The initial spark to write this article came to me when I was sitting in the library. I saw several signs throughout the building that read, “Libraries are for everyone.” I’m glad that the school made the decision to either 1) tell students that libraries were previously discriminatory, or 2) make an outright over-the-top effort to be politically correct. The sign displays what seems to be two people of different ethnicities, as well as an abstract rainbow symbol to represent LGBT pride.
This sign tells me that, apparently, our library used to be a place of public condemnation concerning cultural, ethnic, and sexual preferences and that not all people felt welcome in the library. These signs make it fairly obvious that there are problems involving race, gender, etc. in the U.S., but signs will not solve any issues. Instead of a sign, how about action?
Moving on, our newspaper in the last issue sparked controversy. We witnessed a comical argument made possible by the First Amendment against an action also made possible by the First Amendment, thereby using the First Amendment right to attack someone else’s First Amendment right. See what I’m getting at? Mind-blowing stuff here, folks.
I am not trying to demean the issues at hand; instead, I’m trying to draw attention to the importance of the language we use and see. Words are an expression of ideas, and if we do not use them correctly or in the right context, a divide arises. We can all attest to the lack of attention us millennials display, so critically thinking may seem difficult in some cases. But if we take the time to understand something, we can have an informed discussion about it.
The faculty and directors can do all they want to facilitate political correctness, but in its essence, it is an illusion. The words, phrases, connotations, and adjectives used to describe the issues on campus are kneecapping progress toward a completely accepting community. I know many of us feel a sense of moral danger when we discuss topics involving controversial issues, but the fact of the matter is, we must have difficult conversations. Without them, we will never learn to cope with each other’s differences, and we will subsequently have no idea how to peacefully live with one another.