I was watching Conan O’Brien a couple days ago because there wasn’t anything exciting on the TV. The show started with this clip. I thought that Deon is dead on. We are entirely, way, way too politically correct.
My best friend, Elike, is black. He has a unique perspective on this issue because he attended a mostly white New England private school. He was able to contrast that life with his neighborhood, which was mostly black. I can’t say that we have had a ton of conversations about the subject, but through normal chit-chat and the occasional deeper chit-chat, I have been able to figure out how he feels about people being politically correct about race.
Elike hates being treated differently than other people. As the clip shows, it is almost embarrassing for Conan’s writer to see a black woman get a different response from other white people who have done the same thing. Just from observing, I have noticed that people treat him differently. I have witnessed way too many of these instances, including assuming things things about him that aren’t true, talking to him differently, or even shaking his hand differently. Although this isn’t exactly pertaining to being politically correct, it is a similar issue that can have even more of an effect on someone.
By being politically correct, we are only masking our true selves. There might be a racism problem similar to the one that started slavery, but we will never know. There are still places that people are unconstrained and unedited (see Deep South, FOXnews.com comment section, or sometimes even a Bucknell fraternity function). Although I guess that I will never know the motives and ways of someone that is racist, I think that being politically correct about it causes more issues than necessary.
Lastly, I want to talk about the role of politically correctness in college. I think that college is the perfect time for us to address these issues. Having said that, I have had teachers that are the most politically correct of them all. I think that honest and open discussion is essential to us growing and learning. Obviously, kids are going to self censor themselves so that they do not appear different. It is the teachers job to encourage this type of talk, and I am happy to say that this blog prompt has done just that.