Much has been written and said about the concept of political correctness. As is often the case, the original idea is good, but overzealous adherents seem to have a need to push things to the nth degree thereby erasing much of the initial good.
Having once claimed that Political Correctness is fascism pretending to be manners, below is the late George Carlin‘s take on the topic. After George is my piece illustrating what I fear things may well come to within the next decade.
On the first day of classes, September 8, 2026, Gail Winslow, a new professor at the college stood at the front of the lecture hall looking over her notes. Having arrived a few minutes early she waited as the last of the students made their way in and took their seats.
She looked up and was pleased to see that a wide variety of students had registered to take her introductory course. It appeared to her that there was about a fifty-fifty male-female split, and numerous skin colours and facial features. It was her belief that this was the kind of class makeup that led to healthy exchanges of ideas from various cultural backgrounds.
Checking her watch she decided it was time to start the lecture. She slipped on the microphone, confirmed that it was working and began.
“Good morning,” she said. “Welcome to course 234-584. My name is…”
But that was as far as she got before being drowned out by the exodus of at least a third of the students originally in the hall. She was flummoxed, stunned. Was it possible for that many students to come to the wrong hall? Was there a misprint somewhere? Was she in the wrong place?
As she watched them leaving she could not help but notice some were evidently on the verge of tears while others were angrily rushing at an almost dangerous pace. One student was crouched in a corner breathing into a paper bag seemingly trying to deal with hyperventilating from a panic attack.
Once the class had settled down again she went on, albeit somewhat puzzled, with her opening lecture without further incident. That is until later that day when she was summoned to a meeting with the faculty dean.
The dean started by welcoming her to the college and apologizing for not doing so sooner. The new professor expressed her appreciation and said she was looking forward to the upcoming term. Then the dean switched to the real reason for the meeting.
She asked Professor Winslow “What could you possibly have been thinking this morning?”
Again at a total loss the professor admitted ignorance.
“I have had a steady flow of students through my office today. All of them complaining about your insensitive statement this morning,” the dean informed her.
Racking her brain Professor Winslow could not for the life of her figure out what she had said that had offended her students. She said as much to the dean.
The dean sat back in her chair, took a deep breath and, in an exasperated tone began to explain.
“We foster, encourage and protect our divergent student body. Unlike some colleges a decade ago that set aside ‘safe rooms’ where students who felt vulnerable could be confident they would not be assaulted, physically or verbally, our entire campus is a safe zone. Students must be able to attend class without fear of being abused or pressured to conform.”
Now Winslow was more confused than ever as she was in total agreement with the safe campus idea. “What,” she asked. “Did I say wrong? Who was offended?”
“Let me point out to you professor,” the dean stated haughtily. “Not all our students are alike. Your directive to have a ‘good morning’ was highly offensive to those students who do not identify as morning people. Hence the turmoil today. In the future I hope you will exercise some of the sensitivity we expect of our faculty.”
“All I did was say good morning,” stammered Winslow.
“Much like thrusting Christmas greetings on Jewish and Muslim students, confronting non-morning people with the admonishment to ‘have a good one’ is not allowed under the college’s code of ethics’ continued the dean.
At a complete loss for words professor Winslow did not know how to react. Before she could recover the dean told her not to worry, that no disciplinary action would be warranted this time if Winslow agreed to attend a sensitivity program.