Freedom of Speech is not Freedom from Criticism (A note on political correctness)

Political correctness has been a major source of anger throughout the Republican primary, fueling Donald Trump (and more briefly, Ben Carson). It has even reached the point where conservatives have argued that political correctness is limiting their freedom of speech. So, I thought I should clarify:

You have the right to say things that are hurtful and offensive to other groups of people (or, in conservative lingo, to be politically incorrect). I have the right to tell you that what you’ve said is hurtful,offensive, and possibly also bigoted, sexist, or racist, depending on the particular comment. If a lot of people choose to exercise their right to criticize what you’ve said, that’s not a limit on your free speech – it’s other people, using their same right to free speech, criticizing you. Of course, being criticized is unpleasant, and you can argue that the criticisms are misguided, but no one’s freedom of speech is being violated in this process.



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