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Political correctness forces us to care

To the editor: Contrary to Meghan Daum's conclusion that political correctness has been beat, few if any of us will live to see the end of it. Every person who expects to be taken seriously in a public forum must minimize the number of people he or she offends. ("Remember political correctness? It's back, frothing at the mouth and at hurricane force," Op-Ed, Feb. 2)

Political correctness is a kind of performance in which a person has to pretend to care about something that just a year or two ago we could have safely avoided caring about.

If we find we were not paying attention for a decade to how far this wave of caring had swept over the culture, some very rude persons will tell us that it's about time we stopped being so clueless.

You can do your best to prevent this advancing ocean of empathy from drowning our society in tears, but it is not going to work. There is no permanently defensible shoreline that separates what counts from what does not. Every day something new demands our respect.

In a globalized and multicultural world of infinitely complex relationships, the formerly sufficient response, "Thankfully, I do not have to care about that," will never again be the final word.

Willem Vanderlaag, Hesperia

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To the editor: I agree with Daum that the term "politically correct" is utterly without meaning. It was born brain-dead because it hijacked the concept of common courtesy, which, like pornography, we cannot easily describe, but we know it when we see it.

PC bashing gave reactionaries a convenient handle on which to hang their so-called God-given right to publicly utter whatever adolescent inanity first comes to mind. Public discourse has never recovered.

Diana M. Granat, Altadena

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