The Instigator
jevan
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Wierdkp326
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points

Political Correctness

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,036 times Debate No: 1694
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (8)

 

jevan

Con

Political correctness is a term used to describe language, ideas, policies, or behaviour seen as seeking to minimize offence to racial, cultural, or other identity groups. Conversely, the term politically incorrect is used to refer to language or ideas that may cause offense or that are unconstrained by orthodoxy.

Political correctness implies censorship and endangers free speech by limiting what is in the public discourse, especially in universities and political forums.

Political correctness claim that it marginalizes certain words, phrases, actions or attitudes through the instrumentation of public disesteem.

I will give more arguments once the round has started.

Thank you!
Wierdkp326

Pro

Hey Jevan,
I think you left the topic a little open ended on what, particularly your argument is. You mentioned that political correctness endangers free speech, which seems to be the key point. From there, an endangerment of free speech equals bad. Okay.
I believe you also tried to explain where problems with political correctness become evident. I'm a little hazy on where you are going, so please clarify that in your next argument.

Political Correctness is neither a universal good, nor bad. Language is always evolving, and it is therefore necessary to recall that what is deemed "improper" now will not be the same in the future. As an example, the word "Humbug", a word that Charles Dickens made timeless in "a Christmas Carol" was a curseword. It was not meant to be said in the public eye, and Dicken's usage of curse words as common language is one of the reasons he became so famous.
Another example, one far more practical to today, would be the used of the word "nigger". This word was common language historically, and that has been changed through time and social pressure. It is now a taboo word...at least for whites. It will take time, and changes in society's overall view of language for words to change in their level of offensiveness.

My guess is that your contention is that words such as the above should not be ostracized from language, but rather embraced. Doing so would presumably make an offensive word into a less derogatory one. While this is a fair point, self censorship is a natural process in a society where people interact on a frequent basis. If you are trying to make a friend, you will choose your words carefully as a means to avoid offending another person. It's considerate. Your decision to be PC can be critical if you are uncertain as to who you are talking to. In such cases, being politically correct is necessary, which it a good thing (even if it is only in this situation).

I will leave it here, I look forward to your elaboration on the subject. :-)
Debate Round No. 1
jevan

Con

Well I do make endangering free speech my main arguement, but truly just saying that political correctness is bad.

Lets examine the word "nigger". In present times it is ok that african americans to say, but why not whites. The point being is that it DOES limit free speech, but it is generally bad. People should have the right to say anything they want no matter what, hence FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

Another example could be Don Imus. He called a couple african american women quote "nappy headed hoes". He was immediately critized for his remark from jesse jackson to al sharpton. If an african american man would refer to african american women as "nappy headed hoes" its wouldnt be regarded so seriously.

Political correctness is not good due the endangerment of free speech.
Wierdkp326

Pro

Alright, Thank you for your clarification.

The issue with saying that political correctness simply a "bad" is that political correctness is a general notion that society naturally supports. It's a normal behavior. Because humans interact with one another, often for their own self interest, humans are likely to be choosy with their words. How they talk, speak, or otherwise express themselves is going to be representative of their personality.

Does political correctness actually endanger free speech? It could a safe argument to say that the Federal Communications Commission endangers free speech (when talking about the broadcast market), but not the notion of political correctness. Political correctness is a guideline for speaking, especially in the instances of meeting an individual or audience for the first time. You wouldn't rationally say things that are shocking to people you just met. You'd probably wait till you got to know someone before you actually started throwing out the --Pollack/Mexican/Mick/Insert race here-- joke.

Changing gears a little, and referring back to Imus, he was ousted because his nappy headed hoes comment upset certain special interests. Those interests likened Imus to racism, and the sponsors of the show backed out so they would not get accused of being racists as well. It was a magnificent display of censorship. To your point, this action was uncalled for. However, it was also a display of businesses trying to make sure they maintain their appeal with the public interest. Shutting Imus down was as much of a demonstration of the stations respect for the public opinions as it was censorship.

Im commonly referring to meeting an individual for the first time as a basis for my argument, but if you translate being PC to broadcast media, the same rules apply. Being on broadcast media is the same as meeting someone new...EVERY SINGLE DAY. Someone who never watches channel X will see it for the first time. If that someone catches an offensive statement in that first time they watch it, then channel faces loss of sponsorship and bankruptcy (depending on the severity). It doesn't matter what the context of the statement was, sometimes it wont even matter about the message, people will respond to those statements. This is not some federal ban on language, it is either the political motives of special interests, or the ability to misinform the public that creates the strong need for political correctness.

Someone can say, more or less, whatever they want. The fine line is how you say it. It's a lifelong experiment to find out how to say things to people without offending someone. Trying to follow in these strides is a noble enough goal. It's a means to communicate with as many people as possible, in more general language, that people from different backgrounds or subcultures can understand and respect. This is not to say that one should avoid politically correct language at all costs, but in the public eye, it is essential.

Perhaps political correctness and censoring on the basis is evil, but it is a necessary evil.
Debate Round No. 2
jevan

Con

jevan forfeited this round.
Wierdkp326

Pro

I don't have anything else to say for now. I'll wait for your response next round, I guess. See ya next round!
Debate Round No. 3
jevan

Con

jevan forfeited this round.
Wierdkp326

Pro

Well, again, I forgo any comments because you didn't post an argument this round.Remember to keep the debates smaller in the future.
Debate Round No. 4
jevan

Con

jevan forfeited this round.
Wierdkp326

Pro

This is a sad debate... If anything should be considered, my opponent stopped making responces after round 2. He didn't present any argument aside from "I don't like it". If you even feel it necessary to vote on this, recognize that he didn't really say anything, and never presented an actual argument for his position... Thank you very much.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
People stop responding when you thoroughly stomp them in debate. Good job. I might be slightly inclined to agree with the con side, but its impossible to say you didn't win.
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