Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in Conversation

Arts Building, Main Lecture Theatre
Tuesday 5 February 2019 (18:00-19:00)
yab book cover

Has political correctness really ‘gone mad’?Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
How can we resist a new order in which racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are proudly expressed?

The School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies welcomes journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to the University of Birmingham in February to discuss her the subject of her latest book, In Defence of Political Correctness.

‘Individual rights cannot always take precedence over collective, social responsibility. Without self-moderation, our streets, schoolyards, public transport, waiting rooms and restaurants would turn into bear pits. Most citizens understand that. Some, however, seem determined to cause disorder in the name of free speech. Powerful, Machiavellian and wealthy individuals are leading this disruption and breaking the old consensus.

Thus, anti-political correctness has taken over the UK and US, spearheaded by some of the most influential voices in media and politics. Invective, lies, hate speech, bullying, intemperance and prejudice have become the new norms. Intolerance is justified through invocations of liberty. Restraint is oppression. A new order has been established in which racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are proudly expressed.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown puts forward a spirited defence of political correctness, forcefully arguing that, in spite of many failures, this movement has led to a more civilised, equal and tolerant world. By tracing the history and definition of the term, she looks to clarify the very nature of PC, which is ultimately grounded in human decency, understanding and compassion - all of which are essential for a safer and kinder world.’

This should be a fascinating talk from one of the UK’s most respected columnists, the first regular columnist of colour on a British national newspaper and one-time Broadsheet Columnist of the Year. The event is aimed at University of Birmingham students and staff in the first instance, but all are very welcome to attend.

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