The right to opine

Bolstering sensitivity is a daunting task.

Is it feasible to hope that someday, everyone on the face of the earth will have to think before he or she speaks?

Well, honestly, no. But that is the beauty inherent in being a member of the human race. We all choose who we are, and in doing so, create diverse people who are many different things. One of those things is insensitive.

Recently, students in the Black Student Union and MEChA were upset about certain activities planned for the upcoming Crimson Nights because they felt that the themed activities were insensitive toward their cultures.

Also, some students of the LDS Church expressed complaints about a cartoon published in The Chronicle that they also felt was insensitive toward their culture.

There are so many different ways people can offend one another, whether intentionally or not. And offending one’s culture is, perhaps, the worst way in which one can offend because it isn’t just about the color of one’s skin or if someone believes in God–it is about the very customs, behaviors and beliefs of a group of people.

But, try however one may, insensitivity is going to happen, and the most people can do is to look at the forum in which the insensitivity exists.

It is wrong to go out of one’s way to try to offend various cultures, but there is a difference between an opinion being offensive and a body that is supposed to be representative of the people who help fund it being offensive.

In this light, the episodes of recent insensitivity are different.

According to UPC director Eric Hu, the offenses were unintentional. As an acknowledgment that their actions were wrong, UPC took down posters and canceled events. What happened was wrong, and a lesson has been learned from the mistake.

The cartoon, however, was published in a forum of opinion. Though it may be insensitive, it is still an opinion, an expression guaranteed to us by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Being sensitive toward various cultures is something that we, as students, should be learning as we grow. We should also strive for change and improvement in the institution we help fund. But we should also leave room for opinions, because though they may be offensive, having one is a right that we are all fortunate to share.