Political correctness isn't a very helpful term, really.|
There have been efforts to do away with negative representations of certain groups. Considering the way blacks (for example), have been represented in mainstream culture in the UK over the past 50 years, shows why, and why the effort was worth it.
Sometimes this goes 'too far', in the sense of limiting freedom (of a sort, in a minor way) to provide protection for a person or group deemed vulnerable. I honestly think that most of the time this is the result of people not really knowing what to do, rather than doing so at the behest of some liberal cabal. Sometimes, in business or otherwise, it might also go too far for some. Things like affirmative action are seen as 'political correctness', for example.
However, do I think it actually really effects society negatively? Not really, in the long run. There's still plenty of obscene, hateful language around. There's still comedians sticking the knife in, for example. And so there should be. There's still plenty of people angry at Jewish settlers, Gypsies, Russian oligarchs. The issue comes, when 'political correctness' is concerned, with how those people are represented and portrayed. The problem arises when criticism of the act is conflated with criticism of the race/gender/group of the actor. That happens on both sides of the 'political correctness' coin - both the 'woolies' and the 'reactionaries' are guilty of fudging their words or being twats, at points.
What I see it more as is the combination of a (fairly normal, given history) shifting of values (don't hate blacks, hate Muslims!), usual Mail-esque hypocrisy ('you can't say anything offensive anymore!'/'I like Michael Macintyre because he's not like this horrible sweary comedians') and yes, a conscious effort on the part of some people to curb negative representations of people. But none of that really touches at the 'real' issues: Israel/Palestine, settler vs traveller, rich & poor, exploiter and exploited. It's become more of a pathetic social game, running almost under its own rules.
What needs to happen is a more sensible discussion of the issues (obv), and also the way these issues are talked about. The way people discuss 'freedom of speech' is pathetic, in the sense that it often fails to recognise many basic points: there is never total freedom, all freedom is bought at the expense of someone else, to some extent, freedom of speech =/= right to be heard in all arenas, freedom of speech =/= freedom to be listened to, etc. Similarly, any gut-reaction that leaps to judge criticism of the act as criticism of the group without merit is entirely self-defeating, and only strengthens the morons who ARE racist et al.
In regards the specifics:
Jewish settlers - are you really saying nobody is angry at them? That's kinda half the issue there.
Gypsies - forever maligned, forever half-understood, for good or ill. I think the gypsy 'paradigm' is a really interesting one to look at, because of the way it foregrounds certain fundamental issues: land use, for example. It's not wrong to criticism bad behaviour, but to ascribe it to some essential characteristic is the work of a cunt, tbh. See South Africa, for a clearer example: whites were rich, blacks were poor. Blacks also larger proportion of country. Black crime rate is higher = blacks are savages, Whites are 'European civilised' (apartheid being the hallmark of civilisation, of course).
Russian oligarchs - who actually defends them? I'd love to know.
I mean, when was the last time you didn't hear certain groups of people being smashed about in the media, the pub, the workplace?
Edited by RedSparrows at 22:52:22 07-09-2013
Edited by RedSparrows at 22:59:48 07-09-2013
Edited by RedSparrows at 23:00:00 07-09-2013