In Defence of Political Correctness || REVIEW by Lauren Kirton
In this instalment of Biteback’s ‘Provocations’ series, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown discusses the issues of free speech and political correctness, and asserts that the latter should remain a part of modern society, if only out of basic human decency.
In recent times the idea of being PC has become increasingly scoffed at, with many reacting in an oppositional manner in an attempt to avoid what they believe is oppression. In this timely polemic Alibhai-Brown maintains that this response is simply an attempt to justify racist, sexist and homophobic views: ‘these warriors feel persecuted or endangered all the time’. Wherever you stand on the issue of PC versus free speech, this text is the perfect opportunity to develop your opinion.
One specific instance discussed in the Introduction is the outrage that followed the announcement that the word ‘Easter’ had been removed from the Cadbury annual egg hunt, to make it more accessible to those of different faiths. This was an entirely untrue statement that was met with uproar, and even the Archbishop of York accused the organisers of spitting on the grave of the company’s founder, John Cadbury. Ironically, as explained, this reaction was entirely unfounded: John Cadbury was a Quaker, who wouldn’t have celebrated Easter. This amusing example is only one of many that are utilised throughout this thought-provoking book to illustrate the point that anti-PC reactions are often simply a means to excuse prejudice.
With this work Alibhai-Brown presents a concise account of the status of PC today, and justifies her reasoning for continuing to be politically correct in the face of an ever-evolving alt-right free speech movement. Though she admits that PC has many weaknesses, she argues that its nature is ultimately derived from a place of compassion and understanding, two things we could all do with a little more of.
Click here: In Defence of Political Correctness by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown/@y_alibhai
Published: 28 SEPTEMBER 2018