“Political Correctness” Is Not The Problem: Victim Culture Is

From Berkeley to Boston, cities, states, and ‘safe-space’ after ‘safe space’ have been falling victim to a brutal culture of suppressed speech and demonized debate. This relatively new atmosphere, coined “PC Culture”, has resulted in absolutely laughable absurdities from Mizzou’s segregated safe spaces to Oberlin University’s demand for salaried protests. The free exchange of ideas, once a hallmark of academia, has been reduced to barricaded lecture halls, and near rioting at the sight of conservative speakers. Everything from gender specific pronouns to American flags have been deemed offensive and campaigned against. This culture even came up on the wrong end of jokes in the popular TV show “South Park”, for nonsensical checkings-of-privilege, and for fostering an environment that suppresses diversity of thought. These manifestations are fundamentally immoral- and Political Correctness has been deemed their cause.

However, this is false.  PC culture is not at fault. It’s not inherently evil, it’s not why nearly everything is now deemed offensive, it’s not what’s forcing the fake outrage on college campuses, and it’s not the driving force behind that odd looking guy trying to “check your privilege”. These, in fact, are all direct materializations of a failing culture of glorified victimhood. A ‘Victim Culture’. A fostered environment where everyone seeks to prove themselves to be a victim of circumstance, instead of a triumphant survivor of disadvantage.

pc protest 2

With that, the only way for us to truly root out immoral aspects of Political Correctness is to understand its malignant nature.  Yes we should absolutely fight to protect our freedom of speech even if others find it offensive. We have every right to make fun of cultures, traditions, and whatever we wish- but we shouldn’t. As people that yearn to a high standard of behavior and morality- we simply shouldn’t.

In essence, we have been forced to defend behaviors that we may have every right to engage in, but should attempt to avoid anyways. For example, Donald Trump should have every right to be disrespectful or blatantly offensive, and we have an obligation to defend that right of his- but if we yearn to maintain our high cultural standards we need to make a real effort to avoid these. The fight against the excessive “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” will only be won when we begin recognizing the true evil nature of victim culture- and combat it through ending patronizing excuses made on other’s behalf.

Victim culture looks at anyone, not for the content of their core or the greatness of their virtue-but purely for the flaw of their circumstances. A culture that does not tolerate micro-aggressions but excuses thugs who burn their own cities, and murder their own communities. It’s a culture that even allows people like Donald Trump to gain mass support – largely through convincing others of their victimhood. Most importantly, it’s a culture that attempts to force a correlation between outrage and moral justification – implying that the more outraged you are, the more justified you must be. These are all genuinely malevolent, but they have little to do with being “Politically Correct”, and everything to do with wanting to be the victim.

When Baltimore burned because some of its constituency claimed victimhood in the form of racism at the hands of a Black Mayor, Majority black police force, majority black city council, black attorney General, and a black president. That’s victim culture.

When Illegal immigrants claim victimhood because of campaigns to not ALWAYS subsidize their higher education, that’s victim culture.

When the modern feminist movement campaigned to end the use of the term “bossy” because it is apparently demeaning, yet ignored the plight of women undergoing forced genital mutilation in the Middle East and Africa- that’s victim culture ignoring real victimhood.

When Palestinians claim to be victims, because they don’t like the idea of having a Jewish neighbor in Hebron or Jerusalem, that’s bigotry wanting to be known as a victim.

This is explained by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro who said:

“They wake up in the morning and a lot of them can’t point to accomplishments. A lot of them can’t point to things that they have done that are worthwhile, but they can point to you.”

Here is the bottom line: In reality, we should put aside our issues with “Political Correctness” and focus on a growing ‘glorified victimhood’ philosophy. Being a victim is something we should mourn, not glorify. Self-pity is a poison. Period. If men and women can rise from the ashes of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Zhmerinka, and rebuild their ancient homeland with their children- then the men and women of Englewood, Compton, and Bankhead can rebuild their neighborhoods for their children.

1 Comment

  1. I would have to respectfully disagree with most of the points that this article makes and would once again, like to challenge you, especially as an aspiring writer, to be more sympathetic and understanding of people that are different than you.

    First off, I agree with the harmfulness of the “Safe Space” mentality. It is wrong and unrealistic to believe that you can stamp out and completely silence speech that offends you. While some of this speech might be for the sake of publicity and to simply incite a reaction (see Ann Coulter) or simply be qualified as slanderous hate speech (it’s remarkably easy and satisfying to vocalize hate and blame for others), some of the speech can indeed be constructive and effectively challenge the beliefs. In any situation, disagreement cannot be resolved without communication, which is one of the many reasons to protect the first amendment’s freedom of speech.

    But let’s look at root of why Safe Spaces were created. They were created to shield a group of people from the blatantly hateful and racist speech but have since evolved to completely shield a group of people from any dissenting opinion or conversation. It’s important to condemn safe spaces but even more important to condemn the counterproductive speech that has created them.

    Just as you said, Donald Trump and everyone else has the freedom and privilege to say whatever they please, however “disrespectful or blatantly offensive”. Indeed, we as Americans have an obligation to defend this right. But we also have the duty to use this right for good. To use not as Ann Coulter or Donald Trump does to promote divides and incite hate and negative reaction, but use it constructively to challenge the beliefs and actions of others. To be respectful of the other person and their beliefs, but also have courage to challenge what you believe to be wrong.

    These challenges and arguments have no value though, if the other side does take the time to listen to them (problem with safe space) and examine their merits (problem everywhere else). The problem with today’s arguments is that there is little to none introspection. Either side seems to focus all their energy on pointing out where the other is wrong in their actions and argument and gives no time to examine where they can improve. This is an issue we should look to raise rather than this idea of criminalizing the “Victimhoods”.

    In the example of illegal immigrants, why are we subsidizing their education is a great question. A solution would be to examine the legal immigration process and numbers to see what changes can be made to accommodate the large demand to immigrate. (One might even argue that Donald Trump’s solution is a form claiming victimhood for the US by putting all fault and responsibility on Mexico)

    Yes, “A culture” should (and I believe are to an extent) condemn those who represent it poorly and look to address the problems of gang violence, but that doesn’t delegitimize or take away from the problem they face with systematic racism. Steps can be made to fix both issues.

    The example of Palestine, you could easily say that the Jewish state is claiming to be a victim of bigotry when their state and military regime could be seen as being oppressive towards the Palestinian people. That’s an oppressor wanting to be known as a victim.

    Yes, I agree it is important to stay clear of labeling oneself a victim, because it creates this false belief that it is entirely someone else’s fault and that it is the other’s responsibility to you to fix the issue at hand, but it is equally important to sympathize, especially when you are in a position of power, and try to understand the motivation beyond the other’s argument. This article is dismissive of the issues facing those not in a position of power and doesn’t understand that when a group of people are voicing their discontent, most of the time it is for a pretty justified reason. It is a lot easier to change what you control, and a lot of times that is what is necessary to enact positive change for both parties.

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