Glossary: P.C. (Politically Correct or Political Correctness)

What I really wish is that we could redefine political correctness as “not colluding with foreign governments to get elected” and “not starting wars to get re-elected” and “not lying during (or after!) a campaign”. However, that’s not the world we live in, yet.

One definition I like says:

The avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

This definition is almost neutered by the phrase “…are perceived to…”. Take that out and I’m good with this definition.

NPR’s piece on the shifting history of the phrase says:

So, to review: “Politically correct” means politically wise or invalid or hypersensitive or cowardice.

It’s not just the Republicans or conservatives that use this phrase as a weapon. I hear comedians and pundits of all politics stripes use this as an accusation against their critics (see various forms of “fragility”). The common complaint is that the speaker “can’t say” what they want to say. Actually, they are perfectly free to say whatever they want. They just don’t want to be criticized for it. That turns their free-speech arguments upside-down.

Still, just using the phrase plays into the game. If I replace variations of P.C. with “compassionate and inclusive” my intent is clearer and harder to argue with.

Glossary: Latinx

I have no standing to define “Latinx”. I am, however, interested in speaking respectfully of people and referring to them as they feel is appropriate. However, with such a large, wide-spread, and diverse set of populations it is all but impossible to choose one word that will make every stakeholder happy. Going forward I will use “Latinx” keeping in mind the information in this article, “The X In Latinx Is A Wound, Not A Trend” on

What’s the Difference Between Non-Binary, Genderqueer, and Gender-Nonconforming? | VICE

This is a good introductory article with several interpretations of these terms.

“These are all terms that have come out of personal experience,” said Lou Himes, a non-binary Psy-D and Liscenced Clinical psychologist based in New York City. That means there are no concrete definitions to go by. Plus, these terms are relatively new to academia, medicine, and mainstream discourse. The beauty of that: Each person can interpret their differences for themselves and identify with the one that resonates most with them.

This means that the will be multiple interpretations and varying definitions and we can expect that they will evolve – both culturally and personally.

Glossary: White Supremacy

I’ll let Robin DiAngelo explain (from her article No, I Won’t Stop Saying “White Supremacy” in YES! Magazine):

White supremacy captures the all-encompassing centrality and assumed superiority of people defined and perceived as white, and the practices based upon that assumption. White supremacy is not simply the idea that whites are superior to people of color (although it certainly is that), but a deeper premise that supports this idea—the definition of whites as the norm or standard for human, and people of color as an inherent deviation from that norm.

Thus, when race scholars use the term white supremacy, we do not use it the same way as mainstream culture does. Nor, do we use it to indicate majority-versus-minority relations. Power is not dependent on numbers but on position. We use the term to refer to a socio-political economic system of domination based on racial categories that benefit those defined and perceived as white. This system rests on the historical and current accumulation of structural power that privileges, centralizes, and elevates white people as a group.”