Debate: Political Correctness

Is political correctness an enemy of free speech, open debate and the free exchange of ideas? Or, by confronting head-on the dominant power relationships and social norms that exclude marginalised groups are we creating a more equitable and just society? For some the argument is clear. Political correctness is stifling the free and open debate that fuels our democracy. It is also needlessly dividing one group from another and promoting social conflict. Others insist that creating public spaces and norms that give voice to previously marginalised groups broadens the scope of free speech. The drive towards inclusion over exclusion is essential to creating healthy, diverse societies in an era of rapid social change.

For The Motion:

  • Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, author and broadcaster. 
  • Michelle Goldberg is a columnist for The New York Times, a journalist and bestselling author who writes about identity, culture and politics.

Against The Motion: 

  • Stephen Fry is a English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet and film director.
  • Jordan Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist and author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.