Don’t feel bad, there are a LOT of people who say they cannot speak their mind or give their support for others who, although speaking their mind, are keeping it restrained. Keep reading, I will explain that this is not really the case, free speech is ALIVE and WELL, we just need to know what PC is and what it cannot do.
To understand PC, we go back to the beginning. It was first mentioned around 1917 during the Communist takeover of Russia and used to maintain adherence to the “Party Line’ – not a good start. Not much more was heard of it until the 1970’s. The meaning at that time, was that a person being “PC” had an understanding of how their actions and words may affect people who were vulnerable to discrimination or could be disadvantaged. In other words, it was about being mature enough to know when and if, you were causing harm to others.
This term was very quickly hijacked by political parties/groups, using it as a tactic, a rallying call by NOT clearly handing out insults, degrading comments and pejorative statements against disadvantaged people, groups or even their political rivals – but by half truths and truncated statements alluding to the same, thus by using half statements only, they let their audience fill the gaps. This was, and very much still is, a powerful tool in the hands of a politician – as it is the audience who convinces themselves of their righteousness.
And then there are others who think it is a tactic they can also use: “I am not free to state my mind because of PC gone wrong” is just another way of saying one of two things (or both): “I have no real basis for my argument” OR “I am a real bigoted A-hole and want to say stupid stuff but don’t want the criticism”. Either way, it’s a ruse.
So, back to whether PC will actually stifle anyone from speaking their mind. The argument that PC prevents freedom of speech is flawed, everyone – in Australia and similar countries – has a right to say what they feel, free speech also gives others the right to have alternative views. What freedom of speech does not provide is the right to dehumanise, abuse or debase those who are unable or incapable of defending themselves in an equal manner.
Therefore, speak your mind openly and freely in a considered and mature way, remembering that as you have free reign to do this, others must be given the same consideration AND they are also very much within their rights to call anyone and everyone out when the protocols and dignity of free speech are being abused.