I’m sorry but I don’t wholly disagree with the sixth paragraph in a 7.5 USA Today op-ed piece. It pains me to acknowledge that it was written by Christopher F. Rufo, a conservative Millennial who’s buddied up with Tucker Carlson and the vile Mark Meadows. I hate Trump-allied righties for the most part, but the sixth paragraph has validity.
“‘Political correctness’ is a dated term and, more importantly, doesn’t apply anymore. It’s not that elites are enforcing a set of manners and cultural limits — they’re seeking to reengineer the foundation of human psychology and social institutions through the new politics of race. It’s much more invasive than mere ‘correctness,’ which is a mechanism of social control, but not the heart of what’s happening.
“The other frames are wrong, too: ‘cancel culture’ is a vacuous term and doesn’t translate into a political program; ‘woke’ is a good epithet, but it’s too broad, too terminal, too easily brushed aside. ‘Critical race theory’ is the perfect villain. Its connotations are all negative to most middle-class Americans, including racial minorities, who see the world as ‘creative’ rather than ‘critical,’ ‘individual’ rather than ‘racial,’ ‘practical’ rather than ‘theoretical.’
“Strung together, the phrase ‘critical race theory’ connotes hostile, academic, divisive, race-obsessed, poisonous, elitist, anti-American.And it’s not an externally applied pejorative. Instead, it’s the label the critical race theorists chose themselves.”
The nub of Rufo’s rebuttal begin at 6:45, and they partly stem from Anastasia Higginbotham‘s “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness“, the controversial children’s book.
From Bret Stephens‘ “The Encroachment of the Unsayable,” posted on 10.19.20:
“Our compromised liberalism has left a generation of writers weighing their every word for fear that a wrong one could wreck their professional lives. The result is safer, but also more timid; more correct, but also less interesting. It is simultaneously bad for those who write, and boring for those who read. It is as deadly an enemy of writing as has ever been devised.
“The more some ideas become undiscussable, the more some things become unsayable, the more difficult it becomes to write well. We are killing democracy one weak verb, blurred analogy and deleted sentence at a time.
“I should be more precise. When I say ‘we’ I don’t mean normal people who haven’t been trained in the art of never saying what they really think. I mean those of us who are supposed to be the gatekeepers of what was once a robust and confident liberal culture that believed in the value of clear expression and bold argument. This is a culture that has been losing its nerve for 30 years. As we go, so does the rest of democracy.”