Political Correctness: Essay, Research Paper
The University of Southern California:
The Teddy Bear Massacre
Like so many other traditions, the combustion of the bruin was put on the chopping block late. The long running University of Southern California spirit activity consisted of throwing a big stuffed bear in a bon fire the dark before the football game against their challenger, the University of California at Los Angeles. The Black Student Union and other pupil organisations late questioned the event. Their concern was that the event excessively closely resembled past lynching of African Americans in the American South.
This raises the inquiry of whether it is appropriate to ban thoughts that are non created to pique certain groups. Political rightness, the implicit in ideal, is the & # 8220 ; peculiar set of attitudes about the universe that its advocates keep should be actively promoted. & # 8221 ; [ Clark 369 ] Advocates of political rightness, or Personal computer, had good purposes in inventing the thought, but it has serious defects. Although political rightness was founded with good purpose, it does more injury than good.
The most noticeable illustration of injury is how Personal computer proponents seek to delight everyone at the same clip. The combustion of the bruin was merely one of many activities held during the hebdomad before the large UCLA game. The thought being that everyone could happen something that they could place with and beat up around their school. If the combustion was deliberately created to stand for or suppress the pained pupils, the event would hold been banned long ago. However, as Matt Hutaff stated in his column in the Daily Trojan:
& # 8220 ; It s about school pride. It s love for the things that brought the university to where it is today. It is traditions that define a school ; it s pupil organic structure and its heritage. Strip the school of its traditions and all you have is a school that isn t deserving beat uping behind. & # 8221 ; [ 5 ]
In pacifying one group, it seems the university neglected another group. It seems that the lesson that one can non delight everyone all the clip still needs to be learned.
Another lesson that needs to be learned is to run into violative linguistic communication caput on alternatively of concealing from it. This can non go on, nevertheless, if the college is sheltering us from it. It is the responsibility of the university to learn us how to populate in the existent universe. How are they traveling to protect us from what we do non desire to hear out at that place? The reply is they can non, and the sheltered persons are left unprepared to face existent universe state of affairss that will pique them. As Irene Clark points out, an article by the National Association of Scholars & # 8220 ; asserts that it is the function of higher instruction to enable pupils to cope with contrary or unpleasant thoughts and that to screen them from such thoughts will be damaging in the long run. & # 8221 ; [ 373 ] Unfortunately, there are bad things in the universe. There is no manner to alter that. Ignoring them will non do them travel off. Finally the sheltered must confront them. If a school hides these things from its pupils, they will be unprepared to face them.
Even if Personal computer advocates succeeded in their end of extinguishing violative actions and linguistic communication, they can ne’er kill the thoughts behind them. In private these thoughts can turn and maturate unbridled. In public, the wrongdoers can be identified. When forced to conceal these thoughts, the wrongdoers will still show them in secret. When these people are allowed to show their ideas and sentiments in public, the remainder of the universe is able to watch what they are making. If they are non cognizant that they are being violative, they can be told, besides.
As Irene Clark provinces:
& # 8221 ; whether or non we agree with address codifications, such codifications, explicitly or implicitly, are non wholly new, nor do they forestall racialist or male chauvinist thought in private. & # 8221 ; [ 372 ]
As Clark stated earlier, Personal computer is non a new thought. Assorted societal motions have tried to implement this restraint before. It has non worked in the yesteryear and it is non deriving much land today. A
s John Ellis provinces in Clark s book:
& # 8221 ; we can inquire that people who want to take us through the phantasy yet one more clip foremost confront the lessons of history that show how black politically correct thoughts have proved to be. & # 8221 ; [ 378 ]
Personal computer was brought up in the past and failed. Its public presentation today is merely as bad. It seems that history repetitions itself.
History Teachs us other lessons, excessively. One lesson is that our state is non perfect, and it makes errors. For illustration, Native Americans were forced to go forth their land, and so the authorities sold that belongings. The Native Americans were treated like cowss in the name of imperialism, and the state called it & # 8220 ; God s will. & # 8221 ; These & # 8220 ; Indians, & # 8221 ; as they were called, were my ascendants. It bothers me that my authorities could make such a thing. Should I protest a March or similar event? It really closely resembles my ascendant s predicament, but it is non about repression of Native Americans. Our state made many errors in the past, but we have all learned from them. We should non maintain re-experiencing and agony from them by fearing every resemblance to the original act.
This brings up the fact that the combustion of the bruin has merely a obscure resemblance to past hate offenses in the South. The resemblance would be more violative if the plaything was of human signifier. This is a teddy bear in inquiry. It is absurd to compare the personification of a plaything animate being to past offenses. An interesting fact is how the combustion does non take to violent actions against any existent bears. If either of these happened, so there would be cause for concerns.
For the defence of Personal computer, nevertheless, the statement that the violative linguistic communication is deflecting does hold value. However, the job with this statement is there are many things in life that are deflecting. The best manner to get by is to larn how to last the hurtful address and violative actions. Gwen Thomas, a community college decision maker, says in Clark s book that we have to learn pupils how to cover with adversarial state of affairss and how to last violative address they find injuring and hurtful. [ 393 ] It may be deflecting, but if we do non larn how to cover with hurtful address we will stay in concealing which could harm us more.
Other things less related might come under onslaught every bit good. The following likely campaigner to be cut is Tommy Trojan, the mascot of the school. As Matt Hutaff inquiries from a fabricated point of position of Tommy:
& # 8220 ; I m impossibly flexed in every musculus a warrior, and male. Sooner or subsequently, that s edge to catch up with me. I ll likely be melted down Lumpy they ll name me, the mascot of bland, retiring and uninteresting icons that stir no emotion in anyone. & # 8221 ; [ 5 ]
All it would take is one pained individual and Tommy s being is in hazard. Nothing is sacred, and anything can come under examination. As Hutaff worries, what will we hold to beat up around, and to hold pride in? I hope we do non acquire that far.
In his book, 1984, George Orwell wrote of a state, that eliminated all & # 8220 ; unneeded & # 8221 ; words and actions. This authorities even went every bit far as to seek to command idea. I am afraid that the Personal computer motion will some twenty-four hours try this sort of act. I am besides worried as to where this run will stop. Personal computer has already overstepped its original sphere and attacked an act remotely related to the violative actions Personal computer was designed to contend.
The best thing to make now is for the Personal computer proponents to step out of their state of affairs and see that regard goes both ways. We can non hold everything manipulated to delight each of us. When something offends us, we need to inquire ourselves if it is violative to anyone else. We besides need to larn to confront our frights, and larn to cover with Acts of the Apostless and linguistic communication that we do non like. Let us non take the same way past coevalss have taken. Let us take the good with the bad alternatively of disregarding the fact that the bad does be.
Clark, Irene L. Writing about Diversity. Chap. 7: pp. 369-404.
Hutaff, Matt. Traditions Shouldn t Need a Return Policy. Daily Trojan: Sep 11, 1997: pp. 4-5.