Talk:Political correctness/Archive 3

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origin of the term

From the article: 'Many leftists allege that the term "political correctness" started as a label jokingly used to describe one's over-commitment to various political causes.' As a person who has been active on the left in the U.S. for a long time, I don't ever remember hearing it used to refer to "over-commitment". As early as the early '80s, when I believe this was still an inside left term, it referred, clearly, to people who were over-concerned with the niggling details of language usage as against what they were actually saying and doing. It was definitely a reference to the fetishization by some members of fringe left parties of having the "correct line" on an issue rather than necessarily, as individuals, thinking about it. The term was particularly likely to be applied to, for example, a white person who seemed to have a lot of "appropriate" jargon to talk about black culture -- e.g. would have a firm commitment to whether "black" or "Afro-American" or "African-American" was the "correct" term to use -- and would have a fixed set of opinions -- e.g. would be very inclined to blame society rather than individual miscreants for any crimes in the black community -- but did not actually have any black friends, listen to any broad range of black music, understand black slang, etc.: someone whose apparent racial sensitivity was, or might as well have been, something he or she got out of a book. (Similarly on other issues, but I most remember it being used in reference to racial attitudes.) I remember, in particular, an incident where several of us were planning an event and someone, describing the band they wanted to bring, called them "soft funk." A rather P.C. white women's studies professor had no idea what the description meant; a much less P.C. white person who hung around a lot more with black people responded, "That means they're black, but they won't scare off the white people." Several white people, including the women's studies professor were rather offended. The several black people at the meeting were all completely amused by the description.

Anyway, I'd like to see something in the article that at least talks about this aspect of the origin of the term ("correct line" rather than "over-commitment"); I'm not sure I'm the one to write it. -- Jmabel 23:19, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

I'd like it if you were, you seem particularly insightful and knowledgable about the subject. You also point out an important detail: PC is not a synonym for "left", but rather is a perjorative for some on the left who have an agenda which is rarely embraced, and often even opposed, by others on the "Left". Lots of my friends are lefties, but not one of them is PC, favors censorship, etc..., but rather are more down to earth, sensible well rounded folks w a sense of humor (the opposite of a PC fascist in other words ;).Sam [Spade] 00:24, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)


I think the sentence you last changed has a typo in it: "..based upon perceived or handicaps." I'm not sure how to fix it...just FYI --ArcticFrog 14:28, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

I think I fixed that. Sam [Spade] 02:24, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Beer swillin' rednecks

When I was a teenager, I dated a "crippled" girl, and eventually broke up with her because of her daddy...who was always talking about the "communiss" conspiracy (not to mention that she was an airhead herself). But this man swore that by the year 2000, there would be trains full 'o peeple headed to the concentration camps as the "communiss" took over. Well, 2000 done come and gone, and I'm not on no train going anywhere....So what's my point? I read through this article and I can smell that man's beery breath breathing on me...De "communiss" is "communiss" is coming." And that man, to be quite un-PC, was a fruitcake. Well, that's what this article is saying..."they" is commin'. Well who they? Does anyone really believe that a citation from that article by Bill Lind belongs in a supposedly neutral, hopefully informative encyclopedia article? The man isn't an authority on anything, he doesn't have a single reference in his article for anything he says. There is something here that smells really..."beery". PC is not a movement; it's not a tactic of the left. The only people I see using the term PC are the people who are raving against...what? Well, what is it? Wouldn't it be nice to use "PC" to start a controversy, just like 'ol McCarthy and "de comuniss" or what-have-you, and rack up a bunch of unconnected nonsense, wrap it in a bag, and cover it with glue so it sticks to whoever you throw it at, regardless of whether they have anything to do with what's in yo bag or not. Then you can say, "de the PCiss is commin, de PCiss is commin'. Then all the rednecks who like to hear what they want to hear get behind you with they beers in dey hands and say "Hayll yea!! Iss a conspiracy afoot." Where's the substance here? I see a lot of fluff, and nothing, as in not-a-thing, to back any of it up. Sure there are stupid people out there doing a lot of stupid things, but unless you can show that these silly unconnected incidents of people "enforcing" PCness are in some way connected through a defined group of people, it's all just conjecture. And this article, an encyclopeda article, is telling me conjecture is the fact of the day. Nothing is "matter of fact" in this article.

In short...this article is a damn mess. It should present the facts, and only supportable facts. That's the only way it will be neutral. Get rid of all the superfluous "comuniss" conspiracy theory CRAP. Voice it in other forums, but this is supposed to be an encyclopedia. And asking you politely (please) to cut out biased crap don't mean Im a facist trying to censor and opress you; it's just what's appropriate in this forum.

Also: from the Lind article: He says we in a place and time now where we got to be afraid of what we say....We'll who's afraid?? If I use the word "Homosexual" instead of "gay", or if I use "African-American" instead of "black"..I get afraid someone's goin' to start calling me names and labeling me...(in a whisper)..."a PC comuniss"...just like one time in Germany when they used to whisper the word..."Jew"..right before they started shouting it.

The finger can point both ways, ya know. --PaperTiger 20:59, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)Paper Tiger

Well... I suppose I might as well come out and admit it, I am the beer swillin' redneck to whom you refer. I suppose I could be offended, and I admit I was pretty worried about what edits your were making to the article, but the edits seem fine, and I'm actually not the type to get offended my being called a redneck (it is my ethnicity after all, and while I'm not swillin' beer at the moment, I do intend to do a bit of that later in the evening...). I'm not really sure what your intent is, if you read above I already agreed that possibly nobody, and more likely an ultra-minority, refers to themselves as PC. It is mainly a pejorative, hurled about (along w others, and among other places) wherever we beer swillers gather, there’s no doubt about that. The question is how we might improve this IMO rather acceptable article. Yelling at me till your blue in the face about the "crap" I've helped create is prob. not the answer. As I said above however, I am plenty open-minded and willing to discuss any specific particulars. Sam [Spade] 22:12, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I really wasn't referring to anyone in particular, and certainly didn't mean to offend. I certainly don't question your integrity. I just wanted to make a point and thought that was the best way. I guess I made myself look like a din-a-ling, but let's start with a fresh slate. I guess that sounds kinda lame after all that gas I threw on the fire, but my intentions are just to get to the bottom of this issue and to contribute some constructive suggestions. --PaperTiger 22:57, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)PaperTiger

No worries. Any specific changes we'd like to propose? I have made a few suggestions (you can scroll up and see them thruout this page) but adding bulk content is not my strong suit. I'm generally more the editing/proof-reading/looking things over type. Sam [Spade] 02:37, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Wow. It needs touching up, but it's not that bad. Sounds more like a reaction to the Bill Lind article than to the wiki article. Hmm.

Anyway, this sentence: Political correctness may also be exhibited by refusing to discuss particular traits of an ethnic or religious minority.

It might be mildly POV to use the word "refuse" because it has such a negative connotation. Perhaps "avoiding the discussion of" would be less harsh.

Also, the first (and perhaps second) paragraphs of the "Satire" section might go well in the controversy section. --ArcticFrog 14:43, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

The rearrangements would be fine. I don't understand your reasoning about refuse vrs. "avoiding", but I also don't care very much. Sam [Spade] 16:22, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
In my experience they suggest that the person who brings it up is rascist (the tend to think any non-minority is rascist, including themselves), that the source of such facts has a rascist agenda, that the facts are misleading, and that when it comes down to it, even if they are somewhat accurate, it is all based on current and historical cultural oppression (in other words, no matter what, it's whitey's fault ;). Sam [Spade] 16:24, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I see your point; I am kinda nit-picking. I messed with the sentence but decided to leave it. I would hope some others would make some specific suggestions instead of just making general comments of dissatisfaction. I'd like to get MR. Nathan's take on it-- --ArcticFrog 20:00, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

The problem is, I'm doing my best to stay away from this page! There are so many useful articles that I can contribute to without having to discuss every change on the talk page. Why waste my time on an article I don't think should exist in the first place? The reason I keep coming back is that I'm interested in the quality of the Wikipedia.
I was just reading about Wikipedia:Inclusion dispute and wishing that this tag were still available for use on my favorite headache of an article. Imagine my surprise to see our very own Sam Spade voicing his support for the tag on its talk page, wanting to make use of it on the Libertarian socialism article! Despite his expressed confusion about others' problems with this P.C. page, even calling our desire to delete some paragraphs “censorship,” he seems to have have felt similarly about a different page. I think that both articles should be banished, as well as every other article that's short on facts and high on opinion. Nathan 07:43, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. I'm not sure it should completely be deleted; I think there are constructive things to tell here. But I think the article needs rewriting, and should just stick to the facts. --However, if it is to stay in it's current form without changes, then yea, it might be better to just delete. But this would also be a strike against the whole Wikipedia idea, an immense failure. ArcticFrog 16:39, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

I don't see it as a failure if there are some topics that that the encyclopedia should just avoid, because they aren't serious topics in the first place. There isn't much that can be agreed upon regarding P.C. — starting with the word's origins and use — and what can be agreed upon just isn't very interesting. Everyone already knows how conservatives use the word, how it was used over and over in comedy in the 90s. It's boring! I can learn much more reading about water. It seems to me that if the article's very title is controversial (Political correctness, Terrorism, Anti-American sentiment…), the article itself is doomed to useless bickering. Nathan 06:50, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)

affirmative action

I'm sorry but the last lines of the first paragraph had to be changed. "Affirmative Action" is not a left-wing policy, it is the policy of American "Liberals" (a term so devoid of meaning (in America) that it pratically does not exist.) A left-winger would redistributive taxation instead of slanting requirements. Slizor 13:21, 2004 Jun 6 (UTC)

affirmative action is PC, something I'm pretty sure you won't argue with? Sam [Spade] 02:26, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Gimpy nutter

' "gimpy" or "nutter" '

I like the use of external links this way, and citations generally. I felt that the reader might be well served by a cited definition of these two terms, so very common in some communities, and uncommon in others. Sam [Spade] 08:03, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I don't like the external links, and I think it's even against policy, not to mention extremely tacky looking. I never even heard of these words before I read them here. I think using words a little better known is justified, Not 'gimpy' or 'nutter", and certainly without the external links.--ArcticFrog 14:15, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

Featured status up for vote

All those having an opinion on whether this article is "one of the best examples of the Wikipedia community's work", please report to Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates#Political correctness. Nathan 19:39, Jun 13, 2004 (UTC)


I have made several cuts and changed to the article, and I am prepared to defend every one of them, but I am very open to dicussion and constructive criticizm. This is not off the hip; I have given much thought to all this. Please voice objections and concerns, but do not completely reveret my edits without a comment. If the removed material is replaced, I expect a firm, supported defense of the claims.--ArcticFrog 15:08, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArticFrog

heh, no problem. Review my edit summaries. Sam [Spade] 16:28, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Sam, I simply don't believe someone of your caliber can honestly believe that these articles, like the "Bake sale" and "P.C. Fascist Prof Rebuked", are serious references. I like the bake sale thing, I prolly would have joined in with it. It's hilarious. But the article is also biased and both are, in my opinion, unacceptable as a references in an encyclopedia article. Please respond. --ArcticFrog 16:43, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

No problem. First of all what is my calibur? I prefer .50 myself ;) All those references are supposed to do is prove that somebody other than me uses the term that way. The term is actually quite regularly used that way. I don't mean to say that the articles I linked to themselves are unbiased, or of any particular quality. Do you see the distinction? I'm trying to provide the reader w an understanding of how the terms are used. Sam [Spade] 16:51, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I meant that as in high caliber, as in 'pretty sharp' about 88 mm ;)? OK n' stuff. I won't make any more changes without discussing it here first. --ArcticFrog 18:13, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

ok, but my advice is to Be Bold!. :) Sam [Spade] 18:51, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ok then. Don't want to discuss changes? Your choice, I take back what I said before.--ArcticFrog 22:20, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Please review this term., You guys need to understand that "liberal" means something very much like "libertarian" overseas, and is right-wing in the EU. I think we'd do our international readers a service by not using this term in this article. Sam [Spade] 16:28, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ok, I'll give it a look over; thanks for pointing it out.

Don't delete cited text

thank you. Sam [Spade] 22:27, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I will continue to revert what I see as a violation of this community's integrity. You are the one who will not discuss. --ArcticFrog 22:39, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

Egoism and pompostic hubris bores me. I've been discussing. wikipedia:Edit wars are anti-wiki, and are perhaps the most severe threat to this communities integrity. If you want to discuss, discuss. If you want to fight, lets swap mailing addresses and maybe we can agree on a 1/2 way point where said arse whuppin's might conveniently occur. I have pretty good gas mileage w my toyota echo, and I like road trips... ;) Sam [Spade] 23:16, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

A New Start: Adventures in NPOV

This is very helpful: . It's an excellent article and I recommend printing it and going over it in detail. It's not dry, it's actually fairly interesting reading. I certainly felt like I had learned a thing or two after I read it. --ArcticFrog 18:41, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

I am going to try to get the article to a neutral point with a set definition, then we can discuss what other ideas should be added and how to format the article to include them.--ArcticFrog 19:16, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"It is also used to refer to those who support such political policies as affirmative action and multi-lingual education as well." ---- There are ideas here, but I am not certain how to classify them. They are mainly political, and being so, would need a separate category, perhaps another article, to present them. Still, it would be very tricky (and a challenge for even very skilled NPOV writers), to present it in an unbiased way. Being so political, it may not even have a place in the encyclopedia format. This could possibly go under conspiracy theories or something. Maybe not that extreme, I'm not sure. A section on PC and politics? It would have to be formatted in such a way as to be obvious these are not facts, but political opinions being presented, probably under a global title that identifies it as political usage. I'd like to work on this so we can make an article that satisfies everyone as much as possible.--ArcticFrog 19:42, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

be careful

When your hacking up the text, please try not to remove important stuff like the interwiki links to other wikis. Sam [Spade] 04:04, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

why do you keep replacing left-wing with liberal? It really makes no sense at all, have you looked into the definition of liberal as I requested? Sam [Spade] 17:55, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Sam, I assume this is addressed to someone in particular, but you don't say whom... -- Jmabel 04:56, Jun 20, 2004 (UTC)
Actually it's not. Articfrog, Danny and Hephaestos have made that edit of separate occasions, and I doubt any of them put it in there originally. Sam [Spade] 17:41, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

dispute header

an anon removed the dispute header. While I agree w him that the article is factual, I am fine w somebody disputing the neutrality if need be. I don't find reason to, but there are clearly some differences of opinion as to the slant of the article. Sam [Spade] 17:36, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)


ok. I tweaked controversy sec. a bit and some others. Controversy paragraph still needs a bit more of something, but looking good. I kinda think we're starting to reach a good balance here... --ArcticFrog 03:17, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Those edits seemed fairly balanced to me. I'm not real thrilled with this:
' Still, outside of the area of comedy the term is still seen frequently describing aspects of policy-making that attempt to utilize the idea of being inoffensive in terminology, as well as attempts at "equilizing" on the basis of differences. It is this latter aspect that some see as actually highlighting the very differences these policies themselves are trying to correct for. '
But I can't say its either POV or innacurate, and I'm not sure on how to rephrase it. The first sentance does run on a bit tho, doesn't it? Sam [Spade] 18:27, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps the opening paragraph should at least mention the political view of PC-ness. Since it is talked about later in the article, it might be good to just tuck in a line such as, "In addition, the term also has a politically charged meaning..." or something brief. As it is, it is a bit odd to read that dictionary-like introduction and go on to read so much about politics later in the article.--DanielCD 14:43, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Let the article begin with that sketch of the early idea before launching into the history of where people went with the idea and the baggage that really did come later on. The irony of possible injury by the initial omission of what came later, or lack of what the side of it a reader looking at it later looked like by the time they came across it, is intrinsic to the history and morpology of the idea itself. Some of its most played-out bogus applications, like running everything through lexical scrub lists, ran counter to the idea in the first place -- paying attention to how one picks up the pieces of one's map of reality and in turn passes them on. Language is a big deal. Removing controversial terms or ideas out of hand just attempts to disconnect controvesy from an origin by which to understand it. This whitewashing or compartmentalising of language was an important discovery to a lot of us who sort of inherited the seemingly benign canopy of social norms and cultural mythology dropped in place like a veil so soon after a rumoured couple of decades of progress, upheaval, backlash, and its piles of unfinished questions, just went *poof*. And that's just the story in one country, I don't even know what other countries with their different cycles experience as their story wrt P.C.. This level of complexity and controversy is going to exist in many articles, one of the differences will be the number of potential contributors with different POVs. Writing these articles requires learning about them, maybe the unresolving questions have already been answered or broken down elsewhere and can be simply cited. Deleting articles that get like this entirely seems like a really weird approach though. User:Chaizzilla (added sig Sam [Spade] 03:18, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC))

Stevie Wonder

For example, calling Stevie Wonder a blind black man could be said to imply that his handicap and race are more important than his significant musical influence on Motown and Soul.

I haven't read all of the discussion board so hopefully this isn't a repeat, but does anyone besides me think this is an odd sentence? Would calling Stevie Wonder a visually-challenged African American person really make a difference? Sure it's more PC, but does it any more (or less) "imply that his handicap and race are more important than his significant musical influence on Motown and Soul"? I'm not sure this has anything to do with PC-ness ... just a style issue. What do others think? CES 04:29, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)