There are many pitfalls of political correctness on the road to bridge the differences in American society.
Two things happened on January 20. One of the things that attracts worldwide attention is the inauguration of the new president. Another thing, which is probably not many people know – I got up early that morning to watch the historic moment of the change of the U.S. president of office, but before turning on the TV, I saw a news push: Yang Anze, a staff member of the Chinese candidate running for mayor of New York City, was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, so he himself entered the I’m quarantined.
I attended a live press conference of Yang Anze three days ago, so I quickly texted his campaign spokesman to ask if the confirmed patient was present that day. A reply was received soon: “No, they are not here.” ( No, they were not) “They?” I asked, “You mean there is more than one confirmed case?” He replied, “No, I just use people who have no clear gender orientation.”
If you don’t understand what this means, it’s okay. The answer is below. Now let’s first take a look at the highlight of the day: the inauguration of Biden, the 46th President of the United States.
Biden emphasized “unity” and “unity” in his inaugural speech; the immigration reform bill was submitted to Congress on the day of inauguration, one of which requires that the word “alien” (foreigner) used in immigration law to refer to “noncitizen” (noncitizen) that sounds less exclusive; In a subsequent speech to White House employees, he warned: “If I hear that you don’t respect other colleagues and talk down, I will fire you immediately.”
From “they” to “unity”, “non-citizens” and “respect”, the new era and new atmosphere in the United States began in the quiet change of popular keywords.
After four years of Trump’s “reasonable” subversion of the English language order, these words that have come back to the front stage or been given new connotations from the cold palace sound refreshing, just like suddenly seeing the dotted new green after an unmodified and rocky wasteland.
However, this new atmosphere with profound meaning in terms also brings me vague worries. I worry that the Biden era will set more minefields for people who are already confused in the ideological dispute because of their care about words, and the Biden government’s grand career of closing differences and rectifying disorders will fall into a quagmire in the ultimate pursuit of the political correctness of using words and making sentences.
Since the term political correctness appeared in the jurisprudence of the United States at the end of the 18th century, the meaning has changed constantly with different ages and situations. But for today’s Americans, the most intuitive impact of political correctness is undoubtedly a constraint on speech.
In the years before Trump’s election in 2016, the rebound caused by this problem in the United States began to boom. In those years, after innocent black teenagers went out wearing hooded sweatshirts and were shot and killed as outlaws by volunteers on duty in the community, a TV host advised black teenagers to go out to pay attention to their clothes, which caused a great uproar and finally apologized publicly.
After the school warned students not to dress up offend other people’s culture on Halloween, Yale College lecturers encouraged students to wear whatever they liked, causing students to rebound and resign; at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, some students and teachers asked the school to cut the cost of the school newspaper because the school newspaper was unwilling to leave the front page to minorities for a voice; teachers and students are making trouble on college campuses across the United States.
Establishing a “safe space” on campus for sensitive people on the margins of society – where no one is allowed to say anything that may offend vulnerable people…
In July 2016, the Pew Center polled on the controversy caused by political correctness, found that 59% of people thought that the problem in the United States was that “too many people are now too easily offended by other people’s words”, and only 39% thought that “people should be more cautious in words to avoid offending others from different backgrounds”.
The majority of these 59% include Trump. In August 2015, during the Republican debate for the first presidential election, he declared: “One of the big problems in this country is political correctness.
I have been criticized by many people, but frankly I have no time to abide by political right.” Immediately after the debate, a tweet from Trump explained the phrase, complaining that the debate host and Fox’s Megan Kelly was unfair to him. “She sprays blood in her eyes and blood everywhere else.”
If people were still shocked at Trump’s disrespectful words to women at that time, they would have found that it was his normal to say anything after there.
A July 2017 headline from the political news website The Hill summed up: “For Trump, politically incorrectness is the new political right.” In this way, he rushed all the way to the White House in the name of anti-political correctness.
If Trump’s four years of “contribution” to the English language, it has changed expectations of the language standards of leaders and subverted people’s three views on language use.
He called Mexican immigrants “rapists”, some African countries as “shitholes”, “fake news” for all the negative reports on him, the “Chinese virus”, spelling mistakes as commonplace, and created a word covfefe, which he still doesn’t know what to say. This unobstructed style of saying what you want to say really dazzled many people who are used to listening to the rhetorical and beautiful words of politicians.
Ordinary people began to follow the trend on social media. The dialogue between people with different opinions is getting closer and closer to scolding, and the whole society is thundering.
However, even those who hate political correctness will not be difficult to recover later: basic cultivation is not smooth hypocrisy, daily courtesy is not pretentious, and inflammatory words that completely ignore other people’s feelings are not the freedom of speech they want.
In 2018, the non-governmental organization More in Common published a poll of more than 8,000 Americans and found that 80% believed that political correctness was a major problem in the United States, but 82% believed that hate speech was a major problem in the United States.
This verbal collapse may be gradually repaired with Trump’s departure, but the left’s rise to power has another potentially opposite impact on the American language, and the left may sound unatranged if the left does not have enough self-control to mitigate this shock.
Humanity consumes energy and loses more ordinary people’s support.
Contrary to Trump’s style of treating vulgarity as funny and offensive as sincere, the left has always been sensitive to words and their underlying meanings. Today’s Vice President He Jinli, who was previously the Attorney General of California, was praised by then President Obama as “the most beautiful state attorney general in the United States” at an event.
This statement is also believed by critics to violate the taboo of women’s appearance. Although He Jinli herself did not care, Obama apologized publicly for it. Left-wing leaders know that words play an immeasurable role in guiding social values, and dare not be sloppy at all.
The idea has been re-entered a few days before Biden took office. On January 3, when the new Congress was inagate, Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri changed the usual “Amen” to “Amen and Awomen” at the end of the eulogy prayer, which surprised many people present. The prayer ending translated into Chinese as “Amen” comes from Hebrew.
Although there is the word “men” embedded in it, the whole word is equivalent to “if I smell it” and has nothing to do with gender. Cliff said that he added his invention of Awoman to the concluding remarks, so that the word “women” and “men” were just to highlight the record number of women members of the current parliament in a humorous way.
The next day, on the first working day of the new Congress, the Democratic majority House of Representatives passed a set of bills related to parliamentary regulations, one of which requires that the names of people with clear gender names, such as him, her, father, mother, sister, brother, be replaced by people with clear gender names, such as him.
We, parents, siblings, to create an equal linguistic situation for non-gender gay and transgender groups. This genderless term has recently become popular on the left.
The spokesman for the Yang Anze campaign mentioned at the beginning of this article is one of the followers, but the formal modification of the wording in the official congressional documents is tantamount to endorsing this ambiguous grammar for vague gender references and even regardless of singular and plural differences.
These seemingly inconceivable words immediately aroused a counterattack from the right. Trump’s son Trump Jr. tweeted in response to the “Awomen” incident: “A word that has nothing to do with gender can’t stop them from going so crazy.
Is this the person you elected?” “It’s stupid,” said the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in a tweet about the bill to amend regulations, using the signature “a father, son, and brother.”
Such verbal efforts do not solve any substantive problems, but at best a gesture. After the smoke of the Trump era, Americans have long lost such patience, and such a rhetorical revolution may be counterproductive.
Trump’s four-year high-profile suppression of political correctness not only failed to suppress the momentum of the political correct flag-bearer, but also caused a strong backlash from the other party, making today’s political right struggle more radical and tragic than four years ago.
In those years, the trend of setting up a “safe space” on campus has evolved into a “cancel culture” that immediately keeps old and dead.
In those years, there was still an opportunity to apologize for being convicted, but now I have lost my job immediately.
In May 2019, Ronald S., a professor of law and a supervisor of Harvard undergraduate dormitory and a professor at the law school. Sullivan Jr.) He was dismissed from the post of school for defending Harvey Weinstein, a film tycoon involved in sexual harassment, which caused student protests.
Last June, during the turbulent anti-police abuse demonstration, data analyst David Shor was fired by his company for retweeting a study that believed that the violent demonstration of the civil rights movement in 1968 led to the Republican victory in that presidential election that year.
In the same month, James Bennet, editor of the New York Times Opinion Edition, resigned after publishing an article by Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas advocating sending national soldiers to suppress the demonstration. Even President Trump himself was blocked by Twitter and Facebook after the January 6 Capitol Hill riots.
Last July, Harper’s magazine published Rowling (J.), who wrote Harry Potter. K. A joint open letter from over 150 cultural celebrities, including Rowling, and Margaret Atwood, who wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, and more, opened fire on the growing censorship of speech.” The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeline of a free society, is increasingly constrained,” the letter said.
“The way to defeat bad ideas is to expose, debate and persuade them, rather than trying to sound them and hope they will disappear.”
But a few days later, more than 150 unknown journalists and cultural circles immediately sent an open letter to counter it, pointing out that most of the signatories of the previous letter were long-famous white people, who could easily speak on large platforms like Harper’s, and also said they were worried about censorship and comments.
This itself has irony.” The irony of the letter is that the signatories did not mention the fact that generations of vulnerable groups in the news, academia and publishing industries have been heard. The counter-attack letter said, “It also does not face the question of power directly: who has power in his hands and who has no power in his hands.”
This is the key point to the current dispute over American speech. It has long passed the stage of expressing its own opinions on several words, several grammars and their meanings, and has evolved into a naked power struggle.
In other words, the focus of the American speech problem nowadays is not what can say and cannot be said, but who has the right to speak and who has no part to speak. The answer to this question depends not only on people’s understanding of the current state, but also on people’s attitudes towards history and the original sin of the United States.
In August 2019, The New York Times launched a large-scale feature, Project 1619, which published articles on the far-reaching impact of slavery on the past and present of the United States with the whole issue of its magazine, explaining to readers that the history of the United States did not begin in 1776, but should be traced back to the 19th
When a group of African slaves arrived in the United States, the founding fathers of the United States declared in the Declaration of Independence that “human beings are born equal, and the creators give them a number of inalienable rights, including the right to life, the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, which was just a hypocritical statement of white people in power in the era of slavery; straight Today, if we are unwilling to face the situation that blacks and minorities still do not have equality, this ideal can only be empty talk.
The project was later expanded again, with more than 100 pages of related articles published, and audio programs and school textbooks were also produced.
Last September, then-President Trump tit-for-tat established the “1776 Committee” to fight back. This year’s Martin Luther King Day, two days before Biden took office, the committee launched a 45-page report defending the high status of the history of the United States and the Declaration of Independence since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, attacking the left’s enthusiastic identity politics that deviated from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proposed to establish a color-neous, “brother” Working hand in hand is as strong as a rock” the concept of society.
Supporters of identity politics divide Americans into different camps, ranking them according to how oppressed they are by mainstream culture, and then creating estrangements between different camps.” The report said that “identity politics is completely contrary to the principle of equality pursued by the Declaration of Independence.” The report also calls on educators to use this as a basis to tell students about American history.
When the battle has developed to the stage where the two sides began to disagree and reinterpret the history, when the almost inbridgeable differences in basic concepts have been put in front of people, how weak and weak it is to compete in terms and grammar. The 2018 poll released by More in Common quoted some respondents.
One of the 40-year-old Native Americans living in Oklahoma said: “Just like every day you get up and find that something has changed, you should use the word Jew to refer to Jews, and Should I use Jewish? Should I say black or African American? … You are worried all day because you don’t know what to say, so political correctness is scary.
In the next four years, if left-wing elites dig up a pile of holes in terms such as “Awomen”, I don’t know how many people will be scared off and stay away from the practice and thinking of fighting for equal rights.