Flatiron Books: The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

Political Correctness

Political Correctness is a transcription of the 2018 Munk Debate in Toronto on the implications of political correctness and freedom of speech. Born from the vision of philanthropists Peter and Melanie Munk and their Aurea Foundation, the debates have been a fixture of Canadian public cultural discourse since 2008.

Nothing sparks heated discussion like the term political correctness, and this example is no exception. As moderator, Rudyard Griffiths brings together a dynamic pairing of personalities to deliberate the motion, "Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress." The intellectual powerhouse team of Michael Eric Dyson and Michelle Goldberg argue in favor of the motion, while British comedian and LGBTQ rights advocate Stephen Fry joins critic Jordon Peterson to argue against.

For professor and ordained minister Dyson, it's about conferring a sense of dignity to those who have been marginalized, and for Goldberg, a New York Times columnist, there is a clear connection between political correctness and the march towards equality. Peterson, a professor and author, insists that the left has gone too far in hindering free speech. His absolute dogma on the subject contrasts dramatically with Fry and his soft, leftist "do-no-harm" philosophy. The comedian sees the progressive orthodoxy of the political correctness movement as a blunt instrument causing more harm than good because it is a "recruiting sergeant for the Right."

Addressing the cultural panic resulting from the #MeToo movement, the conflicting priorities of individual rights versus collective rights, and the erosion of rigorous debate on college campuses, Political Correctness packs a powerful punch. --Shahina Piyarali, writer and reviewer