Political Correctness Argument Analysis

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Introduction Comedian Penn Jillette is convinced that the joke is dead. The executioner? Political correctness and a heightened sensitivity to offending people. Jillette thinks that most of the best jokes have a sense of mean-spiritedness, and since mean-spiritedness is out, comedians are mostly limited to mediocrity. He says that, “You used to feel safer telling jokes. Since all your best material is mean-spirited, you feel less safe. You’re worried some might think you really have that type of view” (St .John, NY Times). Other comedians, such as Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, refuse to perform on college campuses as they believe that students today are too sensitive. While Rock is widely regarded as edgy and politically incorrect, Seinfeld is a comedian …show more content…
Originally “P.C.” was a complimentary description used among left-wing academics to refer to an individual that gave increased moral consideration to disadvantaged groups. In the mid-1990’s the term was high-jacked by neoconservatives to denote the excessive policing of speech and the use of affirmative action. Contemporary notions of political correctness are under constant debate because what some would consider extreme censorship, others would consider a commitment to responsible speech (Greene, Encyclopedia of American Political History). For instance, novelist Doris Lessing scrutinizes P.C. as “…the most powerful mental tyranny in what we call the free world”, while politician Clare Short relegates it as “…a concept invented by hard right-wing forces to defend their right to be racist, homophobic and misogynistic” (Hughes, Political Correctness). Despite drastic differences in opinion, the primary intentions of political correctness, such as changing prejudicial attitudes and introducing more neutral language, are laudable. However, a lack of clear parameters for what political correctness actually is has prevented widespread

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