Political Correctness, Or The Perils of BenevolenceIssue: Winter 2003-2004
All good people agree
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They.
"We and They"
The term "political correctness" is such a familiar piece of moral shorthand that it is easy to forget that the phrase has been with us for only about a dozen years. "John or Mary or the University of Lagado is so PC"--it's never a compliment, but exactly what does the charge of political correctness imply? To a large extent, the familiarity of the phenomenon has bred, if not contempt, then at least an unhealthy indifference. Political correctness--the phrase and even more the idea--has had a curious and circuitous career, and the more we know about it the more distasteful and alarming it seems.