SEARCH BLOG: POLITICALLY CORRECT
"Politically correct"... a euphemism meaning to use euphemisms to avoid offending people.
I've seen a lot of changes in 6+ decades. But the rise of deliberate obfuscation in our communications seems to be an effort to convince listeners or readers that we mean one thing when we may mean the opposite.
One of the more notorious examples (and I want to make clear that the following is an example) has been the use of the term "diversity" in the context of reducing racial discrimination or expanding opportunities for minorities and women. Instead of simply saying "our goal is to increase the number of black men and all women into positions of advantage and power," the discussion centered around not being "diverse enough."Clarity of thought requires clarity of speech. If we use terms intended to obfuscate, we begin to think in obfuscated terms. Our arguments become transparently weak or false. The good will and support you might have gained and sustained with honest, clear language will be lost.
The obfuscations are used to make actions that are politically unpalatable... overt racial and gender discrimination... to a large portion of listeners or readers more acceptable. If we say what we actually mean, we will create a reaction opposite to that which we want. Therefore, we say what sounds "enlightened" or "reasonable" so that those who oppose will sound "barbaric." We can justify unreasonable actions by couching them in language that sounds reasonable. We can deny fairness to all to achieve advantage to some.
- We can't promote the most qualified if they "aren't diverse enough"
- We can't accept the best students if they "aren't diverse enough"
- We can't use this group of jurors because they "aren't diverse enough"
So rather than addressing the root causes of problems... the "politically correct" approach is to simply deride and discredit anyone who questions your "politically correct" actions as uneducated or unenlightened or, in this example, a racist or misogynist.
The next time you hear "they just don't understand", consider that the speaker might not understand... how to think and speak clearly... how to communicate and defend what he actually means.