The Problem with Keeping ‘the Holidays’ PC

The Problem with Keeping ‘the Holidays’ PC

Carlos Villamayor, Editor in Chief

The other day I was walking up to my room when I saw the Grinch’s mischievous face staring at me from a poster for the upcoming ‘Holiday Party.’ At the time, I only shook my head. That certainly was not the first time I have encountered political correctness (or PC) as the winter holidays approach.

I noticed it during the first winter I spent in the United States; signs, cards, and professors would emphasize “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.” It has even spread outside the U.S., at least in Mexico, when people say “felices fiestas” instead of (yes, the song is right) “feliz Navidad.”

I am not accusing anyone of anything. I am not acquainted with school policy in this regard. At first sight, the goal of PC does not sound too bad. If you say holidays instead of Hanukkah or Christmas, you allegedly avoid some students feeling excluded, ignored, misrepresented, or something along those lines. But I think this is the wrong approach.

Political correctness, at least concerning the celebration of winter holidays, solves the problem of lack of representation by representing no one at all. Students, in- stead of being offered the chance to witness the celebration of each of the holidays and discover what they mean, descend with the rest of society to celebrate the vagueness of the “holidays.” Thus, the holidays can mean anything and end up meaning nothing.

If a demographic is not being represented, the problem is not fixed by not representing any- body at all. Justice should mean an equal opportunity for people to celebrate and present their different celebrations and beliefs to the general public (or student body).

My point is not that there should not be a Holiday Party; this draws students from different backgrounds together and can be good, but it should not be a sort of screen to avoid or overlook the particular traditions. My point is that there should be a Christmas party, there should be a Kwanzaa party, there should be a Hanukkah party.

In the very likely case I have omitted a reader’s particular holiday, I want to apologize for my ignorance, and invite that person to write to the Chronicle telling us about it.