Not since the sixties have we seen the campus population so fully energized in pushing its causes. After a three-decade drought of activity, the past year ushered in a storm of controversy. The parched soil is being flooded with two buzz words: politically correct, or PC for short.
As most readers of popular magazines know by now, the PC movement seeks to obliterate “oppression” and promote “diversity.” Unlike the old radical vanguard, however, this new movement is dedicated more to cultural than economic equality.
The rise of this new orthodoxy is seen most clearly where you might guess—on American campuses. Today’s “blue book” exams receive high marks from PC professors when they discuss the oppressiveness inherent in Western values. The correct answer, claim critics, includes an acronym that is becoming as popular as PC, “DWEMS”—dead, white, European males. Augustine, Milton, Shakespeare, Aristotle, Plato, Ovid, Voltaire are all DWEMS. On correct campuses, these “oppressors” are held in contempt.
Some critics have called the PC movement the new McCarthyism. Those who are PC, they claim, require you to think “correctly” about affirmative action, animal rights, radical feminism, bilingualism, censorship in the pursuit of tolerance, gay rights, non-European origins, and so on. In some places, the consequence of being “incorrect” has led to public humiliation, ostracism, or even a disciplinary hearing.
At the University of Texas at Austin, for example, a required text for English composition is no longer based on a range of topics. The course now centers on an anthology called Racism and Sexism. Some professors charge the course is no longer on writing, but oppression.
Some activists are not satisfied with cleaning the curriculum ...1
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