Social Question

josie's avatar

Is Political Correctness nothing more than "stealth" censorship?

Asked by josie (30926points) September 22nd, 2015

Some comments about political correctness in another thread got me to thinking.

In the US, the First Amendment prohibits the government from censorship.

That notwithstanding, in the realm of national politics, the opprobrium associated being politically incorrect can be harsh to the point of being harmful.

For example, it became pretty clear from the start that it was politically incorrect to criticize President Obama. The consequence for being politically incorrect in this case was (less so now that he is a lame duck) to be stigmatized as a racist, a serious accusation and libelous if not true,

It is equally politically incorrect to talk about the reasons that Islam may be irreconcilably at odds with some of the basic foundations of the Western democracies. The stigma in this case is to be labeled as Islamophobic, in some cases by federal officials. Again, a serious and potentially libelous accusation.

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9 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

The idea that there was reluctance to criticize Obama is preposterous. From the birthers through the accusations of his Jihadist Muslim fanaticism, the charges ridiculous on their face have dogged the man since he announced his candidacy. IF it became politically incorrect to criticize Obama as you state it is PRECISELY because the loud, constant and irrational charges were most forcefully made by RACISTS and obvious FOOLS.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It is the exact problem dogging the Republican Party. You are known and recognized by the company you keep, and those you permit to speak for you. I don’t agree that it is politically incorrect to categorize Islam as incompatible with Western Democracy, nor is it inaccurate to state that OUR OWN fundamentalist bible thumpers conflict with democratic precepts. The conflict between Islam is going to become a very hot topic in the world in the very near future just as a matter of necessity.

josie's avatar

@stanleybmanly

Racists AND fools! I forgot to put fool in my details.The thing is, fool does not carry the same stigma as racist.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That should read “the conflict with Islam and modernity…....” And it is important to appreciate that political correctness is SELF IMPOSED CENSORSHIP!

Darth_Algar's avatar

Is “politically correct” simply shorthand for “you called me out on the stupid shit I said, so now I’m going to deflect by accusing you of being PC”?

DoNotKnow's avatar

This issue of political correctness seems to be really important to you right now. Maybe you could elaborate on how this phenomenon is currently affecting your ability to be a cultural or political critic? Be specific.

You assert that criticism of Obama is often met with claims of racism. Is it possible, however, that specific criticisms of Obama are rooted in racism? Those of us on the left (whatever that means) who criticize Obama don’t seem to be subject to the racism charge. But it could be that we criticize his policies.

The reason I think you should elaborate is that you may be using it as a tool against being self-critical of your positions, even as you assert that political correctness is acting as a form of censorship.

I will grant you something, however. The “left”/progressives do get labeled with terms that are designed to stifle dissent as well. Think of the terms, “un-American” or “socialist”. These are conversation-stoppers that are specifically used for this purpose. We also have to contend with being labeled antisemitic if too critical of Israel’s actions. And there is an atmosphere that has developed as a response to real anti-Muslim bigotry that is resulting in a double-standard when it comes to discussing religious and cultural ideas. The preferred conversation stopper is usually to label someone “Islamophobic”.

But I think it might help if you were to be specific. What criticism of Obama do you feel would be called “racist”? Your talk of political correctness is too vague and really doesn’t mean anything.

josie's avatar

@DoNotKnow

This issue of political correctness seems to be really important to you right now.

It’s not. Its just that sometimes I get on a role and burn up my three question quota on a similar topic.

You assert that criticism of Obama is often met with claims of racism. Is it possible, however, that specific criticisms of Obama are rooted in racism? Those of us on the left (whatever that means) who criticize Obama don’t seem to be subject to the racism charge. But it could be that we criticize his policies.

My criticisms of the president, where they exist, are criticisms of his policies and or his agenda (but like I said, he’s a lame duck now)

The reason I think you should elaborate is that you may be using it as a tool against being self-critical of your positions, even as you assert that political correctness is acting as a form of censorship.

Which of my positions to you imagine would merit the self criticism that you anticipate. I’ll assume from your profile that you might not have been around here very long. My positions on various “hot button” issues are all over this site and I suspect many of them are not different than yours.

But I think it might help if you were to be specific. What criticism of Obama do you feel would be called “racist”?

Don’t know. Ask EricHolder, or Hank Johnson for starters. They seem to know.

DoNotKnow's avatar

@josie: “My criticisms of the president, where they exist, are criticisms of his policies and or his agenda”

And…..? So you’ve never actually been called a racist for stating your opposition to Obama’s actions as president? I’m not sure what it is you’re asking then.

@josie: “Don’t know. Ask EricHolder, or Hank Johnson for starters. They seem to know.”

Is there something specific in those links you’d like me to read? Remember – you posted this question and seemed to have something in mind when you asked it.

Why are you opposed to being specific here? You stated that you have specific disagreements with Obama’s agenda. Let’s determine if your hunch that your specific criticism of Obama’s agenda will be met with accusations of racism is correct.

marinelife's avatar

No, it’s not. Not using racial, sexual or social slurs is not really being politically correct, it’s being kind.

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