Is political correctness a useful concept, or does it stifle honest discussion?

I think that political correctness is a tool that serves a purpose, it serves as a reminder that there are certain terms, positions and beliefs that are not acceptable and that we are hopefully at a stage in our evolution that has decided that enough is enough with bigotry and prejudice.

In the United States for example for reasons I can not understand there still exists a debate surrounding whether it is okay for a certain group of people to use the "n" word. There was also a debate as to why it is okay for the use of the word "cracker" and not the "n" word. I really can't understand why anyone in anyway would ever want to use a word that has such a vile history in our culture. The "n" word has no place in a person's vocabulary, now on the other hand, hearing the word "cracker" doesn't mean anything to me because the connotations are so very different. The history behind that word simply reveals the poor white people who cracked the whip against the slaves, they weren't the slave owners, just the overseer who made sure that the slaves did what was required and treated them as less then human. So I don't feel the same way about the word. We still desperately need sensitivity to the race relations in our country.

Another area that needs work is that there is a debate over whether certain clothing choices made by women condemn them to being victims of rape. Instead of focusing on the idea that teaching men that there is never any reason for rape. I am not sure where the political correctness is in this situation but I believe a little more political correctness is necessary. Shaming young women into thinking that they are to blame for their rape needs to stop and making education a vital part of young people, being careful with alcohol and drugs, teaching young men that no is an important word, drunk is never an excuse and clothing has nothing to do with the character of a person.

Just because someone has a thought in their head doesn't mean that it automatically needs to be shared; tact, empathy, compassion and diplomacy are very good traits to have and as Thumper said in the movie Bambi "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all"

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