Campus political correctness is no threat, it’s a wish for a better future

Kate Groetzinger, Quartz, Dec 08, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I am in agreement with the argument in this article. Opponents of 'political correctness' argue that it censors freedom of speech and embraces victimhood. But as Kate Groetzinger writes, the argument against 'political correctness' on the one hand "reduces the students to selfish automatons, devoid of perspective and the ability to think freely" and on the other hand "dismisses the symbolic statement students are making by refusing 'free speech' as a justification for disrespectful behavior and inequality." No doubt. When  someone accuses me of 'political correctness' I raise the question of why they want me to be silent in the face of offensive behaviour and, indeed, outright racism. Why should we be silent? Why can't we argue for a better world? What's wrong with encouraging students (among others) to show tolerance and respect for other people?

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