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22 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 517 (1996)
Myths and Facts: How Real Is Political Correctness

handle is hein.journals/wmitch22 and id is 531 raw text is: MYTHS AND FACTS: HOW REAL IS
John K. Wilsont
Political correctness, it seems, is a movement without
followers. For something thought to dominate college campuses,
it is strange that almost no one is willing to stand up and declare
themselves politically correct or attack others for their political
The debate over political correctness is not about whether
it is a good or a bad thing. After all, who can be in favor of
leftist totalitarianism or the PC thought police? In my mind,
being asked Are you in favor of political correctness? is akin to
being asked Are you in favor of the conspiracy ofJewish bankers
who run the world? I am wholeheartedly opposed to conspira-
cies of Jewish bankers ruling the planet, but at the same time I
strongly doubt that any of them exist, and I wonder about the
motives of those who claim they do.
Thus, the question about political correctness must be an
empirical one: does it exist, and to what extent does it threaten
academic freedom? And this question must also be asked in
context, since it would be biased to examine (as most critics of
political correctness have done) only the left-wing threats to
intellectual freedom. Do other forms of intolerance and
censorship (which one might call conservative correctness)
exist, and to what extent do they threaten academic freedom?
Unfortunately, the empirical answers are not easy to get.
There has been no reliable survey of faculty or students done to
establish the extent of threats to academic freedom, as the
Thielens and Lazarsfeld study provided of McCarthyism's effect
t John K. Wilson is the Editor of Democratic Culture, a newsletter of Teachers for
a Democratic Culture. Mr. Wilson has recently authored the book The Myth of Political
Correctness: The Conservative Attach on Higher Education, published by Duke University

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