Certain groups of people get special "politically correct" protections either by social norms or legal enforcement. At first glance, these groups appear merely as subject to social fads. Quite like a hoola-hoop, jelly shoes or friendship bracelets, certain groups go in and out of fashion.
Here is a short list of groups that you can bash with impunity:
Here's a short list of protected groups:
Although, in recent time it seems that blacks have fallen out favor in lieu of the homosexual. One can say a certain degree of things about black people (in contrast to a few years ago before the gay rights people got momentum) without it being considered "hate speech" but not to the degree that one can criticize homosexuals. Even the term, "homosexual" is becoming the big bad "N" word.
Immigrants are pretty untouchable too. Today it's considered a fact that they are the best thing to happen to this country since sliced bread or whatever. When, objectively speaking, that's actually just an opinion. But you can't ever counter the politically correct opinion, because then you are engaging in, "hate speech."
However, I can say the most awful things about Christians. I can claim that every last Catholic priest is a pedophile and nobody will so much as wince. I can go on a long diatribe and explain all the evils that white men have done, but never shall I break the sacred politically correct commandment of placing culpability for those things on the white female, nor shall it ever be known that other groups have committed similar evils.
It seems to me that this has created huge divisions in our country. It's white men vs black people, Christians vs homosexuals. I can only conclude that political correctness has not provided for a unitary socially cohesive group of Americans.
Should certain groups of people get special protections from criticism, if it only creates an artificial social divide?
Keep in mind that I am not endorsing any specific position here, just observing these socially constructed political correct norms.