Opinion column: Outraged about the outrage

By Elie Dvorin

Oftentimes, the role of an opinions section is to give significant column space to topics that simply don’t deserve any column space. These are called non-issues. Last Wednesday, two out of the three columns were dedicated to the same non-issue – a chalk drawing outside Allen Hall depicting a woman with a penis along with the words “Tranny Surprise.” For the record, if I was walking in Allen Hall and came across a band of nude leprechauns riding unicycles, I wouldn’t think anything of it.

I know that this University is ultra-liberal and oversensitive, but this seriously crosses the line. It’s difficult to even keep a straight face while pretending to be angry, yet alone outraged, as the editorials appeared to be.

Let’s be honest. When I opened the paper and read about the chalk drawing, I did a very reasonable thing – I laughed. It wasn’t a knee-slapper, but it elicited a chuckle. To all of those readers who responded in a similar fashion, this doesn’t make you a homophobe, a bigot or a supporter of hate crimes. This just means that medical tests will conclude that you have a sense of humor.

Political correctness is running amok on this campus and we need to do something about it. We can start by putting this “hate crime” (as described by the staff editorial) in perspective. For one, the identity of the sketcher is unidentified. It could’ve been a transsexual or a transgendered person for all we know. Secondly, a hate crime is characterized by its motives. We don’t know the motives of the person who drew this, as there was no value judgment placed. For example, it didn’t say “I hate transsexuals” or use a derogatory word like “fag.” It simply read “Tranny Surprise” and, hey, some people like surprises. The other day, while walking to class, I passed a chalk drawing that read “Let’s Get Retarded … ” After reading the concocted hype on Wednesday I expected to also come across a flurry of columns speaking on behalf of the Mental Health Association demanding that the hating be ceased.

Indeed, we have a moral obligation not to discriminate against LGBT people and to treat everybody with respect, but nobody can force acceptance of anything on us. And this is where the gay rights movement and the University have gone too far. I, for one, am sick of being labeled a bigot every time I disagree with some oversensitive, politically correct nonsense.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

The double standard here is so obviously ridiculous that it hurts to have to even explain it, but as educator to the masses, here it goes. A drawing of a naked woman near Allen Hall would be considered immature or childish (If you’re Monet it’s a masterpiece.). Strap a penis onto that same drawing and it’s a hate crime. Write the words “F*** Bush” with urine and you’re a political activist. Write the words “Tranny Surprise” with chalk and you’re a bigot, homophobe, vandal, hater – the point is that you’re bad and should go to your room.

For the life of me I cannot understand how a rational person can be upset over this incident. I think those offended by this chalk drawing are simply looking for something to be offended by and believe that picking a fight is the right thing to do. The real problem is that they want to force their views on everybody else and tell us what we can think and when we can laugh.

Contrary to what the editorials would want you to believe, we are on an extremely tolerant campus. As I mentioned before, we do have to treat everybody with respect, but we don’t have to be so blinded by political correctness to believe that this drawing is hateful. Unlike those greatly offended by this drawing, I’m not going to tell you what the appropriate response is. I’m not going to tell you that you’re a bigot and that your refusal to go crazy over this insignificant drawing makes you evil. Your reaction is your choice. Tolerance is a two-way street.