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History provides us with periods of “group think” — a time when the majority of people come to believe something that is not necessarily true.

For example, in early human history people believed if you sailed out too far you would fall off the earth. As we know today this is not true, but it was politically correct (PC) to believe it for a long time.

For thousands of years, man believed the sun, moon and stars revolved around the earth. In the 17th century, Galileo invented the telescope and proved the earth revolved around the sun. This caused great concern in the church, and he was forced to recant his discovery and was put in jail.

His views, though correct, violated the prevailing PC views.

PC has been around for a long time. Scientific discoveries slowly have replaced the politically correct views of the day. Today, scientific discoveries are outpacing our own knowledge of our world and solar system, so today’s political correctness is often seen more in our societal beliefs in which they are much harder to prove right or wrong.

In the 21st century, we have developed many politically correct beliefs. Often, these beliefs do not stand up to close inspection, but are nonetheless considered true.

I’d like to single out just three words that figure in today’s PC world for closer examination — multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance.

I call these buzz words because they show up in many of today’s social and educational policies.

Multiculturalism is used extensively in our schools to justify some programs and policies.

Multiculturalism was developed by a college professor named James A. Banks. He believed demographic changes in U.S. society increased racial, ethnic, cultural and socio-class diversity in our schools. To Banks, this was a problem.

I take exception to Professor Banks. Our nation has always been a nation of immigrants. The origin of the immigrants changed with time.

Our success at assimilating immigrants was based on the desire of the immigrants to become Americans. We used to talk about America as the “Great Melting Pot,” and our currency still carries the inscription “E Pluribus Unum.”

The concept of multiculturalism decreases assimilation and divides people.

Professor Banks see it differently. He believes all societies and cultures are equal and should maintain their differences.

First, all cultures and societies are not equal.

Are Nazism, Stalinism, and societies that practice child sacrifice equal to our culture?

Second, the definition of nation is: a stable community of people with a territory, culture and language in common. Mr. Banks is sayings two (culture and language) out of three are not necessary.

The success of advanced societies has brought man from the stone age to where we are today. Multiculturalism, as it is being defined and used, is hurting our students and weakening our nation.

Another commonly used buzz word today is diversity. Everything is better with a diverse group.

I can’t accept that.

How is something done better with a group having five different skin colors or speaking five different languages or coming from five different continents or a combination of all the above?

Can a company build a better product by just having a diverse workforce? Not unless each of those diverse individuals possess the necessary skills to build that product. Diversity for the sake of diversity is meaningless.

The third buzz word is tolerance. We are told we must be tolerant of others.

In recent years, the word tolerance has come to have two meanings. In the old meaning you are accepting of the existence of other views, but you might not agree. You have your view of a particular subject, and you agree to disagree with the others.

Here is how one writer summed it up: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That’s what tolerance used to mean.

Nowadays, we have a new meaning for tolerance: The acceptance of other views.

That new meaning is completely in disagreement with the older meaning. Does this mean they believe all positions are of equal value? Hardly, but this reminds me of “doublespeak,” the new language in the book “1984.”

The language would not allow anyone to put together statements or thoughts contrary to what “Big Brother” wanted you to say or think. This is not being open-minded.

Here is an example of the old and new tolerance. You are asked if you think homosexuality is normal. You answer that some people believe it’s normal, but you don’t. You are then immediately called a homophobe because you didn’t agree. Who is tolerant, and who is intolerant?

Our schools have strayed far from their traditional roles in education. Today, social engineering is more important than education.

Schools want to change the behavior of our students and turn them into perfect examples of social justice. They seek equal outcome and equal acceptance of all progressive ideas.

Our progressive schools now say morality is determined by the society — it changes to suite our desires. This is dangerous stuff and leads to chaos.

Take a check and see how those three buzz words are being used in our schools.

John Green