Progressives believe language should not be offensive or disadvantageous to any racial, gender, ethnic, cultural, or sexual orientation group. For progressives, to:
- Name a football team the “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans.1
- Use words such as “tomboy,” “manpower,” and “freshman” is sexist.
- Wish someone “Merry Christmas” is offensive to non-Christians and atheists.
- Describe Asians as “Orientals” is “outdated” and “insulting.”
Progressives go to extremes to be politically correct. A “healthy” person, progressives assert, should be called “non-disabled.” To always name Adam before Eve is sexist. The phrase “start a family” is “loathsome” because single people and some couples cannot have children. It’s even politically incorrect to dress up as an Indian during Halloween since it “glorifies mass destruction, annihilation, and cultural genocide.”2
Progressives formulate new terms to make words and phrases less negative to identity groups. As an example, to describe someone who enters America unlawfully as an “illegal alien” is considered dehumanizing and, instead, the person should be deemed an “undocumented immigrant” or “noncitizen.” The term “illegal immigrant” should be replaced with “unauthorized immigrant.”
Progressives seek to rename landmarks, buildings, streets, etc. if they are linked to an historical figure who they consider was offensive toward an identity group, especially if they were a slave owner.
By arbitrating what can and cannot be said, progressives become speech police. They are intolerant of other viewpoints and act as a mob, punishing offenders. To step across the line and offer a non-politically correct statement results in immediate condemnation and character assassination. Pro-life Americans are attacked as mixogynists. Proponents of traditional marriage are bigots. Not providing abortion-inducing drugs to women when it violates their religious beliefs is a “war on women.”
Progressives define hate speech as language that offends, threatens, or insults a person or identity group, based on their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.
Progressives claim hate speech is dangerous because it promotes racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, etc. In many countries, progressives passed laws against hate speech. In the Netherlands, for example, if someone:
“…publicly, orally, in writing or graphically, intentionally expresses [oneself] insultingly regarding a group of people because of their race, their religion or their life philosophy, their heterosexual or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental disability, shall be punished by imprisonment of no more than a year or a monetary penalty….”
Progressives in the US would readily support a similar law but are blocked by the First Amendment, which protects all speech, including what progressives define as hate speech. Since progressive can’t prevent Americans from using politically incorrect speech, they seek to pass laws that require people to use politically correct speech. As examples:
- Teachers and students in Chicago are required to refer to classmates based on their preferred gender. If a boy wants to be called Emily, for instance, everyone must refer to the boy by this name or face charges of sexual harassment.
- The California State Senate passed a bill (August 2017) that fines/penalizes personnel at nursing homes and intermediate-care facilities up to $1000 and one year in jail if they refuse “to use a transgender resident’s preferred name or pronouns.”
- A law in New York City can punish employers, business professionals, and landlords as much as $250,000 for refusing to use an individual’s preferred name and title regardless of their birth gender.
- In the District of Columbia, it’s considered an unlawful harassment for an employee or coworker to deliberately misuse a person’s preferred name or pronoun. Failure to abide by the law can result in a fine or criminal charges.3
Progressives support laws to ban politically incorrect words. President Obama signed into law a bill that prohibits the federal government from using the words “negro” and “oriental” when referring to African and Asian Americans.
Progressives are so obsessed with politically correct speech that only a white male can be the butt of a joke. Anyone else and it’s viewed as hate speech. Telling an off color joke is sufficient to warrant a sensitivity training session. As a result of political correctness at universities, many comedians no longer consider going to such venues.4
Silencing Free Speech
Political parties in America have historically engaged in debates to win public support for their agendas. But not progressives. They are intolerant of speech that does not conform to their ideology and seek to shut down all opposing views.
Progressives organize demonstrations to disrupt and/or cancel political events staged by Republicans. To prevent Sarah Palin from addressing a Tea Party rally in Wisconsin, for example, they banged drums, rang bells, and shouted into bullhorns.
To stop then-presidential candidate Donald Trump from campaigning in West Hollywood, progressive Mayor Lindsey Horvath instructed city workers to deny Trump a special permit if he sought to hold a rally in the city. In a letter to Trump, Horvath stated, “I want to make very clear that your campaign of violence and intimidation is not welcome in our city.”5
Progressives on universities regularly demand that objectionable speakers be disinvited. At Birmingham-Southern College, progressives organized on online petition to block conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza from speaking on campus because of his “hateful rhetoric,” “controversial statements,” and “instances of insensitivity.”6
Rather than discuss issues, progressives resort to name calling, branding opponents as racists, sexists, fascists, bigots, homophobes, xeonphobes, etc. They shout down speakers and hurl slurs, anything to disrupt meetings to prevent the expression of views in opposition to their orthodoxy.
Commenting about the intolerance of progressives to contrarian views, a US business leader explained that progressives don’t want bipartisanship, they don’t want solutions. “They want anyone who doesn’t agree with them shut down.”7
1) About 90% of Native Americans do not object to a football team named the Redskins, only progressives.
2) “3 Ways you Can Promote Inclusiveness This Halloween,” Huffington Post, September 29, 2014.
3) “In DC You Can Now Be Fined for Not Using Transgender Pronouns Such as ‘Ze’ and ‘Zir’, Hotair.com, June 29, 2016.
4) “Jerry Seinfeld Says Colleges Are Too Politically Correct, Kids Don’t Understand Racism or Sexism,” HuffingtonPost.com, July 8, 2015
5) “California Mayor Bans Trump from Campaigning in Her City,” Washington Examiner, April 1, 2016.
6) “Read the Strongly-Worded Petition Circulating Online Ahead of Conservative Filmmaker’s Speaking Engagement at College,” The Blaze, April 2, 2016.
7) “Intimidation Game,” Kimberley Strassel, Hachette Book Group, 2016.
8) “Student Gov’t Leader Proclaims ‘All Lives Matter’, Days Later, She Received This Letter From the University’s SGA,” The Blaze, August 1, 2016.
Rohini Sethi, vice president of the Student Government Association at the University of Houston, communicated on social media the statement, “Forget#BlackLives Matter; More like #AllLivesMatter.”
For posting the personal message on her Facebook page, she was angrily denounced by the Black Student Union, which demanded she remove the statement. Other minority student organizations on campus called for her resignation.
Shane Smith, the university’s student government president, sent a letter to Sethi to complain about the message. He acknowledged Sethi’s First Amendment rights, but said she still deserved to be punished. “The First Amendment prevents a person from being jailed by the government for what they say,” Smith said. “But the First Amendment does not prevent people from receiving consequences for what they say, including workplace discipline.”8
Sethi was suspended for 50 days and told to attend a diversity workshop, attend three cultural events each month, write a statement about the issue, and then make a presentation to the Student Government Association.