The fear of Prejudice: new era witch trials Jonathan Roach’s “In Defense of Prejudice” is an unconventional standpoint on a sensitive subject. He states that by attempting to protect people of certain races from discrimination is a violation of our right to free speech. Reach is a gay and Jewish author, which would make it quite apparent that he has dealt with prejudice in his life. He says that prejudices are a certainty that is hard-wired into our DNA as human beings.
Reach calls the activists for the elimination of oppressive words purists, and renounces they only make the words more powerful. He cites examples of people like college professors losing their Jobs over inadvertent and mildly offensive slurs. Reach says that instead of suppressing prejudice we should allow them to speak freely and become subject to “intellectual pluralism”; therein, being forced to defend their ideas on an logical level. The government and other agencies have brought sensitivity to prejudice too far.
Many may find this article absurd the thought of anything but condemning prejudice is illogical to most people, but prejudice is inevitable and trying to eliminate it is pointless and actually harmful to our society, Political correctness makes for a foolish guiding principle, and hate crimes laws only represent prejudice. Trying to eliminate words only increases their power; the only proper way to do away with a word that represents hate is to simply ignore it. If you truly want to eliminate a word, don’t even flinch at its sound.
Words are only as strong as we make them, and if we pay no attention to them they will die. Trying to eliminate prejudice simply means we will use the prejudice of the people in charge. Accusing someone of prejudice is to admit to it yourself. Reach says all we do is pin prejudice against prejudice, which I also believe, and actually it strengthens our society. Totalitarian states have successfully eliminated prejudice by eliminating free speech and implementing guidelines on what is and isn’t Justifiable speech.
Unfortunately people, who live in a free country like America, have to suffer from alternate opinions. As Reach declares in the article we should not attempt to eliminate prejudice because the racists of the world will Just quietly stew in a pit of hate. Instead we allow these people to come out and back up their prejudice on an intellectual level. Political correctness’ original intent was for people to show sensitivity toward others of differing backgrounds and appearance. Now it has gone to an extreme degree that I don’t believe the people who conceived the notion could have imagined.
In the modern era a label like “racist” or “sexist” can destroy a persons good name quicker than they can give an explanation. Public figures have to go to extreme lengths to avoid any appearance of non-political correctness as to avoid figurative Latinist’s career. Much like the Salem witch trials or McCarthy once one has gotten the label of “racist” it is almost impossible to remove. It has got so bad that most feel to timid to ask about other cultural background; therein, creating walls between us as human beings.
Censorship due to political correctness is basically silencing differing viewpoints and forcing us to nervously tip toe around every word we utter, which holds us back from conversing with our peers about their diverse cultural background out of the constant terror that something we say might be taken UT of context. Hate crimes were originally created to enforce harmony and civility between all groups of people, but unfortunately often has the opposite effect. To base the severity of the punishment on the motive of the crime instead of the action of the accused is ridiculous.
It becomes a slippery slope when state recognized “bias” is used in the sentencing of a crime. An example is when a misunderstanding between two gay white men in California were assaulted by Mexican teenagers because of a compliment one took as an extreme insult. What should have been an assault charge came a hate crime and turned into a felony causing the accused prison time. This created uproar in the community pining Mexicans against whites, making a law to bring civility causing nothing but hate.
Hate crimes acts focus not on intent, but on motivation. In hate crimes assault is illegal; however, when you combine assault with hate it becomes extra illegal. If an intelligent alien species was studying human beings on earth, they would probably find it strange that we put so much weight into the regional distribution of our ancestors. Race is nothing more than an adaptation our species made to their environment, yet it rules over so much of our lives. Political correctness, hate crimes, and the constant obsession and fear of a basic human instinct.