This is something I wrote in response to my assertion that political correctness was from conservative think-tanks. I certainly would love to hear the blog entries of Barbara and the WilyPin@y and Leny on this topic.
The first time I met the term political correctness was in the early 1990's. At that time, a prestigious private university (I believe Stanford or Harvard) decided to drop the prerequisite for a "Western Civilization" course/s. This led to a reaction from the media that the tenets of democracy were under attack. Many college students of color (blacks, asians and latinos) wanted to fulfill writing requirements studying literature written by non-white authors. After all, if you are a Filipino who grew up in the United States without knowing what your culture was all about, you would want to study said culture. Since studying Greek mythology and the great works of Europe did not once show a Filipino playing a major role, I can see where as a Filipino student one could feel left out or irrelevant. (For example, we can get into how shows like Friends are set in New York, yet you will not see more than 1 Filipino in the whole of New York.)
As I recall, the newspapers called the movement to drop western civilization as "political correctness" or bowing down to the influences of the feminist movement, gay movement, and minority movement. The papers made it appear that said movements were being forced upon all students in colleges. The way I see it, if you are a gay college student, you might want to read more about gay literature more than let's say the history of Rome.
I just did a search on google on political correctness and origins and a majority of the cited websites come from conservative writers. One interesting thing in the US is that the conservative movement has allied itself with universities such as the Hoover Institute in Stanford University. These institutes are funding scholars to write journal articles that support and advance the conservative movement.
Now, why the necessity for conservative think-tanks? It is estimated that around 2050, whites will become a minority in the United States. This of course has led to a backlash with respect to trying to define what an American culture is. Since the first Americans were Europeans, obviously, there is an impetus to define "American" as being white. And before the different movements that I have mentioned, that is precisely what was studied in the colleges. The gay movement and feminist movement have made many whites very uncomfortable and so there is now a push and a desire to redefine what is "American."
A google revealed this link and this link.