Many of us are unaware of the social constructs that we have gotten used to. We make certain political statements because many others do the same, and we accuse certain subcultures of insensitivity simply because others have stigmatized them — all without knowing exactly why. The logical foundation of today’s mob psychology is based on the vague belief that the majority must be right. If so many people are talking about something in a particular manner, there must be a good reason for that to be true, right? The remarks we deem as being “insensitive” carry the same unquestioned immunity.
From national debates to online forums, we see people imposing “politically correct” thinking on others. Usually in the throes of a verbal conflict, people accuse someone of being insensitive when they are simply unable to convict them of being wrong logically. It’s used almost like an ultimate defense against all logical refutes. If we care to look closer, it appears that when someone accuses someone else of making an “insensitive” remark, what the accused are actually doing is making an arguably true remark that members of a different social group don’t want to hear.
"Condemning remarks and ostracizing those who defend their unpopular positions seems more like discrimination."
Racist and sexist remarks are certainly morally offensive, but what about the remarks that are just insensitive? There are quintessential routines in determining how insensitive your remarks are. If you hurt someone’s feelings, you are branded as insensitive. If people don’t mind what you have said, you are a sensitive individual. If people like what you have said, you are a great person. In other words, the correctitude of your words or your political stance is based on consensus. Condemning remarks that we refuse to hear and ostracizing those who defend their unpopular positions seems more like discrimination.
Notice too, that it is so much easier to prove that someone is being insensitive than proving someone is ill-informed, for to prove insensitivity, all you have to say is that your feelings are hurt. So, when we throw around accusations of insensitivity, we should stop to consider whether we are wrongfully attributing negative connotations to things that are simply different. After all, freedom of speech isn’t protected by singling out statements that people like hearing, but by guaranteeing that one won’t be suppressed for making remarks people don’t like hearing.
The concern is in how political diversity is becoming diluted. The malleable dynamics of democracy are hampered by the very attitude that there is a single “correct” set of thoughts and arguments. When someone says something political that hurts our feelings, we need to first consider whether the criticisms are valid — not shun them on an emotional basis. And as members of society, I implore everyone to decide for themselves whether the conventions of today are well-founded or just supported with no solid reason. At the end of the day, a critical mindset works positively for all of us. If we concern ourselves with the sensitivity of what we say, we bring in censorship that may even challenge who we are, and the things that make us unique.