OPINION

“Political Correctness Gone Mad”

An age spent figuring out whether something I have said is PC or not

Photo by Miko Guziuk on Unsplash

I have sixteen followers on Twitter, three of which are random escort agencies trying to find people who are looking for a good time. I am not entirely sure what about my Twitter feed or profile convinced them that I am the right target audience for them. Out of the thirteen, who are not escort agencies, only three ever retweeted or liked or comment one my tweets. It is fair to say that my presence on Twitter is like the Kardashians’ celebrity status. Nobody knows how or why it came to be, but now I do what I can with it.

Despite having a minuscule amount of following on that part of social media, the amount of time I spend on writing a tweet that does not offend anyone is ridiculous. I am reminded of when Brian from Family Guy tweets something by accident that turns out to be horribly politically incorrect and becomes an internet sensation within a few hours for the wrong reasons. I am truly horrified of becoming one of those people, going viral for the wrong reasons.

I wanted to tweet about Oprah Winfrey this morning. She’s a lovely lady. She has been through all sorts of trials in life and emerged headstrong and inspirational. But does that mean everyone should necessarily like her all that much?

If I had shared my tweet about not agreeing with Oprah, I would have been immediately typecast as Public Enemy #1. How could you possibly hate someone as divine as Oprah Winfrey?! I don’t actually hate her, I just don’t agree with some of her strategies in self-help. You are racist and sexist! I am not, actually, this isn’t about her being black or a woman. One could only aspire to be like Oprah, she is truly inspiring. I’m just not a fan of some of her techniques. I cannot believe you! It’s people like you that are normalizing this culture of segregation and hate!

It is exhausting trying to defend yourself in an age where sensitivity is at an all-time high. I didn’t share that tweet because thinking about the potential consequence from even one person out of my sixteen followers reading it was exhausting. What is the point of having a platform like Twitter if everyone has to think and rethink and overthink the consequences of a simple tweet not meant to harm anyone but literally just express your opinion?

If Oprah were a white male, I would have still said the same thing about her/him — without facing any backlash. Having said that, Oprah wouldn’t have been an inspiration if she were a white male because he/she wouldn’t have gone through the same troubled scenarios as those of a black woman and emerged successful.

This is my issue — I recognize that problems exist in the contemporary system, a lot of people do, but one cannot spend a day without offending anybody. If one were to make a comment about the trans population out of ignorance and not hate, the immediate response from most people would be to defame the poor bugger instead of patiently explaining why they were wrong. If someone is a born wanker then, by all means, defame them as much as you like. But if it’s a simple mistake, the concept of forgiveness just does not exist on social media.

When Donald Trump tweeted about the ‘Chinese’ virus he became a joke for the millionth time, but his social media access was only cut out when his role in spreading hate that caused the Capitol crisis became evident. Is this reaction — or the lack thereof — not politically incorrect?

He was still a bigot, sexist and completely inappropriate whilst fixating on ‘the Kung Flu virus’, or suggesting ingesting disinfectant to combat our favourite virus. He still became the POTUS after his tapes of talking about grabbing women by the p*ssy became public.

Is someone’s social media comment or opinion honestly more important than a politician publicly being a dickhead? Yes, social media has the power to spread misinformation and one must be careful with what they say because it has the power to influence minds, but so does the POTUS. Why is our sensitivity so ill-guided and ill-directed? Why do we spend our time and energy defaming someone who might have made an honest mistake, instead of, I don’t know, speaking out against things that actually matter, like calling out dickheads who become leaders of ‘democracies’?

This sensitivity is nothing more than an over-correction. Certain ethnically ‘superior’ groups f*cked up and categorized the rest of the world as second class and now we are over-correcting their mistakes by taking Political Correctness to the next level. Instead of educating people, people on social media defame, humiliate and maybe even ruthlessly make people cry.

Of course, it is unfortunate that people share condescending and inappropriate comments on public platforms and basically invite angry responses, but is stooping to their levels truly the only right way to act? Where we should include literature about equality, diversity, and inclusivity in education and websites of companies, we use social media to behave condescendingly.

Political correctness stems not from online keyboard wars but from basic education. We need to teach children the concepts of equality so that they don’t even notice differences in colour or race. We need to have patient conversations with our friends and families about equality and acceptance. I think that’s the way forward, not blasting open like confetti on someone who makes an innocent comment about a beloved African-American female TV personality.

Musings of a 20-something old in this big scary world. I use humour as a coping mechanism and it shows.