In defense of political correctness: we need challenges, respect

Political correctness has come under fire in the media recently. While many consider political correctness synonymous with simply “treating people with respect,” published articles have surged decrying its presence on college campuses. In particular, trigger warnings are accused of coddling American youth.

On Vox, an article titled “I’m a liberal professor and my liberal students terrify me” complains that too much attention is being lavished on students’ feelings these days. The article claims that student over-sensitivity leads to either professorial self-censoring or censored course material.

What the Vox article and articles like it fail to consider is the ever-important necessity for balance. If one considers political correctness as simply honoring and respecting other people’s feelings, the issue becomes too simple.

College is a time to learn about unfamiliar topics and sometimes these topics may make people uncomfortable. Shying away from difficult topics altogether to protect students’ emotions is an overcorrection.

There are ways to facilitate learning and discussion of sensitive issues while still maintaining respect for those in the community. Keeping language respectful and implementing trigger warnings — a what-to-expect message about course content — are simple ways to ensure community well-being.

The Guilfordian is committed to bringing untold and underreported social justice stories to the community.

We recognize that the nature of these topics may be uncomfortable or triggering to some readers, but The Guilfordian has a social responsibility to print material that sheds light on uncomfortable topics. By discussing these topics, we help stand against them.

Our promise is to handle hard topics with respectful use of language.

The Guilfordian does, however, follow Associated Press writing guidelines. Sometimes AP style falls short of current politically correct terminology.

For example, the AP Style Guide does not allow the use of the word “Islamophobia,” but we choose to use it nevertheless.

However, The Guilfordian staff encourages students to communicate problems that they see with our choices and if there is a sound argument, we are willing to make changes.

Although political correctness has been criticized recently, The Guilfordian recognizes the importance of being respectful to our fellow humans and remains devoted to handling topics conscientiously.

If you have questions or concerns about our policy, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].