“What’s with everyone being so politically correct these days?” demand the conservative mobs, armed with memories of days when they could make jokes about women in the kitchen. The recent wave of social justice warfare, waged in streets, blogs, and probably your own home, has sparked widespread counterarguments. At the dinner table, your relatives bicker over the Black Lives Matter movement that stopped freeway traffic or the latest all-white Oscar nominations. Social justice culture has infiltrated every aspect of life, and now more conservative movements are pushing back against that progress.
So how important is it to be politically correct? Is it really so bad that a movie about ancient Egypt has white leads? Can comedians even joke about rape anymore?
In short, political correctness is important. The majority of people who whine over PC ruining media are those who just want to be allowed to use the n-word in rap songs and remain comfortable in their own privilege.
That being said, the social justice movement is not doing itself any favors by forcing their ideas down the throats of their opponents. Of course, racism and sexism and ableism and classism and all the other -isms out there need to be combated, and Social Justice Warriors are fighting an important fight. But recent unwillingness to compromise and vitriolic attacks on ignorance of any form have moved them back, not forward.
For example, at Smith College in Massachusetts, reporters were barred from covering the Black Lives Matter protest unless they pledged their solidarity to the cause. While this principle is understandable–activists don’t want their purpose to be undermined by negative press–the pick-a-side pressure SJWs place on neutral parties is counterproductive. How can they expect someone to alter their views on an issue if they can’t learn about it first?
This savage vilification of any person not implicitly loyal to the social justice cause carries over into social media. Attacks are launched constantly on anyone who shows even the slightest chink in their SJW armor. Advocates for social justice search tirelessly for any sign of problematic behavior, hoping to expose and destroy ignorance while simultaneously cashing in SJW points. Of course, the Internet needs to be utilized to educate the masses on issues, and there is no group better equipped to lead that charge than the young, passionate voices of social justice culture. But in their efforts to become infinitely open-minded, SJWs have actually closed their minds to the people who aren’t as well educated as they are on issues. And aren’t those people the ones who need the message the most?
Instead of assaulting and humiliating ignorance, SJWs need to explain and educate. It’s important to remember that no matter how progressive you are, you were once oblivious to the plight of minorities too. How willing is your conservative grandparent going to be to adjust their stance on LGBTQ+ rights if you make your point by yelling in their face about how stupid they are? Obviously, the world will always contain its share of backwards bigots who refuse to touch common sense with a ten foot pole, and actively hate minority groups just for the sake of being hateful. But I think there is a vast amount of people who, for whatever reason (lack of exposure, prejudiced parents, hometown social norms), never even knew certain issues existed. By appealing to these souls’ sense of humanity, SJWs can wield far more power and end far more ignorance than they do by slamming the door on anyone who doesn’t understand all the gory details of the war that’s being fought.