To Be or Not to Be Politically Correct

Can we still teach Mark Twain, whose hero is referred to as a "nigger," now that the word has been banished? What about Hergé's comic books and their grotesque depiction of women, Jews, Blacks, and Arabs?

In the United States, as in France and other countries, populist movements are shaking up intellectual and political norms. New leaders are announcing that they, "unlike the others," will not be politically correct. They say they will talk about facts and nothing but the facts, without be- ing intimidated by those who enforce restrictions on thought and speech.

Would that things were so clear! Beyond such posturing, should we recognize there is some kind of anti-bourgeois network or self-proclaimed defenders of certain activist minorities in universities and in
the media whose aim it is to reduce the majority to silence? Is this true? In order to get clear on what we’re talking about, it makes sense to go back to the origins. The concept of political correctness, which is now so widespread, was born on American campuses in the 1980s, but


Subscribers Only

To be able to access this article,
log in or subscribe to France-Amérique.