Mic.com’s Marie Solis is angry. Apparently, the election of Donald Trump was not a repudiation of identity politics, especially the extremes we’ve seen lately. No, it was … well, I’m not sure she knows.
But she does seem to believe that doubling down on identity politics is clearly the way to go — and she takes issue with liberals who disagree:
New York Times contributor Mark Lilla became the unofficial leader of this movement when he wrote “The End of Identity Liberalism.” In his Nov. 18 piece, Lilla knocked liberals’ “fixation on diversity” and suggested they forget about the silliness of transgender people feeling safe in bathrooms and focus on issues affecting a broader swath of the population.
But it wasn’t just him. Political correctness, code for being respectful and inclusive of marginalized people, became the butt of several jokes, with Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Kimmel Live! being among the first to hop on the bandwagon.
Political correctness has nothing to do with being respectful and inclusive of marginalized people.
Being respectful of others is called courtesy, and it’s something people owe to one another as a matter of course — at least until such time as someone shows they’re unworthy of that courtesy.
Political correctness? That’s an attempt to police the thoughts and words of others, lest they cross some sacred line in the sand that liberals get to define. It’s a significant reason some have argued the Orlando Pulse shooting wasn’t terrorism.
For example, Solis shows that the politically correct are fine with slamming conservatives and libertarians, but clutch their pearls and need fainting couches the moment someone returns fire:
It can be tempting to brush off these jokes, but aside from being deeply unfunny, they’re harmful too. They punch down. They suggest that racism, sexism and transphobia aren’t issues; instead, it’s the person who calls them out who’s the issue: the killjoy.
This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered the term “punching down” used in this context. For anyone who is unfamiliar, punching down is when a less-marginalized group says something not nice about a supposedly more-marginalized group. Punching up is when a supposedly less-marginalized group does the same. Punching up is always good, no matter what form it takes. Punching down, always bad.
Frankly, this idea needs to go away, too.
For me to “punch down,” I would first need to believe I am set above another. To punch up, I’d have to believe I’m set beneath another. Personally, I refuse to do either one as a general rule.
How can I punch up or down if I live by the truth that all are created equal?
Undoubtedly, Solis will claim that our “racist” society sets this up, but she will not be able to prove that the most egalitarian culture in the world operates on any such hierarchy.
For example, women as vocal as Solis in most of the Middle East tend to be killed for it.
Oh, I’m sorry. Was that punching down?