Where does the line of “political correctness” get drawn today?

In the news today, we are constantly hearing about “political correctness.” From Donald Trump to Nicole Arbour, almost every word that comes out of an individual’s mouth is documented, remembered, and most often criticized. The word that someone used or the way another person phrased an idea – it’s all politically incorrect. It almost feels as if people want to find something politically incorrect with everything that is publically said.
Is this constant question of political correctness limiting our freedom of speech? Most certainly. With the fear that everything that comes out of someone’s mouth will be critiqued, how can anyone speak freely and openly?
I can think of numerous times in a class last semester that I did not speak up in a discussion when I wanted to. As someone with a very strong personality, I rarely hesitate before speaking out. However, in this particular class which covered some touchy subjects, I was afraid of being ridiculed and possibly attacked for something I said that could have been taken as “politically incorrect.” Because of this, I felt like my education was limited. I had questions and wanted to make comments or connections that I very well could have been wrong about. But, I kept quiet because I was afraid of the responses that my fellow classmates might have. A classroom is supposed to be a safe place to learn, ask questions, and grow mentally. It is a place to say wrong things and learn from those.   But, political correctness is now begining to curtail that.
With the recent events at Wesleyan University, this issue of political correctness comes to mind again.
As the country’s oldest twice-weekly printed college newspaper, there is the threat of it being shut down over something that could easily fall into the category of political correctness.
One of the beauties of a newspaper, to me, is the editorials and all the different opinions, ideas, and feelings expressed. But, we are getting to a point in society where political correctness is even threatening freedom of the press. As a right that we have maintained for over two and a half centuries, are we really ready to start losing that privledge?
I know I’m not. It is time to start looking at this idea of political correctness and  the damage being done with the constant criticism of people’s thoughts and words.
-MAE

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