Criticism of political correctness has one valid point, which is: insistence of political correctness often degenerates into what may be called "Magic Word Racism." Because you used the Word X, you are a terrible person who must be disqualified from public interaction. In this space, I have repeatedly noted the danger of Magic Word Racism. It is simply no way to fight racism. Love, generosity and willingness to forgive are the correct foundations to combat racism, not more recrimination and bitterness.
One way to view the intra-liberal divide regarding political correctness is: whether liberalism is to be considered procedural or substantive. That is to say: one may consider liberalism to be (1) a set of procedural rules and be agnostic about the results of following such rules, or (2) a set of desired outcomes, and the procedure designed to arrive at those outcomes. These two points, of course, are archetypes that stand as poles. Our real-world attitude will usually fall somewhere in between.
I personally stand closer to (2), because I simply cannot bring myself to be agnostic about the result. Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said: "If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It’s my job." There is some merit to this saying if it is specifically limited to the role of judges, in certain circumstances. But applied generally, I find this attitude--which is a re-statement of position (1)--to be unserious. It smacks of the juvenile desire to feel principled and smart by claiming to the world, "consequences be damned!" Such proclamation is juvenile because it comes the type of people who rarely suffer the consequences--like, say, a white male editor of an elite New York magazine.
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