13 Whittier L. Rev. 805 (1992)
The Political Correctness Doctrine: Redefining Speech on College Campuses

handle is hein.journals/whitlr13 and id is 819 raw text is: THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS DOCTRINE:
Just what does it mean to be politically correct? The political
correctness doctrine has been the center of controversy in the aca-
demic arena. To define political correctness (hereinafter referred to as
PC) is an arduous task, particularly because it has various meanings to
different individuals. Proponents of the PC movement assert that in
an academic setting, students who are members of the dominant soci-
ety-white, male and conservative-should be sensitized to race and
gender issues. Achieving cultural diversity in the student population
and in the faculty should be a university's primary objective. Thus,
the classroom and campus environment should be sanitized and free
from speech, attitudes, ideas and conduct that are racist, sexist and
The basic objectives of the PC movement are (1) the demand for
greater diversity among students and faculty members; and (2) the
need for speech codes to thwart racist, sexist and homophobic lan-
guage, ideas and attitudes that offend sensitive students.1
Opponents of the PC movement dismiss it as an attack by liberals
on traditionally protected speech and expressive conduct. Foes of the
PC movement label it thought control and consider it a threat to the
traditional academic curriculum which focuses on Western civilization
and the achievements of whites in our society.2 Many in this camp
believe that the PC movement stifles creative ideas because the move-
ment wants everyone to agree and think alike.'
With the increase in racial incidents on university campuses, uni-
versities have sought to restrict racist speech and conduct through the
enactment of speech codes which discipline students for racially or
sexually offensive language or conduct. The rationale of university
administrators who enact speech codes is based on the theory that
1. Alan M. Dershowitz, Political Correctness, Speech Codes & Diversity, Harvard Law Rec-
ord, Sept. 20, 1991, at 7.
2. The PC. Police, ABA Journal, Nov. 1991, at 12.
3. Id.

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