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Opinion: Political correctness is incorrect

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It seems that nowadays, everyone has to be mindful of what they are saying in a public setting. Being politically correct has reached new heights; everyone seems to care about how their words will affect someone’s feelings or emotions. This was present in the NFL with the Washington Redskins team name fiasco. Some people are standing up to political correctness, and they are from Champaign, Illinois.

A few years ago, the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana had to get rid of their beloved mascot, Chief Illiniwek. The state government mandated this, because they did not want any Native Americans or anyone of Native American heritage to be offended by the mascot. At every basketball game, university students would chant “Chief” as a way of remembrance of their lost mascot. 

Within the past couple weeks, however, students, faculty, and fans have teamed up to try to put some sense into the minds of Governor Patrick Quinn and members of the Illinois General Assembly. They have a petition to bring back Chief Illiniwek to the university. The Illini tribe is from the area and has always been treated with respect. Illini tribal members have joined together with students and fans, because they have always thought of Chief Illiniwek as a symbol, not a mockery or disrespectful figure. This group is challenging the idea of being politically correct and with very good reason.

Being politically correct has come to the point of no return. People are afraid to speak their minds or opinions, because they are afraid of any retaliation. Political correctness has become so important in an average American’s speech that people with minority beliefs have to keep quiet. That is repulsive, disgusting, and un-American.

People should be able to speak freely and be able to express their opinions without restriction. Granted, there are a few restrictions, such as not being able to yell “Fire!” in a theater or “Bomb!” on an airplane. However, if someone wants to make a racist comment, let the person speak. It is their belief, and they are entitled to it; they know the consequences of saying those beliefs around a certain crowd. If they are willing to take that risk, let them do it. Women that are pro-life should be able to express that belief and not feel shamed by women that are pro-choice. 

America was founded on the ideals that one is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People have the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and much more. Americans should not feel restricted if they hold a non-popular belief in their town, state, or nation. The minority is needed in America to give a new perspective on an issue. If the minority is silenced, then the freedom of expression is shattered. Let people speak their minds.

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