Mill Valley News

Political correctness is not always correct

People should learn to be less offended by content that is accurate

Victoria Wright, JagWire photo editor

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Brad Paisley once wrote a song called “Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday” with the intent to make fun of political correctness. Throughout the song, the Kung Pao Buckaroos were trying to sing traditional Christmas songs, but would get censored whenever they said a word such as “Christmas,” “white,” or even “little.”

As humorous as it is, this song represents how, nowadays, people get so offended by the slightest things. Society has taught people that certain words are racist or not OK to use. This is caused by something called political correctness: the idea that some words are taboo. However, there is difference between censoring actual offensive content and being overly politically correct. This is illustrated by Starbucks and their red cup controversy.

Every year since 1997, Starbucks has released a red cup with winter designs to signify the holiday season that is coming up. In 2015, Starbucks put out its cup that was just plain red. Almost immediately the coffee chain received backlash from their customers who called it a “war on Christmas.” Starbucks did not need to wipe away an almost 20 year tradition of designs because they feared they would offend someone. As Thomas Bertram Lance once said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the trouble: fixing things that aren’t broken and not fixing things that are broken.”

Another example of being overly politically correct was during the Olympics. After Jennifer Able, a black Canadian diver, won a gold medal the announcers called her an African-American. First of all, “black” should not be an offensive term — it’s just a race and people need to realize that. Secondly, the swimmer is Canadian, not American, so referring to her as African-American does not make sense.

Society needs to learn how to be less offended by little things. Something like cussing doesn’t phase a lot of people, but calling someone a radical Islamic terrorist — when they are indeed a terrorist — sends people into an uproar. Everyone just needs to understand that something should only be offensive when it is said to intentionally hurt someone, not when it is a fact.

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