Not every joke is going to fly with everyone

In response to the “article in last Friday’s Daily Illini”:https://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2012/02/uiuc_memes_instigates_debate_on_intolerance regarding U of I memes, I can’t help but wonder if as a society we have become so used to a politically “correct” system of thought that whenever something appears that strikes against our tiny little world views, we immediately see it as a chance to attack free speech. I’m not disregarding the fact that memes have stereotypes in them, but have we honestly forgotten that these are comics? Meaning comedy? I mean, if you’re going to argue that racially sensitive humor isn’t Kosher with the university, then hey let’s go a step farther.

Obviously you would then be in support of media censorship of anything not up to your politically “correct” standards, so let’s introduce a vote to the student senate to ban Comedy Central, Fox, Discovery, YouTube, Facebook, Cultural Studies programs, any book on race or culture and anything else you can possibly see as offensive. Let’s go further and make any non-PC statement punishable by either a fine, forced lecture on stereotypes or expulsion. Doesn’t really seem like something that an institution that values free speech would allow, does it? There’s a fundamental difference between trying to control a collection of humorous, if slightly racy, comics made outside of the Universities’ jurisdiction and remarks made in a classroom.

Not every joke is going to fly with everyone, but isn’t that what comedy is about? Everyone’s heard jokes relating to stereotypes; they’re a part of American culture. Everyone knows at least one that they’ve laughed at before, because we understand the idea and situation. If something got banned every time a group of uptight snobs got upset at a joke, we wouldn’t be able to function. Comedy would be limited to “So three guys walked into a bar and ordered drinks.” If we’re truly to be a diverse community, we need to be able to step back and laugh at ourselves.

The real world isn’t a sanitary, clean, lovey-dovey world, and if we can’t laugh at our own stereotypes, then we can’t really exist in modern society.

Aaron Lichamer,

freshman in DGS