APU’s Young Conservatives Club hosted its first event of the year Tuesday night when former U.S. Treasurer Bay Buchanan encouraged students to stand up for their beliefs in “Is political correctness destroying America?”
The lecture was sponsored by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a conservative women’s organization dedicated to promoting young ladies for effective future leadership. Buchanan has worked closely with this organization as a leading political figure in America, appointed to her post by President Ronald Reagan. A donor from California recently made a large contribution to the organization, which funded Buchanan’s trip to Azusa.
She spoke to approximately 20 students about the negative responses and effects of political correctness in America, focusing on how the First Amendment and politics influence the subject.
“You should start to fight [political correctness],” Buchanan told students.
Buchanan argued that the freedom of speech amendment is the character of this nation. The right to speak one’s mind and stand up for beliefs is part of the core of what distinguishes America from other nations. But political correctness is when people tell others that they cannot say what they believe in a particular way because it could be potentially offensive, she said.
“As individuals, we have the moral authority to make decisions for ourselves, and when we allow other people to make that decision for us … we are just conforming,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan said that in the end, it all comes down to how political correctness spurs intimidation, therefore stifling free speech.
It is always reduced to standing up for a person’s character rather than their opinions because “people don’t have the guts to talk about things in fear that it will offend too many people,” she said.
Buchanan said prominent issues in the country are not being addressed.
“We will not solve key critical issues in this country,” Buchanan said in her closing comments. “We will not bring this country together unless we get rid of political correctness. … You won’t even know [your opinion] unless you talk with people who don’t agree with you.”
Club President and senior political science major Ashley Blackwell helped Buchanan choose the topic of political correctness, partly due to the fact that she has witnessed it go awry at APU.
“I think it’s important because so many times people don’t really understand why you offend somebody if you say [a certain word],” Blackwell said. “I think people need to be aware that [people] aren’t really trying to be offensive. It’s a tough subject.”
According to Blackwell, this subject is one that needs to be addressed because of its growing prominence in the political sphere as well as the media. The fact that a lot of people don’t understand what political correctness is also makes it a necessary topic to speak on, she said.
Sophomore economics major Christian Murakami attended the event and found it inspiring how Buchanan told students to stand by their values, even when it gets hard.
“It’s important so that we keep an open mind about current issues in our society and our government,” Murakami said. “I think Ms. Buchanan did a great job in encouraging more conversations to be had on this subject.”