Religion, politics and money: The three ugly topics to avoid in conversation. In my grandmother’s day, sticking to this rule helped ensure polite conversation. In today’s world, its part of a much larger code of conduct to ensure political correctness. A filter to not only prevent insulting other parties, but more importantly… cover your own ass. Public figures aim to be politically correct to convey sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Not a bad notion, but the overwhelming importance of political correctness in this age has an unfortunate side effect. Political correctness often keeps the issues that matter obscured. People keep silent on real and pertinent issues for fear of being seen as racist, sexist or (God forbid)… politically incorrect. Rather than being tackled, problems are side-stepped in favor of less controversial causes.
Big issues became big issues because the topic became taboo. They remain big issues because the silence continues. Moreover the silence has been largely justified by the larger than life concept of political correctness. The secular mindset allows societal issues to be categorized and separated in a far too basic manner. This allows public figures to take on ‘safe projects,’ that in truth are not very safe at all. The interconnected web of society ensures that even the most palatable issues have taboo topics at its core. The symptom is treated (a great chance for a photo opportunity), while the cause is left to fester. There are not very many politicians willing to actually do something at the risk of a PR nightmare. The notion of political correctness justifies their cowardly ways.
I’m not saying politicians should say everything they think. Considering what may be lying in the depths of some politicians’ minds, a filter is probably necessary. But I think its time to stop being gun-shy, and start getting down to the nitty-gritty. It’s time to have those hard conversations, no matter how unpleasant they may be. There are too many people suffering from discrimination in its multitude of forms to let the silence continue any longer.