Americans are being oppressed by a group of faceless, nameless tyrants. The weapon of the oppressors is “Political Correctness.” The tyrants define Political Correctness as a means of encouraging language that “is calculated to provide a minimum of offense, particularly to the racial, cultural, or other identity groups” to whom the wielders of Political Correctness have granted “victim status” and protection. In reality, Political Correctness is a scourge in the hand of the liberal establishment in America. It is used to enforce liberal ideology and conformity to the official party line of that group of intellectuals. It is controlling, stifling and oppressive and dangerous to our freedom and liberties.
Comedians and others, whose knowledge is derived primarily from television, tend to treat PC as a joke, pointing to some of the ridiculous demands its proponents make. In reality it is like a great python that has snared an unwitting creature in its coils and is slowly squeezing the life from it.
To understand Political Correctness, it is necessary to discover its genesis and development. Some scholars trace the beginnings of this practice to the German philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and Martin Heidegger (1889- 1976). While they may have concocted the theory of controlling man by controlling his speech, it was Karl Marx (1818-1883), another German philosopher and the father of modern Communism, who perfected the program for use in controlling the masses by prohibiting and punishing all who dared to disagree with the ruling party line. Adolph Hitler’s Nazi party used this method effectively to mold and control for their purposes, the minds of Germany’s youth. “German youth. . . must be consciously shaped according to principles which are recognized as correct. . . according to the principles of the ideology of National Socialism.” “In the selection of teaching materials they (educators) should eschew those works which ‘contradict German feelings or paralyze energies necessary for self-assertion’ and only those modern works would be selected which ‘have an affinity with the spirit of the new Germany” ( Nazism: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts, 1919-1945, edited by J. Noakes and G. Pridham, pp. 432 & 437).
The political correctness that now dominates America’s intellectual community can be traced to a group of German intellectuals who in 1923 founded a small institute called “The Frankfurt School.” Led by George Lukacs, the members of the group were enamored with Marxist thinking. Lukacs stated that their purpose was to answer the question, “Who shall shave us from Western Civilization?” With the rise of Hitler’s Nazi government most of the members of the Frankfurt School fled to America and found places in our universities. They continued their explorations and gave birth to what we now know as ‘Cultural Marxism.” After some 30 years of incubation, this philosophy erupted in the chaos and confusion of the 1960s under the names of “multiculturalism.” “Multiculturalism is not some harmless phenomenon that merely acquaints us with other cultures, rather it is a concerted social movement that seeks to undermine, dismantle and replace basic American values, including the right of free speech.” (Alvin Schmidt, The Menace of Multiculturalism, Praeger, Westport, 1997, p. 95). By 1985 it had come to dominate major facets of American society including education at all levels, the textbook publishing industry, entertainment, news media, government, politics and liberal religion.
Alvin Schmidt explains, “In order to achieve the goals of multiculturalism; its promoters try to bar and even punish speech or behavior that criticizes or deters the values or practices of non-Western or minority cultures.” “To agree with the aims and methods of minority cultures, as well as implement them is said to be ‘politically correct’ and to act contrary is ‘politically incorrect.’” “. . .being ‘politically correct’ means namely, getting people to conform to the thoughts, names and actions that are promoted and advanced by the zealous advocates of multiculturalism.” “Actually it constitutes reverse bigotry practiced in the guise of eliminating bigotry.” ( Ibid. pp. 85-86).
Multiculturalism easily swept the field of academia. Promoters of this socio-cultural view then brought forth the concept of political correctness to force conformity to its dictates. It does this by stifling dissent and stigmatizing as haters those who refuse to conform. By labeling them as racists, anti-Semites, sexists, homophobes, Anglophiles or xenophobes they brand them as social lepers. “By charging them with ‘hate,’ the liberal no longer has to answer the arguments of the dissenters. Rather than the presumption of innocence, there is the presumption of guilt because he broke the PC code. The person accused must prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.” (Patrick Buchanan, The Death of the West, St. Martin’s Press, 2002, p. 90). To violate the unwritten canons of Political Correction is perceived to be worse than the grossest immorality, drunkenness, drug abuse, lawlessness, theft, lying, treason, dereliction of duty or betrayal. All of these a politician, an entertainer or a public figure may do and be easily forgiven, but not if he violates the PC code. Those guilty are made to grovel and beg for forgiveness and mercy and even then such may not be enough. Professional or political destruction is often decreed. This is illustrated in the cases of Sen. Trent Lott and actor Mel Gibson.
Americans must understand that Political Correctness does not mean using proper grammar. It is not just the insistence on kind, considerate speech, nor respectful communication. It is not the same as speaking truth. It is a devious attempt to control public discourse and silence the non-conforming opposition! It is used to “impose Multiculturalism values that relativize all knowledge and standards of truth, except their own and to dismantle the Euro-American culture.” (Schmidt, Op. Cit. p. 86). “Political correctness is not confined to changing names or terminology. It frequently attacks the existing values and standards of the Euro-American culture.” ( Ibid. p. 90). It is a weapon used by a political/philosophical minority to control and silence the majority. The design of the enforcers of PC is to first silence, then force acceptance and approval of their ideology and practices on the conservative majority population. Like the shadowy secret police of some Communist state, the language police are seeking to ban those words that speak of our traditional Christian values, Western Civilization and our American democratic heritage. They are ever watching to catch offenders who dare to challenge their Darwinian-Marxist view of man and society.
“The goal of the language police is not just to stop us from using objectionable words, but to stop us from having objectionable thoughts” (Diane Ravitch, The Language Police: Alfred Knopf, NY, 2004, p. 158). “The language police believe the reality follows language use. If they can stop people from ever saying offensive words and ideas, they can prevent them from having the thought or committing the act that the words signify.” ( Ibid. p. 159).
The creators of political correctness first extended its protection to Jewish people and to the state of Israel. No criticisms were allowed, only words of approval. Next to be embraced was the Black community. Then In quick succession they extend their protection to Feminists, lesbians, gays and trans-genders, the mental and physically handicapped, Native Americas, non-Christian religions including Islam and most recently Hispanics. Those unprotected are non-conforming, conservative, Christian, heterosexual, White males and those women who do not subscribe to Feminism. These can be verbally abused without penalty by the enforcers of PC.
While there may be no identifiable central office that issues PC decrees and adjudicates infractions, there is in fact a cabal of liberal power brokers who will see that enforcement of the prevailing PC code is properly enforced. The well-spring is in the liberal universities where radical professors, who embrace cultural Marxism and have a burning hatred for Western Civilization, Judeo-Christian values and American democracy, decide what thoughts and expressions will and will not be allowed. Enforcement is of two varieties. There are the producers of textbooks and educators who now dominate public education. From kindergarten through college they labor to condition the students to think correctly. The National Education Association and its state affiliates are aggressive promoters of PC. Then there is the law enforcement wing, the police of PC. They are a mixed group including liberal politicians, mostly Democrats, who keep a keen eye on conservative politicians and are ever-ready to brand them as offenders. There are the liberal news reporters, commentators and journalists who never miss an opportunity to label a non-conforming public figure with the charge of being insensitive or a hater of some protected group. Through their wide-reaching medium they can bury an offender with their repeated accusations. There are thousands of social and political activists who earn their living by finding and promoting the grievances of their chosen minority or class of “disadvantaged” people. They keep their jobs by finding and accusing those whom they claim have in some way failed to properly respect their clients. When some public figure or some conservative politicians steps into their trap, a killing frenzy occurs with the PC agents rushing to cast their stones. Hungry lawyers are always available to file a lawsuit claiming harassment, discrimination or “hate speech.” We even see it in the vent columns and letters to the editors of our local papers.
The punishment for being politically incorrect is generally prompt and severe. Employees are called in, rebuked. They are put on notice and a letter is placed in their file. Many companies demand that they attend a “sensitivity” class if they wish to stay employed. Those who refuse to conform are dismissed. Supervisors face the same kind of tribunal, but will likely lose any chance for advancement. The same holds true for law enforcement and the military. Politicians and public figures face public flagellation and are forced to grovel in abject humiliation. The penalty phase can be extended for weeks. If they are conservatives, their career will likely be destroyed. College and university students are called before tribunals and rebuked. They will likely have to take a sensitivity course or attend a seminar to be retrained to think in a proper way. Those who fail to conform will almost certainly fail the course and may be dismissed from the school. Professors face the same type of court and are often made to publicly apologize for their indiscretions or be dismissed. Presently, American society is subject to what has been described as “a soft tyranny” enforced by education, social pressure and fear of humiliation. At some point in time, when the power of the tyrants is more complete, we will likely see much harsher enforcement of the PC code.
There is an evident double standard in the enforcement of Political Correctness.
• It is enforced on conservatives while liberals are generally excused for their transgressions or easily forgiven. Compare the treatment given to Sen. Trent Lott and that given to Sen. Robert Byrd.
• PC is rigidly enforced on White males, but not on protected minority males.
• The enforcers of PC allow no room for mistakes, accidental misstatements or words spoken in jest. They do not accept the typical apology. Violation of the code is considered a “felony” with the strong likelihood of “professional death” for the guilty.
• PC deals not with just what one might have recently said. The language police will search your records to find what you said or did 25 or even 50 years ago. This is seen in the inquisition conservative judges are forced to endure when nominated for federal judgeships.
• PC also includes what you may have said in private conversations or in the confines of your home. Personal privacy is trumped by PC.
• The PC police will search the record to see if they can detect even a hint of a forbidden thought that you might have held in the past. They will accuse you on the basis of what others think you have felt or believed.
• Criminals from groups granted protection by the PC police often use accusations of bias to avoid responsibility for their crimes. O .J. Simpson escaped conviction in part because his lawyers accused Detective Mark Furman of using forbidden racial words.
• PC, at its root, is a kind of intellectual dishonesty. It is a means of smothering truth and promoting political or philosophical ideas that cannot be successfully defended in a forum of free discussion.
• PC policemen insist they just want to discourage language that might be offensive to the personal, racial, cultural and religious sensitivities of minorities. But never would they think of forbidding those words judged obscene and offensive to Christians or the majority population.
• PC is a way to obscure what ones real message and intentions are.
• PC is an attempt to muzzle those who disagree with the political social agenda of the liberal establishment.
• The implementation, enforcement and punishments inflicted for violating the PC code are coercive and oppressive. They are destructive of freedom of thought and speech.
• Diane Ravitch has cataloged some over 800 forbidden words and expressions currently on the index of the enforcers of Political Correctness.
• Behind the heavy-handed enforcement of the PC code is the ideology of cultural Marxism, with its doctrines of secularism, pluralism, multiculturalism, relativism , its denial of individual freedom and rights and its strong anti-Christian bias.
• As Patrick Buchanan sees it, America’s universities have become “islands of totalitarianism in a sea of freedom.”
Diane Ravitch writes, “Once I understood what the guidelines meant and how they were implemented, I could not shake the feeling that something important and dangerous was happening in Americana education that few people knew about.” “The more I thought about the ubiquitous application of censorship at the source, the more it seemed to be a major intellectual scandal, that it looked like political correctness run amok, far from the public view.” (Ravitch, Op. Cit. p. 30). Never forget that “The ultimate political tyranny for people in a free society is to have authorities invade and investigate their private thoughts or verbal expressions” (Schmidt, Op. Cit. p. 96). John Adams’ words should be shouted from every housetop, “Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.” We must not allow the serpent of Political Correctness to consume us!
John Waddey is a native of Nashville, TN. He is in his 54th year as a minister of the Church of Christ. Presently he serves the West Bell Church of Christ in Sun City West, AZ. His ministerial work has taken him to 22 foreign nations. Writing has always been an important part of his work. He is the author of 54 volumes. He has served as the editor of the Star Bible magazine and the Christian Bible Teacher magazine. Currently, he writes a weekly newspaper column and edits a monthly journal called Christianity: Then & Now. He also maintains Bible teaching websites at www.firstcenturychristian.com. His latest book, “Testimony of the Twelve Minor Prophets” is now at the printers.