Political correctness is often portrayed as a threat to free speech. In reality, political correctness has nothing to do with politics, either. It’s about basic respect for another human being. It’s just about being considerate and respectful.
Technically, we should simply be replaced the term political correctness with treating people with respect and it would be more accurate.
Contrary to popular belief free speech does have limits. Free speech doesn’t protect speech that incites violence, slander, fraud, child pornography, or certain forms of obscenities. Free speech is not an excuse to say, racist, homophobic and sexist things. So, let’s stop using free speech as an excuse to be awful people.
This means that Nazis and other discriminatory groups do not have “just another point of view”. We need to stop normalising violent people and their dangerous beliefs. We should be defending white supremacy, transphobic, misogynistic people by hiding behind the free speech excuse. Freedom stops where the freedom of the next person starts. Believing that Nazis just have another point of view is basically saying that the desire to exterminate an entire race is an acceptable view to have.
Free speech isn’t:
- “Black Women are not human Black Women are Trash” – Teespring #FreeSpeech campaign. Please join me in boycotting this racist company.
“If the only time you defend free speech is when the speech is racist, sexist, or homophobic … you don’t love free speech. You love bigotry.” – Erika Heidewald
Because western cultures normalise and prioritise whiteness, our language reinforces structures of white supremacy. Sometimes, asking for less demeaning and oppressive language become construed as censorship or attacks on free speech. Yet, what this is really doing is silencing and censoring voices that are already marginalised. You aren’t undermining free speech by protesting a speaker who is responsible for oppressive policies.
Free speech doesn’t mean that people aren’t allowed to be offended by or disagree with what you say.
The people oppressed folks criticise love to say they’re “entitled to their opinion,” but what about our opinions? If our opinion is that they’re being oppressive, are we not entitled to it?
Just because you may not face discrimination, doesn’t mean others don’t. It’s about empathy and change for the better.
“Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.” – Robin Williams