Thursday, February 04, 2016

PC Denialism: Hellerstein, "The Phoney Debate About Political Correctness"

   This is pretty bad, and many of the standard sophistries are here, plus at least one new on in the form of a laughable study alleging to show benefits of thinking about PC. If you weren't worried about it before, you should be worried about it after discovering that anyone, anywhere, would take such a patently dopey experiment seriously...
   However...
   At least Hellerstein does admit--grudgingly, I'd say, and only briefly, before rushing back to the the denialism project--that there are some problems originating on the PC left. That's progress, I suppose, and she deserves props for that.
   No time to go through this all now, but I'll just gesture at some stuff. She notes one important anecdote about paleo-PC that was apparently made up. That's important information because the case was widely-reported-on...but...it's not all that important...  The more important question is: what about all the non-made-up cases, of which there are many, many examples. Then there's her trip to American University. She asks students whether they're worried about PC, and they say no! So there! Then they proceed to show that they're PCs themselves by promptly talking about the need for suppression of "hate speech," the allegedly oppressive campus environment, etc.  This is like asking a bunch of people whether they're worried about American conservatives going nuts, reporting that none of them were...and then noting that what they're really concerned about is BENGHAZIBENGHAZIBENGHAZI!!!111. Only an author very deeply committed to defending the view in question would fail to notice this very obvious point.
   The left--leftier liberals and illiberal leftists--really, really, really want to convince people that there is no problem here. They're wrong about that, and, IMO, each new sophistical effort to pretend there's no problem shows just how unobjective and untrustworthy the left is about this topic.

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