PC Whiplash and Dunkirk

Political correctness is a disgusting cesspool and Americans need to take a bath before we drown in our own filth. 

A series of articles published by The Daily Wire, Breitbart, and The Washington Times savaged USA Today reviewer Brian Truitt for making ahistorical and politically correct complaints about Christopher Nolan’s latest film, the WW2 epic Dunkirk. Hundreds of words were posted, stacks of ad-revenue generated, and the frothing masses of Facebook and comment sections were unleashed.

And it was all a steaming pile of bovine dung.

Here’s exactly what Truitt said to raise the hackles of the anti-political correctness citizens brigade:

“The fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.”

That’s it.

Nothing more. And that’s actually the second half of the only sentence in the entire review which is even remotely critical of Nolan’s film. The remainder of the review is a glowing celebration of Nolan’s continued mastery of the cinematic arts. Here’s the whole paragraph, for context:

The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way. Still, Nolan’s feat is undeniable: He’s made an immersive war movie that celebrates the good of mankind while also making it clear that no victory is without sacrifice.

The Washington Times called this a “warning”. The Daily Wire called this sentence a “trigger warning.”

Well here’s a trigger warning for you: The following paragraphs may be painful for thin skinned conservative hacks who can’t see beyond their own autorectalized noses.

Political correctness can go too far, and often does. The impulse to maintain civil discourse can easily be co-opted by language redefining snobs to impose a disgusting form of newspeak on others, with the ultimate effect of causing people to choke on their own language rather than express themselves with eloquence. See: the continual state of confusion in which many “white” Americans find themselves as to whether black, negro, African-american, etc. is the correct term to use in a given situation or political climate. That said, the right is certainly not blameless in this regard, as any child who grew up in The Church finds the first time they try to read a Sherlock Holmes story and are shocked at the continual vulgarity of Watson and Holmes ejaculating their phrases all over the page. People at both ends of the political spectrum have developed the disgusting habit of demonizing one another’s word choice without actually pausing to examine the context, intent, or (in cases such as this) even the actual damned text of the article in question.

But in this case, the defenders of American righteousness have shown their hand. They’ve shown that they are as thin skinned as the most sensitive liberal political correctness warrior. They’ve spilled gallons of virtual ink decrying a review as overly sensitive, ahistorical, and politically correct, when the truth is that you could equally critique the review for being flippant towards the concerns of people who want to see more women and people of color in films.

The simple truth is that both extremes of the American political spectrum have thin skins, but at least the liberal left is willing to admit that they are sensitive. Meanwhile, the conservative right continually works itself into a rage over the same kind of ridiculous, sophomoric problems, the whole while telling the left that they need to grow a pair.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably nodding in agreement or searching for something to savage in the comments. So here’s my final point: If you’re looking for something negative to say, just take a moment to consider if you’re really using your brain or just reacting to the speck of dust in a liberal’s eye, then work on whittling down your own plank eye before returning to your self-aggrandizing Reddit rage fest. And if you agree, try taking a minute to see why your more conservative (or more liberal, for that matter) friends are upset and see if you can gently direct them to see the folly of their own actions.

America has a tendency to be a nation of extremes, and that tenacious and vivacious nature is part of what I love about our country, but if we are to survive the next fifty years without turning into a socialist reeducation zone or deploying a nationwide force of secret police to protect us from unseen enemies, we need to begin seeing the humanity in one another again. We need to stop accepting thin skinned rants from either side as truth, stop acting like a nation of adolescents, and do our best to forge a stronger and better nation together.