'The Demands of Political Correctness'

In reply to a recent political and cultural controversy involving “Sesame Street,” Sesame Workshop Executive Vice President Miranda Barry wrote:

Jim Henson, Jon Stone, Frank Oz and others set a witty and silly tone for Sesame Street that our current writers work to maintain despite the demands of political correctness.

What then, specifically, are the demands of political correctness that Ms. Barry’s taxpayer-funded organization operates under?

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What is Political Correctness?

For an exacting scholarly analyses of Political Correctness we can turn to Free Congress Foundation & William Lind’s The History of Political Correctness.

As Mr. Lind distills:

If we look at [Political Correctness] analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms.

Frank Ellis’ Political Correctness and the Theoretical Struggle:

…exposes the ideology behind political correctness and the role it plays in modern western society. Frank Ellis traces PC’s dark history from its invention by the Russian Soviets to its migration to the western world. Ellis also demonstrates how political correctness is being used to shut down debate and marginalise opponents of any social reform by branding them with unpopular labels. PC is destroying language and culture and making it impossible to critique what is happening in society.

With this history and scholarly definitions — and in the interest of convivial debate (and of course inevitable disagreement) — the following questions are posed in good faith and with the hope that Sesame Workshop might provide American taxpayers clarification and contextualization for the benefit of all concerned, especially for the children:


  • What is Sesame Workshop’s definition of Political Correctness?
  • When did Political Correctness enter Sesame Workshop’s criteria for its federal taxpayer-funded educational programs?
  • Who does Sesame Workshop believe is responsible for instituting the demands of political correctness upon its administrators, Sesame Street writers, producers, cast, and ultimately its target audience of pre-school and elementary school children?
  • Where can the public find Sesame Workshop’s instructional policies and guidelines regulating its practices regarding Political Correctness?
  • How does Sesame Workshop believe its Political Correctness programming complies with widely accepted academic freedom ethics and standards that require varying scholarly viewpoints be given equal time?
  • Why does Sesame Workshop currently feel constrained by the demands of Political Correctness?
  • What are Sesame Workshop’s plans for future governance of Political Correctness?

Other recent examples and outcomes of the demands of Political Correctness upon the Arts, public education and American society illustrate the need to more closely scrutinize and explain this highly controversial (even deadly) political and cultural issue:

Political Correctness is a menacing form of viewpoint discrimination, an intolerant “heckler’s veto” deployed to stifle reasonable debate of controversial issues.

A varying viewpoint contributed by one commenter on my last post asserts:

“The ‘political correctness’ she [Ms. Barry] refers to is right wing political correctness. IE wingers who are hypersensitive and read marxist messages into everything.”

Fair enough?

Exit compound question: What is your definition of Political Correctness, and what demands do you think it places upon the Arts, public education, American institutions and American society?

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