96. Do you have the right to not be offended?

A lot of people today have adopted the view that a person has the right to not be offended by other people’s words. But the First Amendment guarantees our right to free speech, even if that speech might be deemed offensive today.


Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Connor.

Connor: There is a term I wanna start today’s conversation, on, and that term is political correctness. Ooh. And this term is, used often. It, basically just means that you know, if, you are saying something that’s politically correct, that you are saying something that is not gonna offend, you know, a certain group of other people or type of person you are kind of sanitizing your language to make it non, objectionable. you know, this started out kind of in the 1960s when a lot of black people and kind of big government left people started using the term politically incorrect to refer to people who were not aligned with their views. And so they started.

Brittany: Just like an insult then, right?

Connor: It was an insult. If you’re politically incorrect, then you are saying and believing things, excuse me, that are not appropriate. And so, as people come into power, whether this be on issues of, you know, race, or politics, or even religion or, you know, whatever, these groups of people will try and enforce, here’s a new term as well. Some orthodoxy, which means that they want people to believe like them. Orthodoxy is like, here are an approved set of ideas. And if you believe something outside of that set of ideas, then that’s not appropriate, and you’re wrong and you’re a bad person. And so that is kind of the idea behind political correctness where, there’s like an official opinion that is okay or a range of opinions, but if you’re outside of that, you are politically incorrect. You’re, maybe you’re a bigot. Maybe you are fringe and extreme. And so this is a way to do like thought control. It’s a way for people in power to suppress ideas they don’t like that are maybe a threat to them by simply calling them, you know, crazy and, and simply wrong. and so what I wanna talk to you today, talk with you about Britney, is do we have the right to not be offended? Political correctness all stems from the idea that you know, we shouldn’t offend other people. and so, what are your initial thoughts on that question? Do you, have the right to not be offended by someone else?

Brittany: So one thing I think that is a big problem with this is it takes away personal responsibility, which is a big thing for me. And what I mean by that is you are responsible for your own feelings, right? I can’t control you or what you do or what you say, right? There’s really only one thing I can control, and that is how I choose to react to something. And there’s a lot of power in that. A lot of people would say that makes you almost like a victim or just kinda like a sitting duck. I disagree. I think you have a lot of power to control your reactions. Nowadays. People seem to get offended over everything. I never know what I can say and what I can’t say. There was actually a great comedian who was doing a bit on this the other day. She’s like, we can’t, we’re not supposed to use the word old people in jokes anymore. She had to go through diversity training as a comedian, and they were told, you can’t say old people, offensive. You have to say older people. And you’re like, wait, what? it’s just things like this. Everybody’s so scared to hurt each other’s feelings that we’ve become a society where we’re kind of becoming weak in a lot of ways. So I, don’t like this, I don’t like where it’s going. And I would say that you absolutely, there, is no right to not being offended. That’s not a thing that’s not real.

Connor: What’s interesting about this, Britney, is it feels like, especially with, you know, we’ve talked a little bit in the past about cancel culture, you know, and, we talk about what it means to now be woke, right? like, if you’re woke, that means like you’re officially politically correct. Like, you know, you are adopting the latest politically correct ideas that you are told are politically correct. That means you’re woke, right? You’re approved, you’re opinions are a stamp of approval. And so it seems like that is really accelerating. Like it’s happening a lot more and a lot more quickly. And honestly, it feels like, like we’re tiptoeing in this like a battlefield where the enemy long ago put minds in the ground that are gonna blow up if we step on ’em. And we’re having to just like, so cautiously tiptoe everywhere and kind of, you know, before we even shift our weight onto the next foot for the next step, we’re kind of like poking with our big toe at the sand, right? To see like, is this okay? if I go over here? Oh, oh, okay, the mine didn’t explode. There’s no mind. Okay, now I can kind of firmly put that foot down. All right, let’s repeat that process.

Brittany: But you’re doing it blindly as you’re kind of saying you don’t even know. Yeah.

Connor: Yeah. You don’t even know. And so that’s honestly what it feels like to me, where, especially as someone like myself who has a lot of, you know, strong opinions and opinions that maybe aren’t mainstream, meaning that, you know, they’re, not like popularly supported by the majority of people. And so it makes you wonder like, you know, are we safe? Like, how soon until the mob, the kind of woke mob, the cancel culture, people start attacking me or start attacking the Tuttletwins or start attacking our ideas even more than they have. and so that’s, to me is a concern because it seems like the people who share this perspective come from the idea that they have the right to not be offended. There’s another term I wanna bring up that I think is so silly. microaggression aggression is like if I’m being aggressive towards you, I’m threatening you, I’m bullying you. Maybe I’m physically assaulting you. That’s, aggression, right?

Brittany: Regular old aggression, right? Yeah.

Connor: What, is the microaggression? If I flick you in the forehead? You know, if I nudge you a little bit, well, how the term isn’t used in a physical sense. The term is used in a verbal sense or written, you know, as well just, communication. And so if you say something that I don’t like, you know, I’m, not gonna say me cause I would never do something silly like this. But, if I’m at Starbucks and I’m behind like some kind of hipster guy that kind of believes all these things, and I maybe say something goofy about his hat or something, and maybe it’s just a joke or whatever, he might turn around and be like, dude, that was a microaggression. You know, like, and so people who share this perspective think that I’m like harming their, right to be, you know, left alone, their right to, to not have any bad opinions expressed to them their right not to hear anything they don’t like. And so you’re, you’re aggressing against my, your micro aggressing against my, you know, state of peace to not be bothered by things I don’t want to hear. and so I think the answer is a resounding no. We do not have the right to not be offended. Free speech is super important. Other people can have whatever opinions they want, they can express them how we want. And while we can disagree, we should not try and cancel them. We should not try and say that they’re just, you know, horrible people just because they have, you know, views that aren’t in the mainstream, you know, that are politically incorrect, that official people have not blessed them. That to me is a big danger in our society if people continue to operate from this notion that, you know, they, have the right to not be offended, therefore, you know, they can attack you or get the government or media or whatever to attack you if you are sharing opinions or ideas that they think, you know, offend them and that are wrong.

Brittany: It’s like thought crime. And I mean, this is very, this is Orwellian is a term we’ve discussed in previous episodes, and we’ve talked about 1984 specifically the book written by George Orwell, which is where the term Orwellian comes from, very dystopian, right? Another term we’ve used. This feels like something terrifying. This is something you see in a sci-fi movie about, you know, a government gone off the rails. This is not something you should be seeing in our society today. And for all the great things going on in the world, and we’ve talked about that in a recent episode, there’s so many good things happening. It is weird to me that we’ve gone so far back on this that now you have to have the right opinion, right? You have to have the acceptable if everybody else does not agree, if that’s not if you don’t have the stamp of approval that you’re a bad person. And one reason this worries me is we’ve talked about the non-aggression principle before. And you know, for the non-aggression principle to work, you have to understand what aggression is. But if they change what aggression means, if you’re changing the definition of that and you’re now including microaggression, I almost feel like that means civilization is gonna kind of devolve, like become more like violent and angry. Because if telling someone you don’t like their hat or something gives them the right to punch you, we have a problem. Because I don’t believe that that counts. I don’t know if you, I’m assuming you agree with me, Connor, but I could be wrong, but I think that, would make just all society kind of unravel very quickly. And so I think we need to be very careful about realizing that the aggression, physical violence, like actually hitting someone is so much different than telling somebody your opinion. You, know, your opinion can’t hurt someone’s feeling or it can’t hurt their feelings, but it can’t physically hurt them.

Connor: And, let’s be clear, I think this is a tactic that’s used by people in power, maybe it’s you know, socialists and, progressives that are seeing that you know, they now dominate the media and they can kind of control social media and Facebook and Twitter are on their side. They won’t get censored, right? Other people will,  but not their team. And so that emboldens them to enforce that orthodoxy, to enforce their views, to shame other people into silence. Not to have a debate and a civil dialogue, not to compete freely with, you know, these ideas floating around, but to suppress, alternative ideas that they think are wrong and, punish people who disagree. And so I think it’s something that those in power, use for their benefit. I remember when, the new, top Gun movie was first announced, a video trailer came out for it, announcing it, and it was very controversial because it showed, Tom Cruise, and he was wearing the jacket that he wore in the original film, top Gun. That was in 1986. And in the original film, he had some patches, on this jacket, and there was a Japanese flag and a Taiwanese flag. And in the new movie here, he is the same character, the same jacket. They’re trying to show that like, oh, this is the same guy from the movie, you know, 34 years ago. He’s wearing the quote-unquote same jacket. And yet they had made some changes. They had swapped out, these flags with just some ambiguous random symbols that had the similar colors. They were trying to kind of match it without having, the same flags. Well, why would you, care about doing that? Why would you not want to do that? Well, of course, you know, the Chinese government is no friend to freedom. And, know, Taiwan, in particular, is a source of strong contention about their right of self-government. We’re not gonna get into that for now, but, parents and kids, you can go Google, you know, Taiwan and China and learn about the battles there. It’s actually very interesting. Yes. Especially for those of us who care about American history and throwing off the shackles of the English government, right? It’s, very interesting to go look about Taiwan and what their, plight is there. So, little homework for you as a tangent, the point is here were the producers of Top Gun not wanting to offend China, because China is very powerful, right? And they didn’t want to say anything that would, would be wrong. I see this Britney happening, even in media, for example. reporters need access. They, want to be able to interview, let’s say, you know, the president or, different government leaders. And, this has kind of changed the dynamic a little bit with Donald Trump and the whole fake news thing. But, in the past, reporters have always wanted to have kind of inside access. They want, what’s the word, off-the-record information, right? They, want to get details. And so they wanna have a good relationship with, their sources. And so then if they were to write a report, an article that was critical of let’s say the president or the Secretary of State or whatever, that person obviously would not like it. And so they wouldn’t be helpful to that reporter anymore. So that reporter would lose, you know, their sources or they would lose that privileged access. And so it’s this incentive, we’ve talked about incentives before. It’s this incentive to not offend. I, don’t wanna say anything critical, right? Because I might upset them and that’s gonna cause me other problems. Well, when we restrain ourselves like that, when we don’t speak our mind, when we don’t point out problems when we don’t speak the truth, I think that creates a much bigger problem when all these little censorships happen, when all these little self-silencing happen, you know, on the grander scale of our country and our society. I think that becomes a big problem because it allows, you know, China or the left, or who social media giants to kind of become bullies in, suppressing those of us with ideas, from kind of openly sharing those, ideas. And I just don’t think that creates a healthy society.

Brittany: No. And it creates a society where everyone is going to have the same opinion and it’s going to be boring. we talked about, what was the book? the year is something, and everybody is Equal. What does that mean?

Connor: Oh, yeah, the Harrison Burger on yeah. 2084, I think is what it was.

Brittany: Yes, exactly. And in that one, I think it was just like, they looked the same, but imagine not having a diversity of thought. I mean, how boring, but that’s kind of what colleges are, right? There’s no, diversity of thought. You’re being taught only the same opinion, and, that’s not what a liberal, and I’m using liberal in the old term, not like a liberal, like a progressive, term. that’s not the way, that kind of, kind of society is supposed to run what we were supposed to be debating and, having civil discourse and discussing new ideas. And we can’t do that anymore. And that’s why it’s scaring me, because if you have the wrong opinion, I’m saying that in scare quotes, then you can be canceled, right? Your whole career can be over with one wrong tweet or one wrong comment. And that really, really scares me, especially as a writer.

Connor: Yeah, I think that’s right. Or even as a comedian, right? Good comedian. Yes, yes. Always been, critical. They’ve always kind of poked it, at the people in power, right? That’s good. Comedy is when you can kind of poke at the people in power and, be satirical and, and kind of do that type of thing. But yeah, if, comedians are now having to go through, you know, training about what they are and are allowed, not allowed to, say or, poke fun at it really creates an unhealthy society, that, I think is in for a world of hurts. So, you know, we talked about the problem, okay? Solutions, we’re, gonna leave that to you guys. We’re gonna leave that to you and your family. Think through what does that mean for you? Does it mean, you know, being more outspoken regardless? Does it mean starting a blog and, speaking your ideas? Does it, mean learning about these things, whether, you know, go look into the China-Taiwan thing or, you know, study the cancel culture and who’s behind it and how can we try and avoid it? or maybe we just, have to kind of brace for impact and get through it and, let it kind of, hopefully eventually fizzle out. Maybe, I don’t know.

Brittany: Let’s hope.

Connor: we’ll leave the solutions to you guys if you come up with any good ones. Feel free to reach out to us at Tuttletwins.com. in the meantime, thank you for listening. Thank you for subscribing and, Brittany, we’ll talk to you later.

Brittany: Talk to you.


Interested in more content?

Check out our latest email…

Our kids keep coming back Romans

Have you heard the latest from California? Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1955 into law. It’s a bill that prohibits school districts from having policies that require parents to be notified if their child identifies as transgender. Yes, you read that right—California schools can now keep this significant information from parents. Worse, be punished if they make policies that favor keeping parents in the loop. This legislation is part of a broader trend where teachers, who are increasingly acting as political and social activists, take on roles that belong to parents. Instead of focusing on reading, writing, and arithmetic, these teachers are now “educating” in areas of social and personal development, usually without parental knowledge or consent. We’ve seen numerous cases where teachers pride themselves on helping students transition behind their parents’ backs. In some 6,000 schools across the country, teachers have gone as far as creating “safe spaces”

Read More »

From the trusted team behind the Tuttle Twins books, join us as we tackle current events, hot topics, and fun ideas to help your family find clarity in a world full of confusion.

Want More?

The Tuttle Twins children’s book series is read by hundreds of thousands of families across the country, and nearly a million books (in a dozen languages!) are teaching children like yours about the ideas of a free society.

Textbooks don’t teach this; schools don’t mention it.

It’s up to you—and our books can help. Check out the Tuttle Twins books to see if they’re a fit for your family!