Political correctness culture is a term thrown around in politics describing the “fragile” soul of Millenials. The delicate and sensitive ego of these victims seem to be the focal point when targeted by mainstream media. However, what defines sensitivity between individuals?
Sensitivity is not an easy subject to define, nor is it worth diving into the argument about what can be considered politically correct in the highly controversial world we live in today. Perhaps sensitivity differs between people based on past experience or if it conflicts with their moral beliefs. For example, a person of Christian faith may be sensitive about discussing controversial topics regarding abortion or gay marriage. While this may seem like open discussion in a highly liberal community, it is still ignorant to abolish their beliefs and demand an answer from said example.
Furthermore, let’s take into account a veteran from the Iraq War. In a conservative area, the topic of guns, war, and freedom may seem appropriate in any casual dinner talk. However, it is important to consider the possibility of PTSD affecting said individual as they may be quite sensitive to the topic. So where is the line drawn in this chaotic culture where we can have free and open discussion while also respecting the beliefs and opinions of other.
Should we even care about the feelings of others? Before one immediately dismisses this idea, take into account the opportunity of free speech. I do not mean free speech in the terms of having a Nazi rally in North Carolina, but the ability to have discussions that, while at the risk of being controversial, are crucial to the development and progress of human society.
Colleges and Universities were built on the backbone of free speech. To allow guests, speakers, acclaimed professionals, as well as nobodies voice their own opinion on how they feel about the topics presented at hand breathes life through thought. Silencing those voices based on the sensitivity of how others may feel crumbles the foundation which colleges were once built upon.
As we know, gun control is a topic that desperately needs to be discussed in Congress, yet, our President’s Press Secretary’s opinion on the subject claims to be, “there will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment.” This quotation was taken days after the Las Vegas shooting massacre which seems to be a relevant time to discuss gun control reform. If said example does not spark the fire for discussion, then what will?
Yes, the subject is highly sensitive to those whose lives were affected, but why wait around for the next massacre? There is a time and a place for sensitivity to be taken into account, but when freedom, lives, and law reform is on the line, individuals must act in free and open discussion in order to come together on an agreeable solution. This is not the only example of sensitivity blockading the opportunity of free speech.
Take UC Berkeley for example, which is considered one of the most liberal universities in America. Last year in the middle of September, conservative Ben Shapiro was scheduled to speak at an event hosted by the university. Thankfully no injuries occurred, although hundreds of protesters arrived on the scene which also eventually led to dozens of arrests of students for carrying banned weapons. While this idea may not have been thought out thoroughly, it is a shame that guest speakers are no longer welcome to certain universities based on their ideologies and viewpoints.
Where does sensitivity breach the act of freedom of speech? The feelings and beliefs of others may be important to take into account when discussing certain controversial topics, but without discussion, we fall into a spiral of suppression.