My short college time was Hampshire College, Amherst, MA in 1990/91. Politically correct was born in the University system 2 years prior in the same town by one of the other 5 colleges.
The girls of Mt Holyoke (or maybe Smith?) borrowed from the US Military guidelines for engaging respectfully with diverse peoples and decided it would be a nice idea to introduce guidelines for liberal colleges to follow.
At the time, it was a nice idea. Civility. Safe spaces – I remember them 25 years ago there. Basically meant – leave them alone ’cause they’re weird and nobody minded.
Flash forward. Somewhere along the line, it went militant. Guidelines became rules and authoritarian. A backlash ensued. Polarity, and here we are. Welcome to the future.
The success of politically correctness resulted in the alt.right, which was born from within it. They caused the alt.right to exist. They use the same terminology: correctly in fact: This is proof of the success of politically correctness – but the success became a cancer (metaphorically), but as the original intent had gone astray long ago (I’d say mid-90s, but I have no empirical evidence so you can refute it if you like), it’s now just a war of words, which goes completely against the original intent, which was simple enough.
Rich white girls wanted etiquette for the new age. It was doomed to fail because they didn’t maintain the civility, which was supposed to be core.
I remember 18 yr old smug me saying this, gaining and losing friends over it:
“If you’re so tolerant, why don’t you tolerate intolerant people? Perhaps the people who call intolerant are more tolerant than you because they’re putting up with you calling them intolerant!”
So yeah, the genesis was there from the start. What we see today was inevitable.