Jejudo, South Korea
"to quit cultivating the psychology of the victim as a valid legal / ethical / political system."
--I agree but don't you think the opposite is happening? It seems that caucasians are simply adopting the same language game as previous victims.
--Because it's 'feel good' method to avoid problems.
if you don't like someone, for whatever reason, and they get in your face, and you say to them, for example "i don't like you. go away," to which they reply "you're just prejudiced against blacks / asians / the obese / the old / whatever 'group' is applicable"
--Again, I agree. It's a silly response. Still, I'm hard pressed to see this as a real conflict -- Is this based on a real experience or just a hypothetical example?
"so, since YOU didn't say any such thing, and THEY did, who, exactly, is being whatever-ist?"
--The accusation is either true or false. I don't really understand where you're going here -- if you're simply reversing the situation, how effective is this as a strategy? 'You're a racist!" "No you're a racist," "No, you're a racist" and so on and so forth goes nowhere.
"an "ism" exists wherever someone ascribes traits and or characteristics to someone else merely because they belong to a group, and not because of any factual analysis or even any knowledge of the individual in question.
--That's not what I would describe as an 'ism' but I see what you're saying. You're limiting this to specific negative accusations. Be careful here, it's too easy to turn this into an argument against all forms of generalization.
what is the most effective way to make it go away? to confront it IN ALL ITS FORMS when you see it.
"affirmative action" is racist.
--So? Affirmative action should stand or fall on it's results, not on philosophical commitments. The question should be does it work?
the AARP is ageist, given that they're prejudiced against the young.
--nice dialectical touch here but what solution do you have to combat attitudes and frameworks that picture retired people as useless?
--There are reasons for these groups and programs to exist, there are problems, but the way to combat these groups and programs is not by labeling them, but by offering better and more effective solutions to the problems.
--We can do this, not be labeling each other, but by talking honestly to each other outside of the institutionalized political sector.
"reparations" for slavery, even though EVERY SINGLE PERSON INVOLVED IS DEAD, are racist,
--Well, the argument is for justice but I don't find it a particularly effective argument. It won't change anything.
yes, the KKK for example are racist, clearly. but even so, lumping all people of ANY group together and persecuting them as a whole is wrong. so the KKK is bad. i am white. does it therefore follow that i am racist, because they are? no it does not.
--Of course not, but I'm still not convinced by your reversal argument.
supporting "isms" [by your definition] of ANY kind is wrong.
allowing someone to have any claim over someone else merely based on skin color IS AN ISM.
--But how do you change the already instituted attitudes toward skin color? Are you sure your 'solution' isn't a politically correct reaction to political correctness? We shouldn't deny difference, we should celebrate the fact that we are different.
"i don't care which direction it runs. it CANNOT be racist for me to do something which is not racist when it is done to me."
--I'm confused here. On the surface, this seems true but I don't see what the point is.
the goal of political correctness is not to spare anyone's sensitive feelings.
--I agree, it's a power play, but an incoherent an ineffective one. As Irving Howe said, "These people don't want to take over the country, they want to take over the English department."
--It's a nice dismissal.
the goal of political correctness is to edit the language to the point that we can no longer express "negative" concepts, because we no longer possess the terms in which to describe them.
--this, I've already tried to point out, is impossible at least in the way they're attempting to enforce their philosophy.
the thinking behind this is, that "isms" will go away if we're no longer capable of describing them to others.
--and it's an incoherent, rather inept, goal if you ask me.
the fact, however, is that limiting the language can only have a deleterious effect. in plain talk: IT CAN ONLY DO BAD THINGS.
limiting the ability of human beings to communicate is to limit one of the primary factors which makes us the top of the food chain.
--I think the limiting of talk is a reaction to a certain authoritarian enforcement of political correctness, not the goal itself. The problem is that people become self-conscious of their own speech patterns and so they remain quiet (with a smile). The problem is that they're using the wrong language game.
--The rest seems a bit too strong (I disagree that political correctness is the end of the world precisely because there was also an immediate reaction to it). On the other hand, aren't you being sensitive, aren't you playing the victim, in the very reaction you portray here? You're a victim of political correctness.
--My contention is still the same, political correctness is a different form of politeness and is therefore a good thing; the problem is that they're trying to change the world by misunderstanding a descriptive theory for a prescriptive one; they correct people in unrelated conversations (just like correcting someone's grammar at a bar; you want to anger people, try it some time ); it's a good idea but an inept power play.
--and they don't even try to follow multi-culturalism except in a negative sense (Mainstream culture is bad). This is a mistake.
--My proof is the utter disgrace of second language acquisition in America.