Now that 2016 has come to a close, it has proved to be a year unlike any other; one that may have altered the political landscape forever. Once widely used terms are now offensive, expressions that were common a few decades ago are now insulting. Outrageous legal rulings, corporate and academic policies have driven PC to new lows and the number of “the offended” to ridiculous highs.
The once clear definition of right from wrong became a very vague, slippery slope as an array of ideas were challenged. These controversial issues exploded into a national debate, and people began to question what was politically correct anymore.
Throughout 2016, race tensions have continued to grow to unprecedented heights. People could no longer be identified by race unless treated with the utmost care and even then it can still be viewed as racist. For example, it is racist to refer to African Americans as Blacks, or Mexicans opposed to Hispanics . It is essential to identify different races in the proper way and with a great deal of respect, but it has been steered so far left that it’s become a little ridiculous.
Pop culture has also played a huge role in the world of political correctness; for example, rappers are repeatedly using the n-word throughout their songs. It’s a word that should be put to rest in the history books, yet it’s taken upon a new less harsh meaning among the younger generations. Although I fully disapprove of the word’s usage among all races, it is interesting to note the racial discrepancy with the word. During a high school gym class, you can hear the word ripple across the gym or along track as it seems to flow off the tongue in playful manner amongst a certain group of students. Yet when it is used by the wrong person, the n-word retains its old and crude meaning.
On the other hand some people, like President Donald Trump, have disregarded the whole idea of political correctness and choose to speak their minds. For Trump, it was a dual-edged sword as some preferred the open and honest politician, whereas others hated him for his lack of respect and seemingly racist remarks. This disparity has only increased tensions amongst citizens, and shifted the politically correctness debate into second gear.
A more shocking case of political correctness occurred in a high school in California, where five students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo because they wearing shirts with the American flag on them. The students were sent home in order to avoid offending people partaking in Cinco de Mayo. This case originally took place in 2010 but throughout the years (including 2016), this situation has been brought up and challenged numerous times. It is sad that people have become so paranoid about politically correctness that they have banned American attire in some areas of our country in fear of offending citizens of another country.
As many continue the fight in well known fields, others have begun to forge new paths in the political world. For example, the transgender community. Since this area is very new, many people question what is the proper terminology for a transgender or the process in general.
Whether right or wrong, being politically correct proved to be a challenge of its own in 2016. Hopefully 2017 will clear the fog and the great debate will die down, allowing the American people to live in a not so politically correct world.