* In order to understand what I’m talking about, you have to the watch the full Munk Debates. Link at the end of this article.
I belong to the smallest race in The United States of America. Cambodians make up only 0.1% (300,000) of the American population according to the 2010 U.S Census.
I live in California and cities like Stockton, Long Beach and Modesto are the main areas that you will find us. My friend Mark said, “I don’t think I have ever met a Cambodian person in my life. You’re my first one.”
We (Cambodian-Americans) do have some accomplishment under our belt. Haing S. Ngor won an Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in “The Killing Fields” at the 57th Annual Academy Awards. In 2017, Netflix released “First They Killed My Father” movie based on the book by author Loung Ung.
In the end, we’re still a minority in comparison to the dominant races like whites and blacks in the U.S.
On May 18, 2018, Munk Debates hosted the discussion on the enforcement of political correction with debaters; Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Michelle Goldberg arguing for the pro side and Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and Stephen Fry arguing on the con side.
Let’s first break down what political correctness is.
What is political correctness?
Oxford Dictionaries define political correctness as:
“The avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”
Comedian George Carlin breaks down politically correct language in this short video and he states:
“Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance. And it’s especially pernicious because it comes disguise as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness yet attempts to restrict, control peoples’ language with strict codes and ridged rules. Not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. Not sure silencing people or forcing people to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that goes much deeper than speech.
“Perhaps you’ve noticed that when the political correct Liberal “rule makers” decide to rename a group of humans they view as victims, they began by imparting a sense of shame to the groups’ existing name. And so, some over the years, the word ‘crippled’ has been discarded. No one mentions cripples anymore that’s because in yet another stunning attempt to stand reality on its head, cripples has been assigned a new designation: the physically challenged.”
Carlin goes on to argue that changing these words is an attempt to make the groups “feel better”. He says that the “physically challenged” cannot be cured, so why not make them feel better by changing their group identity to distract other people from paying attention to their disability.
In America, political correctness has become so silly that you can’t describe someone’s appearance as “ugly” but rather “severe appearance deficits”. If you judge someone by their appearance (which we all naturally do), you’re guilty of lookism.
You and I are guilty of lookism one point or another in our lives without us knowing about it.
Beauty standards are subjective from one culture to the next. I find green and blue eyes attractive while some women find bald men hot. Our standards of hotness vary from one person to the next.
Pre-debate results showed that 36% supported the motion (enforce political correctness) and 64% were against the motion.
Post-debate results showed that 30% were for the motion while 70% were against the motion.
Here’s the main reason why the con side won by 6%.
Freedom of speech violation
Dr. Jordan Peterson was under fire for arguing against Bill C 16. Race, religion, age, sexual orientation and now gender identity and gender expression are now federally protected in Canada.
Peterson has pointed that he will call you whatever your preferred pronouns is but if he is forced to call you “ze”, “zer”, “they” by law then it is a freedom of speech violation.
Like Peterson, Fry and Carlin, I believe that the expectation for someone to call me “Southeast Asian” instead of “Asian” is wrong. As a matter of fact, I can care less what people mistake my ancestry is. The thought of someone being jailed for accidentally calling someone a different race for politically correct purposes is absolutely outrageous.
Peterson argues that political correctness is a recipe for danger. It causes a battleground between group identities. I agree with Peterson and I see it as an upper hand about which group is more oppressed than the other therefore you have more victim points.
Like Fry stated in his opening argument, I don’t think political correctness works. In fact, it’s counterproductive and makes societal progression more difficult by censoring language.
Communication becomes muggy and vague.
Society becomes difficult for you to function in because you’re stepping on egg shells in hopes you don’t offend anyone or hurt their feelings.
I don’t want to belong in a group. I want to belong in a united society where group identity is eliminated.
No, Dr. Dyson, you don’t represent me
Dr. Dyson swallowed a dictionary and vomited it out.
He even made a racist remark by calling Dr. Jordan B. Peterson “an angry white man”.
Completely off course, off point and his entire performance was obnoxious and immature.
In his closing argument, Mr. Dyson said, “At the end of the day, I think that those of us who are free citizens of this country and of America, should figure out ways to respect the humanity of the other, to respect the individual existence of the other but also respect the fact that there have been barriers placed upon particular groups that have prevented them from flourishing. That is all I mean by political correctness.”
This is after he called Dr. Jordan B. Peterson “an angry white man” twice. Who is he to talk about respect?
I live in the same country that Dr. Dyson resides and I have no idea what barriers he is talking about.
Inequality exist but it’s a much deeper issue.
I have the same opportunity as everyone else and all my life, I have never felt that I was oppressed.
All my pain and sufferings was due to my individualistic choice not because of the group that I supposedly belong to.
In fact, I feel that I have more privilege due to the fact that I fall into the following boxes:
Box 1. I’m a woman
Box 2. I’m a mother
Box 3. I’m a minority.
Dr. Dyson and Goldberg make it seem that I have to feel victimized and that political correctness is going to magically end all my sufferings.
It’s a very sad viewpoint in my opinion.
In the end, you can make the argument that it’s impossible to not pay attention to someone’s race, disability, sexual orientation or even their appearance but I make the argument to not put too much emphasis on it and pay more attention to the individual as an individual.
You’re wondering if my political position is leaning toward the right but on the contrary, according to this quiz by the Pew Research Center, I scored Liberal/Democrat.
Russell Brand has a podcast called “Under the Skin” and in his 46th episode, “Kindness V.S Power” with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, Brand asked Peterson about his political identification. Of course Peterson doesn’t want to be called either but Peterson said, “My political views are complicated because I am temperamentally liberal because I’m high in openness which is a creativity dimension. People who are high in openness tend to be liberal because they like free-flowing information and they like what you say, fluid boundaries because information can move back and forth across the boundaries.”
Rules on language blocks this flow which makes open-minded people like me stuck in their ridiculous mind-set.
The pro side calls political correctness progression but I call it fascism
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