For the longest time I hated the term “gays” ’cause with very few exception I didn’t hear anyone other than bigots use the term, but that’s changed. Now I’m hating the term “political correctness” – people use it to put down people who believe in valuing other people and other perspectives much the same way conservatives use the term liberal – as if it’s a shameful term.
When I hear “political correctness” used to silence people it’s sadly used by gay people. It baffles me that a gay man would want an end to homophobia, they’d like marriage, not being fired from jobs, etc., but they’ll do things like tolerate racism in their midst. This happened at IML this year (the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago – a huge event that’s Chicago’s 4th largest conference). One of the presenters – a real veteran in the leather community made racist (anti-Asian) comments. Then later in the program the entertainer made stupid comments about East Indians. Yet those same people expect others to give them rights and treat them as equals. When I complained one person told me I was just being “politically correct”.
Well, it doesn’t work that way. If you want respect you have to start by respecting others. If you want others to be politically correct, perhaps you should be politically correct too. This is a clear two way street. I don’t care how much someone has contributed to a community – no one earns the right to be racist.
I should stop and say that intolerance of intolerance is not the same as other forms of intolerance. Think about math – the word “of” is used in cases like 2 of 3 – it stands for division – 2 of 3 = 2/3rds. So “intolerance of intolerance” is similar to saying -2 of -2, which equals a positive number, not a negative.
When you hear someone use the word poltical correctness to shut someone up – stop them. Explain how they probably want someone else to accept and value them – how can they ask that of others if they don’t demonstrate it themselves.