When I hear the words, “separate but equal,” a myriad of thoughts race through my mind, and rightly so. I am reminded about the arrest of Homer Plessy in 1892, after he sat in a whites only railway car and refused to move to a railway car for blacks. I am further reminded about the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court landmark Plessy v. Ferguson decision that upheld the constitutionality of this racial segregation, under the separate but equal doctrine. Finally, I am reminded about the Jim Crow laws that continued to flourish in the wake of this decision, until 1965. Ultimately, I am comforted be the countless men and women of every American subculture (white, black, brown) that worked tirelessly to abolish the unequal treatment of Americans in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Through their combined efforts, America is now composed of a diverse array of ethnic subcultures, each with a voice of their own and on a shared platform. The totality of these subcultures composes the cohesive American culture we continue to shape today.
Now, it appears America has reached a new plateau - a defining moment in its assertive growth towards both social and racial equality. The gains America has made toward social and racial equality have evolved into the American culture adapting the values of ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion, in both public and private life. This political correctness is now being promoted as social justice. While the government rejects the various expressions of inequality through Executive Orders, laws, etc., political correctness dictates that you must believe it is wrong too, or else.
Adhering to political correctness is “good” when it is in line with your subcultural personal beliefs. What about when political correctness rejects diversity of opinion, and is not equally yoked with your beliefs, such as in the issues of euthanasia, abortion, gun control, or religious practice, to name a few? This is a similar question the opponents to the Plessy v. Ferguson decision faced in 1896. Stated differently, should political correctness co-exist with differing opinions? If so, how? The answer is yes, through social correctness. Social correctness is the other half of political correctness. It includes the acknowledgement of a public policy with the ability to socially accept or reject it, without fear of repercussion from the politically correct. Without this important half, free speech is denied on both the public platform and in private opinions.