This viral thread on what people can and can't say due to 'political correctness' is gold.

When people decry "political correctness," what are they really railing against?

Political correctness is a loaded term. People bandy it about with eye-rolling disdain whenever someone gets called out for saying offensive, sexist, racist, or otherwise hurtful things, claiming everyone is just too sensitive these days. The concept comes up more often in social than political discourse, and complaining about it seems to be the habit du jour for many.

A recent poll by NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist found that 52% of Americans are "against the country becoming more politically correct and are upset that there are too many things people can't say anymore." NPR shared the results in an article on Twitter with a "Warning to Democrats."


Then Twitter user Julius Goat expertly took the posting, the poll, and the entire concept of political correctness to task in an epic thread.

If you want to know what underlies complaints about political correctness, make people say what they say they can't say.

Julius Goat (which is the popular Twitter account of author A.R. Moxon) is known for thoughtful, hard-hitting threads that force people to think.

"Ask them to name the things they can't say anymore," Goat wrote in response to NPR's tweet, "ask them to list each one."

"Don't allow these bullshit euphemisms," he continued. "Make them say the things they 'can't' say. They [sic] things they still say, in certain company."

Then he pointed out an obvious—but often overlooked—truth.

"No one who complains that they 'can't say ... things ... anymore' is prevented from saying anything," Goat wrote. "What they mean is, now, if they say those things, they are perceived as the kind of people who say those things. What they object to is simply personal accountability."

"The real objection isn't that there are suddenly so many things they can't say. The real objection is there are suddenly so many things that other people CAN say. Things like, 'what do you mean by that?' and 'here's why those words demean and hurt me.'"

Yup.

Goat continued, "'There are things we can't say anymore' is a phrase intended the [sic] skirt accountability. Poll the exact things. Ask those questions. 'What things?' Let's see the demographics of Americans mad they can't say n***** any more. Or f**. And a hush fills the punditry."

Goat also pointed out that the way such polls are conducted and analyzed add to the problem.

Asking people if they think political correctness is a problem is a different question than asking if people embrace the idea of demeaning marginalized people, but it's basically the same idea.

"The fact that polling doesn't ask those specific questions, but it does employ accountability-evading terms like 'political correctness' tells you a lot about the poll's complicity in the dodge," Goat wrote. "As do the articles analyzing the poll."

"Why do we only see 'Poll Offers Stark Warning to Democrats for Identity Politics in 2020' and not 'Poll Shows White People Love Slurs?'" Goad asked. "Both require the same amount of analysis. Both bring a worldview to data. Thus you can detect the worldview of seemingly neutral parties."

Those of us who think words matter need shouldn't fall into the trap of arguing about "political correctness" when the term itself—ironically—is so often used to evade accountability and to avoid calling a bigoted spade a bigoted spade. Who is actually being overly sensitive—the people on the receiving end of hurtful language, or the people who can't handle being criticized for using hurtful words?

Goat's responses to people's predictable comments on the thread are just as spot on.

These tweets speak for themselves, and they all say BOOM.

And finally, a bit of humor that highlights the absurdity of some people's claims about what feel they can no longer say:

Well done, Julius Goat. While some will never grasp the fact that "political correctness" is really just polite consideration that anyone in a civilized society should champion, this thread at least points out how ridiculous people's arguments against the concept really are. It's not that you can't say things anymore. You just can't say them without social consequence or criticism—which is how it should be in a society where everyone has an equal voice.    

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

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Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


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Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

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Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


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Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

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L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

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Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

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All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Anderson Cooper has interviewed hundreds of people, from top celebrities to heads of state to people on the street. He is fairly unflappable when it comes to chatting with a guest, which is what makes his reaction while interviewing inaugural poet Amanda Gorman all the more delightful.

Gorman stole the show at President Biden's Inauguration with a powerful performance of her original poem, "The Hill We Climb." People were blown away by both her words and her poise in delivering them, especially considering the fact that she's only 22 years old. But it's one thing to be able to write and recite well, and another to be able to impress in an off-the-cuff conversation—and Gorman proved in her interview on Anderson Cooper 360 that she can do both at a level most of us can only dream of.

In the interview, Gorman explained how she dove into research to prepare her poem to fit the occasion, and then how that work was disrupted by the attack on the Capitol.

"I'm not going to say that that completely derailed the poem, because I was not surprised at what had happened," she said. "I had seen the signs and the symptoms for a while, and I was not trying to turn a blind eye to that. But what it did is it energized me even more, to believe that much more firmly in a message of hope and unity and healing. I felt like that was the type of poem that I needed to write and it was the type of poem that the country and the world needed to hear."

After explaining how she used tweets and articles and messages about the Capitol insurrection to hone parts of her poem, she shared thoughts on reclaiming the power of words.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.