If the delicate American experiment is meant to weather the treacherous terrain of an honest race dialogue, which recent tragedies around the country have forced us to traverse in this late hour, we would do well to first remove the most dangerous and dated linguistic obstacles in the script -- starting on page one, with the lousy and misleading title: Political Correctness.
Arguably to even more detriment than the most toxic vernacular relics of slave days, (including the fraught N-epithet stripped of its antebellum poison and buttered in a subversive hip-hop track); the "PC" coinage and its attendant stigma, takes the cake as the most intractable rhetorical impediment blocking the road that bridges an ever-gaping racial and economic divide.
Here's why: the term PC has come, mostly through the perversion of its critics, to suggest a disingenuous doublespeak; language that is taken up for opportunistic purposes either by those who identify as victims, in an effort to exploit their diminished social lot -- or by those in a position to profit by pandering to this same constituency of shady martyrs.
Never mind that neither are true of people who "sit around talking about race" -- a faction of the American body who, like everyone else, would almost always prefer to talk about other things (i.e. sex, food, HBO's upcoming David Simon / James Franco porn series, the existence of God, the possibility that Pokemon Go may actually be an Orwellian surveillance tool); but if it weren't for repeated exposure to the inane tautology of injustice.
Meantime, "honesty-flavored" branding has been the hallmark of the Trump campaign, predicated in equal parts on both white entitlement and on the mass-appeal of so-called straight talk. I say the campaign is "honesty-flavored," (as opposed to simply "honest") because it contains the purity of the candor ingredient as much as orange "drink" contains its eponymous fruit; that is, in nutritionally-insignificant to non-existent proportions.
One idea: as opposed to "PC," I suggest a more productive and accurate title for attuned social dialogue, one far less susceptible to mischaracterization by those whose contempt for the subject matter is born out of fear it may compromise their privilege or threaten their power.
How about, "Historically Informed," or HI-speak?
In addition to its handy elevated acronym, HI-speak comes with the convenient and built-in inversion: that is, to resist its historically frank premise, implies, if you will, a kind of "low-speak" -- the latter, a base and insidious refusal to acknowledge the original sin and peculiar precedent that must be present in an honest (not honest-flavored) conversation about blackness in America, (beginning with slavery and ending with its legacy of poverty, incarceration, and the continued disposability of the black body.)
Fortunately, new technologies, namely dash-cam and body cameras, have presented the irrefutable evidence -- offering the organic and the raw "honesty" component -- which even the most cursory label reading, when presented alongside the saccharine product, is clearly the Only Choice for Healthy Kids.
Unless, however, in a wicked fake-tanned spin of life imitating marketing, the real orange juice is shrewdly branded as a bitter "PC" imitation of the sweeter, orange-flavored past of America -- back when life was simple and Kook-Aid grew on trees.
This is thanks in large part to the term "Politically Correct," a shaming construction so powerful, that even in the live-streamed face of a woman's composed real-time narration of the cold-blooded execution of her partner in front of her wide-eyed four-year old daughter -- that outrage and discussion around this senseless horror born of an institutionalized bias toward a people -- that even this is construed as an unwarranted and whiney complicating of America's simpler, sweeter flavors.
Isn't it time honest Americans took the honesty-brand back from its knock-off peddlers and thieves? Isn't it time we dispensed of the backward notion that a historically-informed conversation is somehow a gratuitous tangent generated by a victim complex for political gain?
A good start would be to dispense of the PC label all together, and in its place offer a new name for frank and fact-based conversations about race in America, one that makes its voice proud to invoke HI-speak in the face of base instincts.