The following was originally posted in 2015 on my old blog, which itself now exists purely for archival purposes. While written at a time when I was much further to the left on the political spectrum, I continue to stand by what I said then, regardless of what some of my vocabulary choices may (or may not) have betrayed about my 2015 political leanings.
I am reposting it here and now in response to what I see (in general) as the difference in reaction to gun violence according to the race of the victims. Specifically, the apparent media and political indifference to perpetual gun violence in places like Chicago, with predominantly young black victims, versus one-off mass shootings, like the one in Uvalde, Texas, with victims that are predominantly non-black. (“One-off” should not be conflated with “infrequent”, but simply be taken to refer to a type of event that suddenly occurs in one location, and then occurs again in a completely different part of the country. On the contrary, mass shootings in the United States have been occurring with an all-too-sickening frequency.)
Now more than ever, we need to looking into the root causes behind both the perpetual urban gun violence as well as one-off mass shootings, which would mean getting into the reeds of family stability, economics, and the availability of mental health care for those who truly need it. To revert to simply having a binary debate around gun control seems to me like an evasive measure on the part of the political and media elites, considering that it doesn’t address why people pick up firearms and use them on other people in contexts that have nothing to do with self-defence.
Back in the 1990s, when ‘political correctness’ first appeared on our cultural radar, we were presented with a term that in my opinion went largely misunderstood, and would go on to become a near-meaningless flash point around which progressives and social conservatives could attempt to differentiate themselves from each other.
On one side, it provided social conservatives with terminology at which they could aim their seething contempt for the audacity of minority groups wishing to assert their civil rights or others who were addressing social injustice head-on. Perhaps these privileged white people felt their cultural hegemony being threatened, and their reflex was to gag by spitting the term ‘political correctness’ into their talk radio microphones with all the disgust they could muster.