People live in a modern era that strives for equality, unbiased behavior and freedom for all. With this great cause comes myriad new responsibilities.
Being politically correct is a relatively new concept, and navigating the murky waters of what is and isn’t politically correct can be a challenge.
It’s important to distinguish the difference between race and ethnicity.
“While race and ethnicity share an ideology of common ancestry, they differ in several ways,” Dalton Conley, New York University sociology professor, said. “First of all, race is primarily unitary. You can only have one race, while you can claim multiple ethnic affiliations.”
Conley describes how one can live in Ireland, align themselves with the Irish culture and ethnicity but be of black race.
Hispanic and Latino both refer to ethnicity. Caucasian, black or African-American, Asian, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander refer to race.
Ethnic and racial identifiers have changed over time. However, ethnicity usually is ascertained through what group the individual grew up with.
Few are aware that many titles used for certain jobs are now politically incorrect because they’re gender specific.
Fireman becomes firefighter, garbage man becomes trash collector, barmaid becomes bartender and policeman becomes police officer.
Changing job titles to be non-gender specific is normally not difficult, but some can be surprising.
For example, the title secretary, though not necessarily feminine, is associated as such. The new title for secretary is administrative assistant.
Some critics, politicians and journalists have begun a movement opposing political correctness.
Lynne Truss, author of Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door, describes the confusion that surrounds the use of identifiers while people attempt to remain politically correct.
“Offense is so easily given,” Truss wrote, “And where the ‘minority’ issue is involved, the rules seem to shift about: most of the time a person who is female/black/disabled/gay wants this not to be their defining characteristic; you are supposed to be blind to it. But then, on other occasions, you are supposed to observe special sensitivity, or show special respect.”
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