The History of Political Correctness
The roots of “political correctness” can be traced back to the beginning of language, but we will concern ourselves with the modern version as used in America. No doubt “political correctness” has been a part of the social fabric of every society throughout the world and has been used to extreme in some locales. “Political correctness” in America can be traced back to the 1980s when it was invented by university administrators and professors seeking to gain control over the campus discourse. It had the secondary benefit of promoting the inventors as the “Arbiters” of “politispeak”, that is the language of “political correctness”. University administrators and professors have long had a strong desire (I say arrogance) to be the supreme experts ON their subjects and OF their subjects and with that “political correctness” was born even though it was not called that at first. Since the 1980s more than 350 universities have adopted “speech codes” in an attempt to regulate what they, the “Arbiters” consider politically incorrect and insensitive speech. Almost every court case brought against the self-imposed “Arbiters” of “politispeak” as a result of these codes has been won by their opposition, but they continue to impose their will upon the campus and via fiat, the nation. It is really just a form of political cowardice as the “Arbiters” know they will not only lose in the court of law but in the court of marketplace ideas.
The first example of modern “political correctness” I can find that had any consequence was the firing of Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder who was canned by CBS for making controversial statements about blacks and their heritage. From that event “the left” quickly learned that political correctness could be used as a tool against their enemies. They began to sharpen their newly discovered tool aimed primarily on people they deemed as conservatives. But the tool has stabbed some of their own over the years. No matter. Leftists figured they could better control the national discourse by using the ever evolving tool of political correctness as created on America’s campuses by the professors and administrators and be damned of the collateral damage.
The first use of the term “political correctness” probably occurred in the early 1990s. It was used against Clarence Thomas in his confirmation to the Supreme Court. Not that the allegation itself was necessarily politically correct but the application of the tool now had evolved to the extent that the burden of proof had been successfully shifted from the accuser to the accused. Clarence Thomas was not fit to be on the Supreme Court said the political correct “Arbiters”, not because of the possibility of his guilt but because of the seriousness of the charge.
In the mid 1990s we entered a new era where hate crime laws were enacted by several states and the federal government. These new laws carried stiffer sentences for identical crimes based on who was the perpetrator and who was the victim if it could be proved that the crime was committed with the thought of hate in the perpetrator’s mind. “Political correctness” had entered a new phase where words didn’t have to be spoken but the act of thinking politically incorrect could portend a longer sentence. The political correctness “arbiters” of “politispeak” were now elevated to “thought police”.
The “politically correct thought police” then proceeded to nab Rush Limbaugh in 2003 for expressing his thoughts on how media bias was responsible for rating Donovan McNabb as a quarterback stating “that media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well”. Rush Limbaugh’s contract with ESPN was terminated. Now, a person is guilty of “political incorrectness” when they honesty verbalize their thoughts. As a result of this event, Rush was again tagged with an additional violation in 2009 for doing absolutely nothing except to bid on a minority ownership stake in the St. Louis Rams. “Political correctness” had now evolved to a useful stage where it could be effectively used on the desired enemies of “the left” and now retained a lifetime penalty.
In recent years, hate crime legislation had been expanded to include homosexuals as people needing special protection. Technically, the new hate crime laws could be interpreted to be used against church pastors in preaching against homosexuality. With the addition of the new hate crime laws “political correctness” had successfully fully penetrated all first amendment concerns, although the “thought police” have not yet brought suit against any church that I know, the infrastructure is indeed in place. Expect it to happen at the right political moment and brought of course by the ACLU, enforcers of the “political correctness” code.
Now recently we have a case where a respected journalist, Juan Williams was fired by NPR for deviating from the “politically correct” script in committing a liberal apostasy for expressing his thoughts of fear when boarding an airplane that contain individuals wearing middle eastern garb. It is a “political correctness” crime quite similar to that of the Rush Limbaugh incident proving that “political correctness” is an equal opportunity institution, seeing that Juan Williams is a self-described liberal. But Juan Williams is really just the collateral damage in the war between the left and Fox News. I believe I have pieced together this story thus:
In October of 2010 Bill O’Reilly went on “The View” and caused a stir by saying that “Muslims killed us on 9/11”. Then on the following Monday in a totally unrelated event Glenn Beck highlighted George Soros on his afternoon TV program in a less than endearing way. The next day George Soros gives $1 million to Glenn Beck’s biggest antogonist, Media Matters and another $1.8 million to NPR designating the funds to be used to hire 100 new political reporters, reportedly 2 for each state. The day after that Juan Williams is fired.
The war on “political incorrectness” appears to be following the “rules” set out by Saul Alinsky, that is to isolate them, them being Fox News in this case. And the events on the Glenn Beck and O’Reilly TV shows were not totally unrelated after all. There are no coincidences. NPR has a history of agregious and offensive statements made by their reporters on other occasions that far exceed those made by Juan Williams. Compare the treatment of Juan Williams to other so-called journalists for NPR. Here are just a few examples:
Nina Totenburg, NPR correspondent said on the July 8, 1995 edition of “Inside Washington”, “I think he [Senator Helms] ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there’s retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion or one of his grandchildren will get it”.
NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu said on the December 19, 1995 edition of “All Things Considered”, “The evaporation of four million people who believe this crap [the Rapture] would leave the world an instantly better place”.
According to Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center there were 40,000 complaints waged against Codrescu and only 60 against Williams. Then NPR seemed to violate their own hypocritical rules when NPR CEO Vivan Schiller in a news conference said, “he [Juan Williams] should have kept his feeling about Muslims between himself and his psychiatrist or his publicist”.
We now have people afraid to even speak when they “see something” or “hear something” as our Homeland Security suggests to report possible crimes such as that which occurred in the San Bernardino terrorist attacks. “Political correctness” has now turned deadly.
So now the evolution of “political correctness” is almost complete. We have the marriage of “hate crime” legislation with “speech codes” and sensitivity norms established by the “Arbiters” turned into the “Thought Police”. Add to that the open purchase of speech by the wealthy philanthropist George Soros hoping to turn his product into a pseudo-fascist political speech machine to be used against his enemies. As such we now have the marriage of state controlled thought with the capitalist idea of a free and open market of the purchase of speech. This to some is the definition of a soft or liberal fascism. The “Thought Police” are now the “Thought Fascists”. They are not happy to just police your thoughts, they want to control them.