Donald Trump, Comedy, And The True Meaning Of Being 'Politically Correct'

Donald Trump, Comedy, And The True Meaning Of Being 'Politically Correct'

Donald Trump has said several times that he is not "politically correct", but what being PC really mean?
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If you watch a debate, read the news, or just live in America and are an active member of society, you probably will hear something polarizing that businessman and Republican nominee Donald Trump has said. He does not speak like a politician. If you hear his informality, his lax attitude on the stage, as well as his tone and heavy dependence on adjectives, you could see that he sounds like any other person with good speaking skills would sound, as opposed to Bernie Sanders' jerky, staccato voice or Hillary Clinton's calculated, smug approach. However, the media isn't up in arms about Trump's way of speaking; it's what he's saying that's doing the real damage.

Donald Trump has insulted women, Hispanics and Muslims, and that's just in the past year, and that's in public. Despite being the front-runner for a party that does the same thing, things like this haven't been said before so out in the open. The best way to describe it is what Jason Sudeikis said, impersonating Mitt Romney on Saturday Night Live: "We at the GOP, the party of the great Ronald Reagan, we do not say racist or sexist things. We imply them subtly over decades and decades of policy, so I felt that I had to take matters into my own tanned, well-manicured hands.”

In a Republican debate, Trump had said "I think the big problem with this country has is being politically correct." Wait. Sorry. I have to analyze one thing before I get back on topic: it's the "big" problem? So many problems this country has, and the thing that plagues us worse than all else is our political correctness? Is that going to be the thing you say you're going to do in your first 100 days in office, is stopping political correctness? I can see it already: "The War on Political Correctness." Yeah, you could call it "The War on PC," but I don't think the company PC would be too happy about it, and God knows you are looking for the interest of businesses first.

Sorry. Had to get that out of my system. As I was saying, Trump has made being PC a big problem, and one could only connect his rejection of this to be synonymous to his susceptibility to very honest language, even if it's not true. In turn, you can make the claim that Trump considers political correctness to be curbing language to be soft and general, while still not making any generalizations. For example, the phrase "they're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're bringing rapists," Donald Trump's PC converter would make it "illegal immigration can lead to many instances of trouble for our country." Words like "trouble" are soft, and words like "can" makes illegal immigration seem more like a risky endeavor that is only seen through in certain scenarios, being general without generalizing.

However, I don't consider this to be what Political Correctness is about, and while the nation is starting to discuss political correctness from now (and, with South Park doing an episode about it, you know it's definitely in the national discussion), I think it's time to really dig deep and find what being politically correct really means. What's the place to look? Comedy.

Last year, Jerry Seinfeld said he stopped performing on college campuses because they are politically correct and are quick to equip jokes with the words "racist" or "sexist." This is Jerry Seinfeld we're talking about, here. He isn't clean in terms of the Brian Regan's of the world, but he sure is no Anthony Jeselnik. What Jerry Seinfeld does make jokes about, along with 99 percent of other comedians, white males or otherwise, are about minority groups.

There are a few different kind of jokes, however, and, to make it clear, I created a graph for this:

In a world where white people have been talking about minorities just to put them down forever, watching Louis C.K. doing stand-up might make you squirm at first, but when you finish watching him and re-watching him, you realize that there really is nothing offensive. You could see a the title of Louis C.K.'s clip of "I Enjoy Being White," and things are not looking good, but you watch the clip and you actually realize that it's a criticism against white privilege. Intelligence like this is why Louis C.K. is one of the most critically loved comedians of the century, but it's also why he is one of the most controversial.

Then you take people who put down minority groups. Some people do it genuinely (see above), but the Stephen Colbert's of the world do it as satire of people who actually are genuinely racist. In this way, they actually poke holes in the same arguments that they're satirically supporting, giving us a better understanding of the prejudice we actually deal with in the real world.

I'll give you an actual example, this time from Bo Burnham and his song "Klan Cookout." The song from Bo's self-titled debut is from the perspective of a modern day Klu Klux Klan member and speaks about his beliefs and practices. There are some outright — albeit funny — put downs like "And if you're black/Don't want to see your face/They're like a high school track/Just a stupid race." However, there are also some subtle put downs to his own kind, like references to incest and nazism. Again, this seems alarmingly racist, but there are no legitimate claims for prejudice that exceeds what we've already heard, and in the end, we're actually just laughing at the speaker.

How does being politically correct fit into this? Being politically correct is putting all of these categories into the genuine downputting category. In other words, being politically correct is defending a demographic that doesn't need defending in response toward a comment toward that demographic that wasn't genuinely offensive. I think that, other than our generally accepting society, a reason that our country is quick to these labels is that we are a country that is more adept to being quick and not thinking over things too much. With Twitter, you can think of something, and it will be online in thirty seconds. Likewise, you can see a bit called "I Enjoy Being White" and label it racist without really thinking over what it really means.

And these bits aren't only okay; they're essential to the path to true equality. If we suppress any talks about race, sex, gender identity, etc., we also suppress progress. Ignorance is not a virtue when it comes to accepting of other people. If you are accepting of another type of person, you should be educated on those people because if you don't, it will lead to microaggression. And, in my experience, I have heard many more microaggressions than I have heard non-put-down jokes about minority groups gone wrong. If we suppress other people, if we prefer to stay ignorant, how much better are we than the ignorant people who decided to discriminate and start this whole thing?

So yes, Donald Trump is not politically correct, but not in the way he thinks. And when he talks about who is coming over the border, it's not just that he isn't politically correct. He isn't correct. These are people fleeing violence and poverty and want to start a new life here, in America, ironically called the greatest country on Earth over and over again by the same people who don't want other people to do so, and Trump labels them as criminals?

Political correctness, on the other hand, is something we shouldn't strive for because it's superfluous, exaggerating, thus the word "political." We should strive for a truer, more honest America, and by "honest" I don't mean bigots saying what they feel. I'm talking about the true consciousness of the sum of our beautiful, diverse country.

Cover Image Credit: http://intellectualconservative.com/americas-toxic-brew-diversity/

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.
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In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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Donald Trump's Sanctions Toward The Iranian Government Are Giving Us Painful Flashbacks To North Korea

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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The recent news is that Iran president Hassan Rouhani is willing to talk with Donald Trump and the American government about newly established sanction towards Iran. Three months ago, Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would exit the Iran Nuclear Agreement and threatened to impose sanctions on Iran nuclear in 180 days. Recently, Trump tweeted what could be seen as a threat to the Iranian government.

Donald Trump wanted to force the Iranian government to change their economic policy. There are a lot of domestic problems in Iran. The Iranian government is busy expanding their power in the Middle East. The government used to support the Syrian government. The Saudi Arabian government and the West, which supported the Syrian Rebels, attempted to stop Iran from interfering with Syria. The Iranian government worried that the Syrian governmental crisis would affect their political stability. The overuse of the financial budget has influenced economics, causing Iranian people to appeal the government to revolutionize.

Compare the North Korean Nuclear Crisis and the Iranian Nuclear Crisis and we can see Donald Trump's similar strategies. Firstly, Donald Trump has put in a lot of pressure of either country to force them to give up the nuclear plan and improve economics instead. In the North Korean Crisis, last year, Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un "rocket man" and Kim Jong Un condemned him "crazy."

After temporary language confrontation, Kim Jong Un gave and was willing to negotiate with Trump beginning in early 2018. As for Iran, Rouhani also laughed at Trump's policy and criticized Donald Trump's sanction to Iran which was not supported by the European Union. But the latest is that Iran officials are still willing to talk to the U.S. In the trade war with China, Donald Trump also exerted the pressure on China in order to negotiate.

Many people dislike Donald Trump. It is undoubted that Donald Trump's sanction has effectively forced the country to open their economy to a larger degree of freedom. In the Kim-Trump Summit, the U.S. government reportedly played a video that assumed the future of North Korea.

In Iran currently, the inflation is so high that the public wants the economics to be promoted and anti-America sentiment is expected to end. As Donald Trump mentioned, the aim of the sanction is not to overturn the Iranian government, but to let them rethink how to focus on economics rather than on political stability.

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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