On Correctness

A few months ago, a fb friend christened me ‘politically correct’ after a conversation. It wasn’t meant as a compliment, but it made me wonder…

Is there an arena other than the political, where it’s compelling, even heroic, to be ‘incorrect’?

Here’s what I mean…

When a doctor diagnoses systemic cancer, one could if so inclined, ascribe her verdict and subsequent examinations to ‘medical correctness.’ Exactly! And a correct verdict will inevitably follow in its sister sciences – biology, oncology, physiology, genetics and more. For the most part, people embrace the correct, however disturbing, and work toward a treatment and perhaps a cure. Before it kills them.

It’s a slog. It brings no guarantees. But it’s a correct response to a correct diagnosis. I suppose one could push back against ‘medical correctness’. “Don’t submit to treatment; you’re just being medically correct!”

Let me know how that works out for you.

In the same way, when manifold expert diagnoses of the social order reveal systemic racism, many ascribe the verdict and its commentary to ‘political correctness.’ And I want to shout “Exactly!” That particular verdict in the political realm reflects the diagnoses of its sister consulting sciences – history, sociology, theology, psychology and more.

And sure, it’s worth hearing second and third opinions – until the time arrives when we must go face to face with the correct. I confess that I’m drawn to the correct – in politics and its sister disciplines. It’s a slog. It brings no guarantees. But it’s worth crafting a correct response to a correct diagnosis for the sake of the community. Before it kills us.

Do history, sociology, theology, psychology and political science provide enough gravitas for the diagnosis of systemic racism? Is 400 years enough time? (Those are real questions if you care to tackle them in the gather tab.)

In the meantime, I’ll wear my shiny new ‘politically correct’ badge with humble gratitude. And try to live up to it.