Two of my best friends in high school couldn’t have been more different. One was from Charlotte, North Carolina. Raised as a true southerner, she had a very conservative set of beliefs. She had never been exposed to a diverse community and, as a result, struggled to adapt to our multicultural high school. She was incredibly outspoken and was a minority with her super conservative beliefs. Some could label her racist, but I believe that her attitudes were a result of her southern upbringing. On the other hand, my other best friend was the complete opposite. She was an environmentally conscious, liberal, accepting person. To say that their personalities clashed is an understatement. There were many tearful arguments, deep-rooted political clashes, and unfortunate friendship issues over taboo subjects.
I was in the middle of this. My personal views aside, seeing two people clash over issues like these was upsetting to me. Even though they were expressing their own personal views and engaging in discourse, it upset me because I don’t like seeing disagreement. Unfortunately, I think that makes me a byproduct of today’s society. Our generation is primarily focused on making everything agreeable and comfortable. Very rarely is this type of conversation surrounding gender, race, and politics considered acceptable and appropriate because they’re not politically correct. Making someone feel badly because you have different personal views is entirely frowned upon. I think that this is entirely a result of the emphasis our society puts on political correctness.
This leads to the ultimate question: is our country too politically correct? Is political correctness appropriate? I believe that there is a lot of political correctness in our society, but I can’t entirely decide if that’s appropriate. For example, the situation between my two friends made me horribly uncomfortable because I don’t like that kind of disagreement. Seeing people collide over such personal values is upsetting, and I think that’s because it doesn’t happen often. Discussion is crucial for social movements and progress, so I believe that our reliance on what we term “political correctness” is detrimental to us, even though we think that it helps.