America is one of the world’s biggest countries where many people with different cultures and racial backgrounds are living together for so long since the early days. That is the reason why we called this country a “melting pot”. With a diverse group of people joining together, people are always sharing their differences in society and tending to stick to a group with the same ethnicity or background. Luckily, if you want to study about the joint of the various racial group of people in the same society deep down to their backgrounds, America is definitely your go-to destination.

How does the racism issue look like in American society?

Due to the multicultural society, some groups of people can, sometimes, see themselves better or as a dominant group of the society. The reason is might because such groups are owning the majority of people in the society or country already. So, they, right away, considered themselves as the biggest group of people living in the society who has the strongest power in their hands. Unfortunately, this type of power is not being used morally or in a good way. On the other hand, it has been used to oppress and against the opponent minority social group. For instance, White Americans are judging black people, African Americans, or even Asian people in American society and causing the racism problem, hate crimes, or far more to physical and verbal violence and massacres since the past.

Going more into details, the discrimination issue in the United States does not only stem from the differences in backgrounds and cultures only but including gender fluidity and other sexual perspectives as well. As the trend of sexual fluidity has been spreading into every society around the world, some societies were accepting this movement including the USA. However, even the overall society accepted the movement but still not every part of the society will agree or seeing the same thing just like other people do. That is the reason why some people still offending and not accepting this movement nowadays, same as other existing racism conflicts.

Let’s take a look at each majorly seen discrimination issue in the states by starting with racial background conflict.

According to American history, racism against various ethnicity and minority groups has existed since the colonial era with African American people been affected by the discrimination the most. They have faced restrictions on political and social freedom which shaped how these people can behave to peacefully comply with the American society since the past and still continuing. For native American, they have faced the threats of genocide, force removals, and even massacres which are considered inhumane. Furthermore, Asian people and people from South, East, and Southeast Asia were facing discrimination for so long. Indeed, Hispanic people have also been discriminated against even they are having European ancestry.

How discrimination problem affects people living in society?

One case study to help to clarify things out is the case of “George Floyd” who was killed by the police. He was suspected of using a fake 20 dollars banknote in the grocery store and got brutally attacked by police by the police holding the knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck on a Minneapolis street corner in which killed him in the end. This case reflected how black people being treated unfairly in American society for so long in which makes them feel left out and not belong to the majority of people in the country. Also, many of these people have to live with fear every time they get called by the police which makes them feel unsafe and insecure which should not be this way because every people need to be treated equally and fairly in their own country. Moreover, George Floyd’s case has shown that how racism problem is dehumanizing minority groups of people in today’s society and still cannot stop this ongoing issue.

What is Political Correctness (PC)?

Political correctness (also known as PC) is the practice of how to use the language in a proper, decent, and respectful way in order to describe or talk about groups identified by the external markers; for example, culture, sexuality, race, and so on which considered as sensitive topics that required the appropriate use of words if not can inevitably cause the conflict later on. 

What are the positive and negative consequences of PC?

  • Positive side

Its positive side is the fact that it is a tool that helps those groups of people who were being against in the society from the social exclusion and marginalization. It stops people from being oppressed and discriminated against by the words of people in society. Also, it is a tool to stop hate crimes in society that have been devalued by some groups of people for so long. In fact, hate speech or racism is not freedom of speech or expression; however, it does weaken humanities which is unacceptable in society and should be restricted by political correctness.

  • Downside

For some people, racism and hate speech are being seen as a freedom of speech and expression which it is totally their rights to criticize people in the society when it comes to race, gender, culture, and so on. They think that it should not be limited because it is one kind of free speech in which people are able to speak their minds. This can create a loophole for people to create judgment in society and classify each group of people by using such judgment. By doing this, people who are the majority group in the society will judge and discriminate the minorities and tend to treat them unfairly which causing many conflicts as we can see nowadays. This is one of the reasons that why the racism problem does not go away any time soon and still exists in many societies, especially in American society.

How Political Correctness can take a role in this ongoing conflict?

As we might already know that hate crime and hate speech can be seen mostly in the states, we, at this point, might want to apply the PC on a daily basis in order to ease the racism issue. If we, as a whole, helping each other to seriously consider this issue, this problem will vanish in the near future. But what we can actually do in reality you might ask. Well, I would say, we should educate the American people (and other nations as well) about how evil racism is and how it devalues people and other negative outcomes of such problem in order for people to realize that this problem needs to be solved and stopped as soon as possible.

After people realize how bad the discrimination issue was, we need to offer a way for them to prevent themselves from consciously or unconsciously spilling hate speeches to other people. By doing this, people will be more aware of what they are about to say in real life and make them think deeper before speaking out about somethings especially when it comes to sensitive topics.

At this point, relying on PC for way too much can have drawbacks that we might not be aware of. One scenario that could happen is the fact that once we are using PC for way too much, it possibly can limit what we called “freedom of speech”. For example, if people want to speak about those sensitive or racist topics in a good way and with good intention, if some people take it so seriously and personally, it will create tension in the society and will limit people’s free speech. In other words, PC can be a great tool to stop racism; however, keep that in mind that if it was too much used, it can impact people’s rights of expression and criticism.

Conclusion

To wrap all things together, the racism issue still is a big problem in American society since the early days and seems to continue in the future due to the diverse groups of people who have different backgrounds, identities, racial, culture, gender, and so on living together. Therefore, the domination by a particular group in the society (especially the majority group of people such as white people in this case) seems to be normal which is the root cause of racism and discrimination problems. As the problem occurred, we need to communicate and educate people who might not concern about such problem to start realizing how bad racism is and end up taking some actions to stop this issue in a sustainable way including the use of political correctness (PC) to prevent the minority groups of people from being harassed by those dominant groups of people in the society.

However, the practice of political correctness or PC needs to be applied in a decent and proper way to be effective. If people are getting so sensitive about PC, it will take away the freedom of expression and speech which no one would want to happen because people have the right to speak their minds in a way that does not affect the others.