Political Correctness in the Classroom - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Political Correctness in the Classroom

If you are at all familiar with Medieval Spain, you know its history is marked by constant religious upheaval. From the arrival of the pagan Visigoths and their conversion to orthodox Christianity, the eventual waves of invasion of the North African Muslims, and the Reconquista efforts of the Northern Christian kingdoms, Spanish history is chalk-full of fodder for historical inquiry. In a classroom of thirty students, there are bound to be many different interpretations of a singular historical event, some of these interpretations heavily influenced by the pressures of political correctness.

During the course of the class, a common theme appeared; the dominant invading group persecuted the minorities. The Catholic Visigoths oppressed the Jews and Arians; after the Spanish Reconquest, Christian rulers once again created policies that oppressed the religious minorities of Jews and Muslims. Put simply, the class would read a list of restrictions applied only to religious minorities and then exclaim how prejudiced and oppressive the ruling class was.

This pattern, however, did not hold with Muslim rulers. Instead, after an exhaustive list of restrictions forced upon the Christian and Jewish minorities, the professor promptly exclaimed, “From this list, we can see that Christians and Jews were included in society.” A bit bewildered by this drastic departure from the usual routine, I raised my hand to ask, “Professor, what do you mean by that?”

“Well Katelyn, this list reveals that Jews and Christians were included into the daily religious, legislative, and mercantile affairs.”

“How exactly do restrictions placed only on religious minorities show inclusivity? Can we say the same for the period of Christian rule?”

“No, the Christian rulers were oppressive and excluded many people from daily activities.”

“So professor, can we say that the restrictions placed on blacks in the 1950s are examples of blacks being included into society?”

“Of course not, Katelyn. Those were oppressive and racist.”

During this conversation, I witnessed one of the most deliberate forms of unequal political correctness I’ve ever seen. Sadly, my professor could not see past her PC rhetoric to recognize this faulty logic. This is a sad consequence of liberal policing in academia. It restricts intelligent discussion and inhibits fruitful disagreement. It is time to wipe off our lenses, clear the cobwebs from our mind, and engage with questions previously suppressed under the banner of Political Correctness.

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