Practice good form not political correctness

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Five-year-old Bleah smiles with her grandmother, Jennifer Sylvester, in Galveston in 2000.  Courtesy

Five-year-old Bleah smiles with her grandmother, Jennifer Sylvester, in Galveston in 2000. Courtesy

Journalism sophomore Bleah Patterson

Why kindness trumps politics every time.

By Bleah B. Patterson

Some might say the nagging of the “politically correct” and the enforcement of such correctness has gotten a bit out of control. Most days, I would say that, too, however, lately I’m realizing the problem isn’t political correctness itself but the ignorance and misunderstanding of those who press it.

My grandma, probably the most influential woman in my life, always stressed kindness and just general good, above any political agenda.

She embodied class, and she taught me to judge people truly by their actions and forget the color of their skin, their sexuality or anything people are regularly judged on.

Political correctness is all well and good if you realize that it’s kind of faddish.

It’s all well and good like bell bottoms were, high waisted pants and thick-rimmed glasses. It’s not lasting and it changes decade by decade.

Political correctness and “good form” often get lumped together, but they’re not the same. You might not even hear a lot of people talk about good form anymore.

I think that’s because it’s thought to be synonymous with being PC so why would you?

But they’re very different and here’s how: Good form is about courtesy and, dare I say, class. Political correctness is about the popularly accepted opinion at the moment. Sixty years ago, it was politically correct to force people of color into separate bathrooms; 200 years ago it was politically correct to drive Native Americans into concentration camps.

Twenty years ago, don’t ask, don’t tell was pretty PC and today those things have changed or are in the process of evolution to another acceptable, societal norm.

Segregation, however, has never and will never be good form. Treating someone differently because of skin color, sexuality or any other distinguishable factor will always be, simply put: rude.

It will never be good form to target someone because they’re different.

I think if society focused a bit more on good form — courtesy, kindness, selflessness, understanding and open-mindedness — we wouldn’t have to worry so much about our political correctness.


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