same environments in which you feel save? Every critical opinion has some degree of offense one way or the other. If it is not offending a group of people, it is most likely offending someone else. Every joke, especially those controversial ones, will definitely be offensive. But to some degree they will have a point, as comedy and satire’s intention is to make us reflect or re-evaluate our conventional perceptions of what is true or morally correct. And our ability to speak for or against these opinions freely determines how well we can reach valid conclusions. These important, though potentially uncomfortable, conversations are necessary to further progress in political thought, and we should not be discouraged from having them out of a fear of “political correctness.” They must be preserved to the optimum level.


Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them. Email Mert Erenel at [email protected]



  1. Hard to disagree with this article, mainly because you can’t. By inventing the theoretical framework that defines this version of PC and then expanding upon it with no real-world contextualization, the author both sets the agenda and runs through the motions without requiring the reader to do any real work.

    But what about the recent rise of fraternities and the corresponding rise of PC memorandums at this university? What about an inclusivity mantra at a university that has laughably low African American and hispanic student body populations (which still represent record highs for a university in the most diverse region of the US)? What about the marginalization of conservatives at this university which is also one of the most business savy institutions in the world?

    In short, what about NYU? All this non-descript talk from the author is like a hoagie with no meat. But I want my fillers. I want my pound of flesh.

  2. Political correctness is also the idea that only the orthodox beliefs are allowed.

    PC requires the belief that men who claim to be women really are women. PC requires the belief that if a racial group is underrepresented in a certain school or occupation the reason must be discrimination. PC requires the belief that all family structures are good for children.

    Now, these beliefs might be true. They might be false. What PC does is put these ideas, and many others, outside the bounds of conversation.


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