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Is the U.S. too ‘politically correct?’

We seem to be hearing more and more about political correctness. And not just on the presidential campaign trail, but in comedy and the performing arts.

Being “too PC” has become a rallying cry for some Republican candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Trump has said, “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.”

“It’s not a lack of competence that is preventing the Obama administration from defeating these attacks, it’s political correctness,” Cruz said at a rally earlier this year.

UTEP communication Professor Richard Pieda believes the strategy is working.

“If you can frame things in terms of limits or control you can as a political strategy say we stand for freedom these other guys stand for limits. They’re politically correct.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Dan Henninger described 2015 as “the year political correctness finally hit the wall.”

Comedian John Cleese has complained about political correctness destroying comedy.

“So then I say there were these two Mexicans and the whole place would (gasp) and I say well we make jokes about Swedes, Germans, and French and English and Canadians. Why can’t we make jokes about Mexicans?” said Cleese during an interview on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Comedians like Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld say they no longer perform on college campuses because students are “too PC” and too afraid of offending anyone.

Former Texas State Rep. Dee Margo, a Republican, worries about the impact political correctness is having on college campuses.

“This environment of safety and college classrooms and you can’t discuss Greek tragedies because there were scenes of violence and rape and things like that it’s gotten a little overboard I think.”

The Internet is loaded with stories about political correctness run amok. But are they true?

ABC-7’s Rick Cabrera went to the streets and asked some viewers if they could differentiate between PC fact and fiction.

He asked questions such as, “True or false? A school in Seattle renamed its Easter eggs ‘spring spheres’ to avoid offending anyone who did not celebrate Easter,” and “A council in the United Kingdom has banned the term ‘brainstorming’ and replaced it with ‘thought showers’ out of fear they might offend epileptics.”

If you’d like to take the political correctness quiz, click here.

So, what exactly is political correctness?

It’s an adjective meaning to agree with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.

“I’ve tried to say to my folks and my own family when my children were growing up you wanna treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. It’s the Golden Rule,” Margo said.

Margo described political correctness as a pendulum that’s constantly in flux.

“We’ve gone from maybe too harsh and too severe to jeepers who knows what goes on,” Margo said.

Pieda fears, “the danger is it’s less about speech codes and more about generalizations and stereotypes.”

He believes the main focus should be on respect.

“That idea of saying PC or not PC doesn’t get to the heart of the question of sensitivity versus a lack of sensitivity. For example the student uses a racial slur there is no place for that in a civil dialogue and there would be no place for that in a classroom,” Pieda said

And what about politicians like Trump?

“(Trump) is responding to a lot of angst out there. And people are fed up with it and I understand that. There is a lot of empathy to his position just because it’s so contrary to what we’ve been living with,” Margo said.

Would you say that’s non-PC?

“Non-PC or taking the pendulum back the other way. But I go back to the basics,” Margo said. “You should treat others the way you want to be treated.”

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