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Two Views on PC Ideology

In The Mail


To the Editors of The Crimson:

David Plotz had an excellent point to make in his February 5 opinion piece titled "Politically Correct' Thought Control." PC ideology, as a prescriptive thought process that turns students into self-righteous automatons, is as repulsive and abhorrent to the conscious and thinking individual as reactionary conservatism or his own self-defined "PW" (politically wrong) ideology. Unfortunately, Plotz's cry of "PC totalitarianism" reads as an attempt to shut up the voice of traditionally oppressed groups with accusations of reverse discrimination. Systematically bombasting the grievances of the underclass, his is a clever and insidious tactic which, like it or not, serves the same purpose as old-fashioned bigotry.

Plotz, The Crimson's own Assistant Magazine Editor, may feel that the "only voice that gets heard at Harvard is the voice of the PC" but unfortunately, the only voice that seems to get acted upon at Harvard is the voice of the author's self-named "PW." Plotz's charge of "PC totalitarianism" is a blatant misrepresentation of the dominant traditionalism that exudes out of every brick at Harvard. When push comes to shove, Harvard protects its own--and "its own" is white, upper middle-class, heterosexual and male.

It is a totalitarian "PW"--not PC--ideology that is enforced at Harvard. Recently several gay men were arrested at the Science Center bathroom on charges of "obscenity" Yet when a woman was gang raped at the Pi Eta Club two summers ago, what happened? What legal action did the Harvard administration take to investigate the woman's charge of "obscenity"? The privacy of gay men was invaded in the name of protecting the interests of the "majority". Yet when a women was attacked in the Law School parking lot last year, what happened? Did Harvard employ new measure to protect the safety of women--the minority--on campus?

"PC totalitarianism" is not the problem at Harvard. The problem is a traditionalist establishment that fails to address the needs of people of color, underprivileged, gays and women. When marginalized groups are finally accepted into the Harvard mainstream, then there will no longer be a need to voice "oppression." Constance Chen '90

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