Offense taken too easily


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Stephen Colbert is a well-known and popular comedian on Comedy Central, who was recently the subject of quite a bit of controversy.

For those unfamiliar with his show, the basic premise is he pretends to have a conservative viewpoint in order to mock those views.

The trouble started with a tweet sent out by @ColbertReport, the Twitter account affiliated with the show that said, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

A large group of people on Twitter called this tweet racially insensitive, which inspired them to create #cancelcolbert, which, of course, got even more people to chime in.

Of course one of the people to eventually put in his two-cents was Stephen Colbert himself as he made a few clarifications. The tweet in question wasn’t actually written by him. The @ColbertReport Twitter account isn’t his personal account, but one maintained by Comedy Central.

The tweet was a reference to a joke made in a show where he was mocking Daniel Snyder’s Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation for trying to draw attention away from the racially insensitive team name, yet including the racially insensitive name in the title of the organization.

Though it appears Snyder may have been successful because, as Colbert pointed out, there has been much more focus on his joke than the actual racial insensitivity he was mocking.

This underlines a major problem in both social media and elsewhere. We’re offended far too easily. Colbert was not attempting to be racist; he was attempting to mock racism. Even if the intent had been racist, I still don’t think trying to shut his show down is the right move.

Phil Robertson from the show “Duck Dynasty” made incredibly offensive remarks about homosexuals and African-Americans. While I certainly don’t approve of what he said, I don’t agree with A&E’s initial decision to fire Robertson.

He had a right to say those insensitive and ignorant things, just as I have the right to choose not to watch his show because I think it consists of nothing but ignorant red-necks acting like idiots. I might find his comments insensitive, however, I’m not offended by them, as I didn’t expect much from someone with limited intelligence.

Words aren’t the things we need to be outraged by. Actions can be far more offensive than words could ever be.

Consider Chris Brown. This man savagely beat up an innocent pop singer, yet still has legions of fans leaping to defend him. He doesn’t show a bit of regret, labels all those who criticize him as “haters” and acts as if he genuinely doesn’t understand why people are upset.

I am much more offended and outraged by his actions than by any joke or insensitive and offensive comments people have.

How many people remember that Tim “the Toolman” Allen used to be a massive cocaine dealer? The only reason he makes crappy movies and TV shows instead of serving life in prison is that he ratted out all his friends for a reduced prison sentence.

Probably one of the worst crimes committed by these beloved celebrities was by Sean Penn. That’s right, the Oscar-winning humanitarian used to be a violent drunk in the most extreme sense.

He once tied his then wife Madonna to a chair and beat her for several hours so severely that when she finally escaped and ran to the police they didn’t even recognize her as the famous singer.

People spend so much time looking for something to be personally offended by, whether it’s a supposedly insensitive comedian or an actually insensitive reality star, they tend to forget there are much worse things to actually be upset about.

I am far more outraged by people like Chris Brown, Tim Allen or Sean Penn than I will ever be by anyone who makes insensitive jokes or comments.

People are free to say whatever they want, but when they start committing crimes and brutal acts of violence than their freedom ends, or at least it should.

Michael Rauser is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].