The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Political Correctness Root

Use this philosophy forum to discuss and debate general philosophy topics that don't fit into one of the other categories.

This forum is NOT for factual, informational or scientific questions about philosophy (e.g. "What year was Socrates born?"); such homework-help-style questions can be asked and answered on PhiloPedia: The Philosophy Wiki. If your question is not already answered on the appropriate PhiloPedia page, then see How to Request Content on PhiloPedia to see how to ask your informational question using the wiki.
Haicoway
Posts: 80
Joined: December 11th, 2014, 7:29 am

Political Correctness Root

Post by Haicoway » September 4th, 2019, 4:25 pm

I searched some on this forum to see if I could find some discussion on the root of political correctness. I hope my post isn’t too redundant.

PC didn’t exist when I was a kid, and I have Filipina friend who says it doesn’t exist in the Philippines today. But it obviously it isn’t cool to use a denigrating racial epithet when talking to someone from a minority race, or to say something equivalently unkind.

I am talking about IMO innocuous examples such as Hank Haney being suspended from his golf radio talk show for racism and sexism because he jocosely, but also objectively, predicted a Korean woman with the last name of Lee would win the Woman’s Open golf tournament this year. His co-host asked him who he thought would win, and he said he couldn’t predict the winner’s first name, but her last name would be Lee, and she would be Korean. He was mostly joking, but Koreans win a lot of tournaments, and many Koreans have Lee for a last name. So he had some objective probability on his side.

So many people of note, including Tiger Woods, who has a sexist reputation himself, and friends of mine, including a strapping ex-tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, thought what Haney said was terrible!!!! Some of you might know that a Korean named Lee did win, and she was posted on the leaderboard as Lee6 because there so many Koreans named Lee in the tournament.

I think the issue is simply a function of association. If you focus selectively on a race, even very positively, it harks back to marginalization, and just because of that association it is proscribed.

So, I guess I am asking for opinions on two questions. Is my conclusion the only reason why Haney’s remark was pilloried? And where does this, what I consider over-the-top, PC come from?

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3554
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by LuckyR » September 5th, 2019, 2:21 am

Haicoway wrote:
September 4th, 2019, 4:25 pm
I searched some on this forum to see if I could find some discussion on the root of political correctness. I hope my post isn’t too redundant.

PC didn’t exist when I was a kid, and I have Filipina friend who says it doesn’t exist in the Philippines today. But it obviously it isn’t cool to use a denigrating racial epithet when talking to someone from a minority race, or to say something equivalently unkind.

I am talking about IMO innocuous examples such as Hank Haney being suspended from his golf radio talk show for racism and sexism because he jocosely, but also objectively, predicted a Korean woman with the last name of Lee would win the Woman’s Open golf tournament this year. His co-host asked him who he thought would win, and he said he couldn’t predict the winner’s first name, but her last name would be Lee, and she would be Korean. He was mostly joking, but Koreans win a lot of tournaments, and many Koreans have Lee for a last name. So he had some objective probability on his side.

So many people of note, including Tiger Woods, who has a sexist reputation himself, and friends of mine, including a strapping ex-tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, thought what Haney said was terrible!!!! Some of you might know that a Korean named Lee did win, and she was posted on the leaderboard as Lee6 because there so many Koreans named Lee in the tournament.

I think the issue is simply a function of association. If you focus selectively on a race, even very positively, it harks back to marginalization, and just because of that association it is proscribed.

So, I guess I am asking for opinions on two questions. Is my conclusion the only reason why Haney’s remark was pilloried? And where does this, what I consider over-the-top, PC come from?
Over the top? I disagree. If neutral (colorblindness) is in the middle. And racism is on one side of the spectrum, then say Affirmative Action is off center in the other direction. No one is surprised that racism exists, why dismay that antiracism, call it PC, if you want to, also exists? It is just another way of viewing the world.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Mark1955
Posts: 662
Joined: July 21st, 2015, 4:02 am
Favorite Philosopher: David Hume
Location: Nottingham, England.

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by Mark1955 » September 5th, 2019, 2:54 am

I'd suggest that PC is a term used by bigots to attempt to denigrate those who actively oppose bigotry. Actively opposing bigotry comes from those with the intelligence and self confidence to recognise that different is not automatically bad, the base assumption of the human ape. It is thus generally associated with those countries and portions of countries with higher economic and educational status. This is not a given or a direct correlation, but just as it is difficult to donate financially to charity if you are poor so if you are yourself struggling it is harder to be considerate of the needs of others.

Once we have established a desirable behaviour there are always people who will move the goal posts beyond sensible to the extreme because it allows them a) to exert control over others b) appear to be 'holier than thou'.

I'm interested in the situation you described because if I were a Korean woman golfer called Lee I'd personally be more upset by being described as Lee6 than by the commentators statement. Lee is not a long name so I'm pretty sure there was room on the leader board for some indication of the personal name of each Lee, but that's me and I'm well aware that I am not a normal person.

Final incidental "The women's open golf tournament", which one, English, Scottish, Canadian, Australian.......
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

Steve3007
Posts: 5835
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes
Location: UK

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by Steve3007 » September 5th, 2019, 5:01 am

A definition of Political Correctness that I found when I googled it:

"The avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalise, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against."

That's a neutral definition of PC. But I think the working definition of Political Correctness specifically as a negative or pejorative term (as it is normally used) would be something like:

"Using false or disingenuous accusations of insulting or marginalising language for reasons that are ostensibly to protect disadvantaged groups but which are actually a more general attempt to stifle discussion or debate by a speaker with whom the accuser disagrees."

It is this disingenuousness, if it is present, that is at the heart of the term when used in a pejorative way. And it is arguments as to whether it is in fact present or not that form much of the debate about Political Correctness.

I think the roots of this are very old and deep because it can be a powerful weapon. Their most obvious longstanding use is in the context of religious edicts - accusing a person of breaking a religious rule in order to stifle them. That's why it's quite common for people who believe themselves to be victims of "Political Correctness Gone Mad" to compare themselves to historical figures like Galileo.

Haicoway
Posts: 80
Joined: December 11th, 2014, 7:29 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by Haicoway » September 5th, 2019, 2:11 pm

LuckyR wrote:
September 5th, 2019, 2:21 am
Over the top? I disagree. If neutral (colorblindness) is in the middle. And racism is on one side of the spectrum, then say Affirmative Action is off center in the other direction. No one is surprised that racism exists, why dismay that antiracism, call it PC, if you want to, also exists? It is just another way of viewing the world.
By “colorblindness” I assume you mean not having prejudicial thoughts about any particular race and treating any race equally.
I don’t think I am dismaying about antiracism, I am saying that what Haney said wasn’t racist in my thinking, unless you mean against Caucasians, by saying Korean women are superior to Caucasian women at golf.

But I am certain that all the screaming was about Korean’s being singled out, albeit positively. Even commenting that so many are named Lee wasn’t putting Koreans down, I didn’t think, unless Haney thinks melting pot countries are superior to more pure bred.

So I will ask my question another way. What aspect of what Haney said was so repugnant, and why?

Haicoway
Posts: 80
Joined: December 11th, 2014, 7:29 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by Haicoway » September 5th, 2019, 2:28 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
September 5th, 2019, 2:54 am
I'd suggest that PC is a term used by bigots to attempt to denigrate those who actively oppose bigotry. Actively opposing bigotry comes from those with the intelligence and self confidence to recognise that different is not automatically bad, the base assumption of the human ape. It is thus generally associated with those countries and portions of countries with higher economic and educational status. This is not a given or a direct correlation, but just as it is difficult to donate financially to charity if you are poor so if you are yourself struggling it is harder to be considerate of the needs of others.

Once we have established a desirable behaviour there are always people who will move the goal posts beyond sensible to the extreme because it allows them a) to exert control over others b) appear to be 'holier than thou'.

I'm interested in the situation you described because if I were a Korean woman golfer called Lee I'd personally be more upset by being described as Lee6 than by the commentators statement. Lee is not a long name so I'm pretty sure there was room on the leader board for some indication of the personal name of each Lee, but that's me and I'm well aware that I am not a normal person.

Final incidental "The women's open golf tournament", which one, English, Scottish, Canadian, Australian.......
I get that you’re calling me a bigot. If using the term makes me one, then I’ve got a lot of company. Liberals and conservatives alike accuse each other of it. Also, there were a lot more racists and bigots when I was a kid than there are now, and nobody was lambasting PC then, probably because there wasn’t any.

Jeongeun Lee6 won the U.S. Women’s Open this year. BTW, I have never seen her last name anywhere without a 6, almost as if Lee6 is her given name. I am going to look into that.

I’ll just say then I think that getting upset over what Haney said is silly, never mind PC. And I still haven’t had one person, other than myself with my guilt by association assumption, answer why what Haney said was so horrible. That’s what I’ll ask now, and then maybe infer the answer toward understanding what’s behind what I think is over-the-top PC by many people in America today.

User avatar
h_k_s
Posts: 569
Joined: November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle
Location: Rocky Mountains

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by h_k_s » September 5th, 2019, 3:22 pm

Haicoway wrote:
September 4th, 2019, 4:25 pm
I searched some on this forum to see if I could find some discussion on the root of political correctness. I hope my post isn’t too redundant.

PC didn’t exist when I was a kid, and I have Filipina friend who says it doesn’t exist in the Philippines today. But it obviously it isn’t cool to use a denigrating racial epithet when talking to someone from a minority race, or to say something equivalently unkind.

I am talking about IMO innocuous examples such as Hank Haney being suspended from his golf radio talk show for racism and sexism because he jocosely, but also objectively, predicted a Korean woman with the last name of Lee would win the Woman’s Open golf tournament this year. His co-host asked him who he thought would win, and he said he couldn’t predict the winner’s first name, but her last name would be Lee, and she would be Korean. He was mostly joking, but Koreans win a lot of tournaments, and many Koreans have Lee for a last name. So he had some objective probability on his side.

So many people of note, including Tiger Woods, who has a sexist reputation himself, and friends of mine, including a strapping ex-tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, thought what Haney said was terrible!!!! Some of you might know that a Korean named Lee did win, and she was posted on the leaderboard as Lee6 because there so many Koreans named Lee in the tournament.

I think the issue is simply a function of association. If you focus selectively on a race, even very positively, it harks back to marginalization, and just because of that association it is proscribed.

So, I guess I am asking for opinions on two questions. Is my conclusion the only reason why Haney’s remark was pilloried? And where does this, what I consider over-the-top, PC come from?
Times change.

Y2K is when I remember the term "P/C" becoming vogue.

But the foundations for it were being built since the 1960's. P/C is another version of Federal Civil Rights in the USA.

In the 1960's it was started by Rev/Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

In the 70's it was female liberation.

In the 80's it was gay rights. This eventually morphed into LGBTQ.

In the 90's it was international civil rights triggered by the Serbs vs non-Serbs and by Saddam vs the Kurds.

In Y2K it was immigrant rights for Latinos/Latinas from Mexico and Central America.

Someone would have had to have been living under a rock for the past 65 years not to see this coming.

User avatar
h_k_s
Posts: 569
Joined: November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle
Location: Rocky Mountains

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by h_k_s » September 5th, 2019, 3:23 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
September 5th, 2019, 2:54 am
I'd suggest that PC is a term used by bigots to attempt to denigrate those who actively oppose bigotry. Actively opposing bigotry comes from those with the intelligence and self confidence to recognise that different is not automatically bad, the base assumption of the human ape. It is thus generally associated with those countries and portions of countries with higher economic and educational status. This is not a given or a direct correlation, but just as it is difficult to donate financially to charity if you are poor so if you are yourself struggling it is harder to be considerate of the needs of others.

Once we have established a desirable behaviour there are always people who will move the goal posts beyond sensible to the extreme because it allows them a) to exert control over others b) appear to be 'holier than thou'.

I'm interested in the situation you described because if I were a Korean woman golfer called Lee I'd personally be more upset by being described as Lee6 than by the commentators statement. Lee is not a long name so I'm pretty sure there was room on the leader board for some indication of the personal name of each Lee, but that's me and I'm well aware that I am not a normal person.

Final incidental "The women's open golf tournament", which one, English, Scottish, Canadian, Australian.......
P/C is indeed somewhat derogatory, yes.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3554
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by LuckyR » September 5th, 2019, 8:05 pm

Haicoway wrote:
September 5th, 2019, 2:11 pm
LuckyR wrote:
September 5th, 2019, 2:21 am
Over the top? I disagree. If neutral (colorblindness) is in the middle. And racism is on one side of the spectrum, then say Affirmative Action is off center in the other direction. No one is surprised that racism exists, why dismay that antiracism, call it PC, if you want to, also exists? It is just another way of viewing the world.
By “colorblindness” I assume you mean not having prejudicial thoughts about any particular race and treating any race equally.
I don’t think I am dismaying about antiracism, I am saying that what Haney said wasn’t racist in my thinking, unless you mean against Caucasians, by saying Korean women are superior to Caucasian women at golf.

But I am certain that all the screaming was about Korean’s being singled out, albeit positively. Even commenting that so many are named Lee wasn’t putting Koreans down, I didn’t think, unless Haney thinks melting pot countries are superior to more pure bred.

So I will ask my question another way. What aspect of what Haney said was so repugnant, and why?
Part of the problem with issues of "PC" has more to do with context than content. That is, half of the audience is not taking into account that sports talk radio is an irreverent, spontaneous medium with large doses of improvisational slapdash humor, ie very little of the content is deliberate and thoughtful. OTOH the other half of the audience forgets that the same freedom that allows hosts and guests of shows to say essentially whatever they want also allows the audience in the current social media era to also say whatever they want in protest and can logically and reasonably try to do boycotts and get folks fired from their jobs.
"As usual... it depends."

Haicoway
Posts: 80
Joined: December 11th, 2014, 7:29 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by Haicoway » September 6th, 2019, 8:47 am

Let me just ask this, and nothing further. Was there anything a reasonable person would say was offensive about Haney’s comments other than an indirect association with marginalization, since no group, other than, one could argue, all non-Koreans, was treated peripherally, insignificantly or with contempt? Then I will relate any answer to *my* idea that PC has gone overboard, and not bother anyone more with that.

User avatar
Greenbone
New Trial Member
Posts: 8
Joined: September 2nd, 2019, 8:33 pm

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by Greenbone » September 6th, 2019, 8:50 am

"Over-the-top" PC culture is a vocal minority. But since this minority is so vocal and "over-the-top, " it creates negative associations in people's minds for all of PC culture, even that which is reasonable.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3554
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by LuckyR » September 6th, 2019, 11:17 am

Haicoway wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 8:47 am
Let me just ask this, and nothing further. Was there anything a reasonable person would say was offensive about Haney’s comments other than an indirect association with marginalization, since no group, other than, one could argue, all non-Koreans, was treated peripherally, insignificantly or with contempt? Then I will relate any answer to *my* idea that PC has gone overboard, and not bother anyone more with that.
It isn't necessarily about a simplistically contemptuous phrase. Let me give you a very common example. We've all heard of the "Asians are good at math" stereotype, right? "Where's the insult?", some say, "it's a compliment". Identical to the comment on black athletes that they have "natural talent" and implying that because of inborn physicality, they don't need to practice. Therefore they come by their success as a result of genetic luck, not hard work (like their less muscular white counterparts), which is considered nobler.

Can you grasp that to Asians there is essentially no difference between "Asian women can't drive" and "Asians are good at math"?
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Felix
Posts: 2739
Joined: February 9th, 2009, 5:45 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by Felix » September 6th, 2019, 12:56 pm

Haicoway: maybe infer the answer toward understanding what’s behind what I think is over-the-top PC by many people in America today.
On the other hand, politicians such as Donald Trump have weaponized political correctness. He'll say something that most people will agree is overtly racist or sexist, and when people take offense to it, he'll reply that they're just politically correct wimps - unless of course the derogatory comment is about him, that is unacceptable.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Haicoway
Posts: 80
Joined: December 11th, 2014, 7:29 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by Haicoway » September 6th, 2019, 1:50 pm

LuckyR wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 11:17 am
Haicoway wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 8:47 am
Let me just ask this, and nothing further. Was there anything a reasonable person would say was offensive about Haney’s comments other than an indirect association with marginalization, since no group, other than, one could argue, all non-Koreans, was treated peripherally, insignificantly or with contempt? Then I will relate any answer to *my* idea that PC has gone overboard, and not bother anyone more with that.
It isn't necessarily about a simplistically contemptuous phrase. Let me give you a very common example. We've all heard of the "Asians are good at math" stereotype, right? "Where's the insult?", some say, "it's a compliment". Identical to the comment on black athletes that they have "natural talent" and implying that because of inborn physicality, they don't need to practice. Therefore they come by their success as a result of genetic luck, not hard work (like their less muscular white counterparts), which is considered nobler.

Can you grasp that to Asians there is essentially no difference between "Asian women can't drive" and "Asians are good at math"?
Not a perfect analogy. All Asian women aren’t good at math, and anybody who said that wouldn’t be very bright. Yes, Asian women could take umbrage at that stereotyping. But every Korean woman in that tournament is certified great at golf. Haney was talking about Korean pro golfers, and specifically in that tournament, who take pride in being good at what they do, not Koreans in general.

From a golf article: “Asked a question about that very trend (meaning Koreans winning a disproportionate number of tournaments) after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, three-time consecutive major championship winner Inbee Park responded, "’It's in our blood.’"

So with regard to the tournament, who got incorrectly stereotyped by the acknowledgment?

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3554
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Political Correctness Root

Post by LuckyR » September 6th, 2019, 3:55 pm

Haicoway wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 1:50 pm
LuckyR wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 11:17 am


It isn't necessarily about a simplistically contemptuous phrase. Let me give you a very common example. We've all heard of the "Asians are good at math" stereotype, right? "Where's the insult?", some say, "it's a compliment". Identical to the comment on black athletes that they have "natural talent" and implying that because of inborn physicality, they don't need to practice. Therefore they come by their success as a result of genetic luck, not hard work (like their less muscular white counterparts), which is considered nobler.

Can you grasp that to Asians there is essentially no difference between "Asian women can't drive" and "Asians are good at math"?
Not a perfect analogy. All Asian women aren’t good at math, and anybody who said that wouldn’t be very bright. Yes, Asian women could take umbrage at that stereotyping. But every Korean woman in that tournament is certified great at golf. Haney was talking about Korean pro golfers, and specifically in that tournament, who take pride in being good at what they do, not Koreans in general.

From a golf article: “Asked a question about that very trend (meaning Koreans winning a disproportionate number of tournaments) after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, three-time consecutive major championship winner Inbee Park responded, "’It's in our blood.’"

So with regard to the tournament, who got incorrectly stereotyped by the acknowledgment?
Yeah-but-ism at its' finest.

Several things:

Analogies are by their definition not perfectly identical, they are similar, to illustrate a point.

Happy to hear that you acknowledge (the obvious fact) that Asians and/or Koreans could find the comments insulting. As it happens, I agree with you that the actual (Korean) pros in the tournament are less likely to feel insulted than say their families (who aren't pros). Though that is more likely to be because they exist 24/7 in the sort of tilted environment that the original comment was expressed within and they have a financial incentive to not let BS comments from some nobody distract them from their competitive and economic goals.

As to your 4 word quote, are we not sure that the "it", isn't "training really hard" or the whole quote isn't random BS to suggest that Koreans have magic golf powers to try to get in the heads of other competitors? Regardless, trying to pass off clearly racist actions in other contexts (say police shootings), by finding some random Black police officer to express fear of Black suspects, does not negate other's comments/actions.

Let me go out on a limb here: you're not Korean, right?
"As usual... it depends."

Post Reply