Are we casualties of political correctness?

    It seems the over emphasis on political correctness and the omnipresent fear of desensitizing and offending the mass population have taken a toll on every aspect of society today. At a recent religious service for the victims of the Fort Hood shootings, the chaplain presiding over the ceremony urged the audience not only to pray for the killed and wounded, but also to help Nidal Malik Hasan, the infamous shooter, find Jesus.

    A psychiatrist and devout Muslim, Hasan was stationed at Fort Hood and expected to be deployed to Afghanistan. Yet he openly deplored the U.S. Army for its lack of religious acceptance and spiritual tolerance. In an online blog post, he compared suicide bombers to soldiers who jumped on top of a grenade to save another. Yet he was never approached concerning the post for fear that it would be perceived as religious discrimination. This desire to be politically correct ultimately cost 13 soldiers their lives.

    The indelible issue of political correctness and the widespread need to please everyone emotionally surrounds society. This need for diplomacy and inclusivity is deeply reflected in the education of the College of William and Mary students.

    During the dreaded week of freshmen and transfer orientation, incoming students are subjected to superfluous lectures on diversity and campus-wide acceptance. These lectures insult our common sense by discouraging stereotypes without offering any true advancement in human interaction. They merely encourage the hypersensitivity regarding racial terminology in everyday discourse. As attendees of one of the nation’s most elite universities and as some of the brightest and most well-educated students in the country, acceptance of all should already be incorporated in our values, rendering these copious diversity seminars unnecessary.

    The study of liberal arts demands that acceptance and equality are basic commodities to be enjoyed by all. As members of a highly-ranked national institution, one would think that students at the College would be educated enough not to question diversity or another’s way of life. These extensive seminars about diversity and acceptance, however, seem to negate all evidence that points to a class of self-taught individuals, pointing instead to one of generational hatred and close-mindedness.

    The diversity seminars of orientation and into extended orientation are so tedious and condescending that one would assume the majority of students have never encountered a black or gay person before. Especially in the 21st century — with the election of the first black president and the swearing in of the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice — all forms of tolerance should be expected and an issue of no discussion.

    As grown, seemingly mature adults, students at the College — and any other top-tier university — should be inherently tolerant and significantly less sensitive to blatant differences of personality and beliefs. Personal insecurities must be overcome and the dire need to convert must become virtually nonexistent.

    E-mail Victoria Narine at


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