Sunday, April 13, 2008

Public Support

The artist of this comic would like to express her support not for CornellWATCH’s bad taste in jokes, but for its author’s general level-headedness and ability to be reasonable, which are clearly not omnipresent. Which is okay, because nobody can be perfect. She would have liked to point this out on that blog’s comments reel, but it has been taken down due to the flame-war that has ensued. She, as a member of the Cornell community (and as one of the population on this planet), accepts Evan Mulvihill’s apology, and thanks him for it.

She is tired of any minority (even one of which she is a part) taking the opportunity to bash someone who makes a poorly-thought-out comment that can even tangentially be related to race or ethnicity. If everyone is so race-obsessed that they can’t discuss an inappropriate (even inappropriate AND race-related) joke without devolving into namecalling and assertions of racism on the offensive person’s part, then they are at least as racist as they’re accusing the offensive person of being.

The artist of this comic (is not white, straight, or Christian–and she’s also majoring in a hard science and) would like to express her frustration that anyone who is not a member of a minority is generally hamstrung from voicing any opinion about it by militant members of that minority who will not abide anything but positive, supportive comments from anyone. It seems that what people want is fawning over differences. “I am more entitled than you to be a horrible person, because I am ___(insert your favorite minority here)___” is a ridiculous mindset, and one that is altogether too present.

Yes, white people and their institutions have been and still are horrible to minorities. Yes, men and their institutions have been and still are horrible to women. Yes, straight people and their institutions have been and still are horrible to non-straight people. But if you’re against oppression, you’ve got to be against it in both directions, otherwise, you’re a racist/homophobe/heterophobe/misogynist/misandrist.

Working towards an honest, open public forum in which differences are discussed, but not definitive is the only way to surmount oppression. And ripping someone to shreds because he made a mistake is not the way to do that. Even if it was a very poor-taste joke. And especially after he's made it clear that his intent was not to offend.

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