Why are some academics so defensive about political correctness? Methinks they protest too much. Dave Barry says they are "intellectually constipated." Perfect.
*Regarding this issue, one of the things that is becoming increasingly clear is the fact "professional" historians don't like the fact that amateurs now have a forum (the blogosphere and more publishing opportunities) to publicly discuss historical perspective, challenge interpretation, and that even an amateur historian can point out mistakes made by the professionals. They fear the walls of their ivory towers have been breached. Some have even suggested those who disagree with their interpretations should be charged criminally. You would have expected those in academia who claim to be the guarantors of free expression and thought to have severely chastized someone who even suggested such a thing. The response was, however, extremely muted. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised.
The fact that some historians don't like the phrase "political correctness" (and even poo-poo the very concept--which is, based on the mountain of evidence, rather embarrassing), is further evidence that they don't like to be challenged. I believe their "concern" over the PC charge is because they are either complicit in the suppression of views and opinions which challenge academia's "official" interpretation of historical facts or, they fear speaking out on the issue in any meaningful way. What might their peers think? Of course, some have actually bought into the whole notion of politically correct history. Also, the PC mentality is often couched and subtle; giving the person plausible deniability.
When reading some of the comments made by the PC deniers, there is always an aroma of condescension directed toward the amateur or non-academic who would dare challenge the views of academia. Reacting to a challenge, the academic is always quick to point out the fact the challenger is a "non-academic" on "non-professional" as though their self-erected pedestal should shield them from having their views challenged and that someone who is not a professional should even be given any credibility. I don't believe they have any idea how condescending and utterly ridiculous such a notion is. I can't help but be reminded of Hans Christian Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes. Most readers will recall that the story centers around two weavers who promise the Emperor a new suit of clothes that only the "wise" will be able to see. The new suit would be invisible to the "unfit" and those who are "just hopelessly stupid." Sound familiar? But when the emperor first appears in public, it takes a child to have the courage to shout: "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" Arrogance and fear are blinding vices.
Knowledge does not necessarily impart wisdom. Reading, studying, and researching history and applying common sense and life experience to come to an interpretation is not rocket science, though that is what some would want us to believe.