Calling Out Discrimination Doesn't Make Us 'Too Sensitive'
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Calling Out Everyday Injustice And Discrimination Doesn't Make Us 'Too Sensitive'

It's important to remember that in the fight for social justice we cannot normalize casual racism for the sake of friends and we cannot normalize misogyny and sexual misconduct for the sake of the artists we admire.

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Calling Out Everyday Injustice And Discrimination Doesn't Make Us 'Too Sensitive'

Lately, any glimpse of the news is unsettling: a government shutdown, sexual abuse accusations against R. Kelly, debates over border control and tax cuts that benefit the wealthy. In our society, every newest scandal or political blunder is a headline, and if you spend too much time reading up on current news it's almost impossible to not feel that our country is spiraling into a collapse of some kind. On both sides of the political and belief spectrum, many take to social media to express their viewpoints on each new situation. Some post cries of outrage and demand that their voices be heard and that justice be served. Others sneer that we have developed into a hypersensitive culture that can't handle a joke. Do we really need to toughen up, or are people just uncomfortable that blatantly discriminatory and oppressive comments are no longer tolerated?

People who tend to hold more conservative viewpoints also tend to say the same things. Casually dropped "N" words, sexist jokes, and homophobic comments are alarmingly prevalent in circles of straight, white friend groups, especially when men are involved. Still, most of these people would not consider themselves hateful, and are always quick to defend themselves whether its by saying "no one who uses the 'F' word is actually talking about gay people" or "it makes me more uncomfortable to say 'N' word so I just say the real word" or "chill out it's not that deep." These are only a small selection of the ignorant defensives I've heard when I've challenged a poor "joke." Our society has progressed and given many powerless victims a voice, but a large number of people who don't have a concept of what oppression actually is still think that to end the racist, sexist, homophobic dialogue we have casually used for so long is a step too far.

Sometimes it is hard to know where to draw the line, especially when it seems that every time I look at my phone another beloved artist, actor, writer, or prominent figure is accused of something horrible. Still, it is important to remember that in the fight for social justice we cannot normalize casual racism for the sake of friends and we cannot normalize misogyny and sexual misconduct for the sake of the artists we admire.

Comedians Aziz Ansari and Louis C.K. were both outed by the #MeToo movement for misconduct of varying degrees. While Louis C.K. faced public disgrace for masturbating in front of multiple women without being asked to, Aziz was criticized by a past date for being too forceful and pressuring her to have sex. In the case of Aziz, many may argue that the Me Too Movement has gone too far, but Aziz was a self-proclaimed feminist who performed many skits that addressed the creepiness of men, so his actions seem hypocritical and disappointing. After his fall from fame, his return to the spotlight attacked those he considered to be "overly woke" and he did not seem sorry, only persecuted. Similarly, Louis C.K., a man who has expressed himself to be anti-Trump in the past and who has always portrayed himself as self-aware, did nothing but trash "sensitive" liberals after he was exposed.

Our society is not becoming too sensitive and we do not need to grow a thicker skin. For the first time, those with some kind of power are being called out for the ways they mishandle it, and they don't like it. The only way to continue to level the playing field and empower victims is to continue the conversation on these previously normalized issues and to hold people accountable when they cross the line. However, in situations like Aziz's we can ask people to be self-aware and to apologize in a meaningful way, and then accept and understand that anyone can grow or change. The way to invoke change is not the condemnation of every person who makes a mistake, but it is also not okay to write people off as overly sensitive. Education, conversation, and empowering those who have been harmed will pave the road to a better society because it doesn't stop here.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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