A.S. Concerts and Events recently announced an on-campus film screening of “Straight Outta Compton” on Facebook. The lack of a discussion of the film’s controversial themes on racism sparked anger among students. Some students suggested that asking for such a discussion is, in a sense, too “politically correct.”
We Need to Talk About Treating Marginalized Groups Thoughtfully
The heart of political correctness lies in the relationship of the media and issues of racism, sexism and similar discriminations. The lack of a discussion of the “Straight Outta Compton” film themes on racism struck controversy among students. Some students suggested that asking for such a discussion is, in a sense, too “politically correct.” This further demonstrates that hatred for political correctness does not fall far from resistance toward discussing pervasive issues in American society, such as racism, even given a film screening about just that.
The major point of contention in political correctness regarding comedy is that “jokes are jokes.” But as Roxane Gay explores in her book “Bad Feminist,” jokes aren’t merely jokes when they casualize and fuel toxic issues such as rape culture, particularly when they normalize sexual assault as a typical occurrence by “normal guys” who merely made mistakes.
Although the film screening doesn’t focus on sexual assault, this shows how the media can promote a culture of violence. Jokes normalize the idea that rape and racism are not problems serious enough to avoid laughing dismissively about.
Ultimately, we need this conversation to emphasize that political correctness is not an “agree to disagree” phenomenon but rather an ongoing dialogue dedicated to analyzing how our words represent underlying oppressions existing within American society — oppressions that, unlike jokes, cannot merely be ignored by various groups of people who lack such a privilege.
— QUINN PIEPER Contributing Writer
It’s Impossible to be Politically Correct Enough to Please Everyone
Even if the A.S. Concert and Event planners decided to hold a public forum about the racially charged film screening of “Straight Outta Compton,” it would be impossible to please everyone. The discussion could potentially follow the nasty Facebook trend of inciting more anger toward each other as some students feel underrepresented in the discussion while others feel stifled by the need to be politically correct. It is important to consider how different minority groups feel when comedians make a mockery of their sub-cultures but, at the same time, encourage people to speak their minds.
According to The Washington Post, President Obama recently said that, while he doesn’t agree with many of the offensive words and actions of others, he believes that college students must develop a thicker skin and argue with them instead of silencing them because we’re “too sensitive to hear what [they] have to say.” Compromises must be made on both sides. We must be mindful of the language used to describe others, and on the other hand, we must differentiate between speech meant to hurt others and unintentional jokes not meant to cause pain. Individuals should have the freedom to do what it is they desire until it impedes on somebody else’s right to freedom.
Our world is filled with a multitude of personalities, and as human beings struggling through life, we must be mindful of the struggles of others. While you shouldn’t live in fear of causing offense, it is important to be mindful of the way your words and actions impact others with different backgrounds and life experiences.
— ALEXANDER CHEN Contributing Writer
ASCE Should Not Be Rebuked for Screening a Controversial Film
It is ridiculous that today being politically correct has taken over our ability to communicate with one another and express our opinions. Seventy-one percent of Americans believe that political correctness is a problem, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey. With comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, satirical renditions of being politically correct on television shows like “South Park” and even President Obama weighing in, one has to wonder if we as a society have gone too far in being “PC Enough.”
The concept of being politically correct to the point of excess is no stranger to the UCSD community. Recently, A.S. Concerts and Events have come under fire by some students for their upcoming showing of the movie “Straight Outta Compton.”
Some students are angry that a mandatory speech after the screening to discuss the racial implications of the film has not been scheduled. Although it comes as no surprise to anyone on the UCSD campus that a dialogue on race relations desperately needs to be opened, should it really be done after an event that was created solely for entertainment?
The question is not whether being politically correct is right or wrong. We, as college students, are becoming politically correct to the point of ridiculousness. When student-sponsored events are attacked and criticized for not implementing mandatory educational talks in order to discuss the events of a film, there is a problem. College students must understand that not every word, joke or differing opinion is meant as a personal attack, and we must learn to pick our battles.
— MEGAN MONGES Contributing Writer