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Are We All Just Too Easily Offended?

I don't know if it's just me, but every news story I read today is another tale of people getting bent out of shape. Have we built a culture of super sensitivity, or are there just so many things to object to nowadays? To the evidence!

  • Barack Obama's campaign has just persuaded a delegate to step down after she was ticketed for describing her neighbor's children's behavior using the word, "monkeys." The kids were playing in the tree next door to her house. According to police, the woman "came outside and told the children to quit playing in the tree like monkeys." The woman says she didn't want the children to get hurt, and she even calls her own grandchildren "monkeys." Why the ticket and her banishment as a delegate? The children were African American. Obama's campaign called her use of the word monkey "divisive and unacceptable."

There's more offensive evidence if you'll just


  • After Absolut Vodka's "In An Absolut World" ad showing Mexico taking over part of the US, people are now calling for a boycott of the liquor. According to the movement's website, they're fired up because "the ad's message to the Mexican audience is "In an Absolut (ie [sic] Perfect) world, 1/3 of the US is returned to Mexican control." Just wait until they get a look at Absolut's brand new ad targeting the gay and lesbian drinking population.
  • At a Texas middle school, a student fulfilling an assignment for history class, "to make a protest sign for or against an issue," chose illegal immigration. The sign she made following the assignment's directions read, "If you love our nation, stop illegal immigration." News of the sign got passed around lunch and angered a group of Latino students — who assaulted her. When she went for help, she was ordered back to class and told she could not call her parents. Her father is calling the incident, "a racially motivated crime."

Are we caught in an ever accelerating loop competing to see just who's more offended? Of who can "reject and denounce" the quickest and loudest? I know I've hit you with three stories that might strike you differently — I'd love to know if you think some are valid points of contention, and some are examples of how we're all just too darn touchy.

Let me know — I promise I won't be offended.

Join The Conversation
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
And the girl being assaulted for making a poster those kids should be arrested, and yes that was an racially motivated crime!!
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
I don't about her getting fired but describing her neighbors children's behavior as monkeys is inappropriate. Maybe she should be fired because that was a racially motivated statement.
Mary_Sofi Mary_Sofi 9 years
I think people are incredibly oversensitive. I'm South American, and there are tons of Latino stereotypes out there, and I don't take offense to any of them. I just laugh them off. I have a few American friends and I find that they are oversensitive when it comes to certain things, like when I jokingly point out that America is a continent and not a country, and therefor they should call themselves "Unitedstatians," and they react as if I was being disrespectful. I find that I have to choose my words wisely whenever I comment on something.
lindzn lindzn 9 years
i think some are way too over-sensitive but you have to be careful as some people will sue for anything -i.e. the mcdonalds law suits! Those Absolute ads are genious!
ladychaos ladychaos 9 years
*Waits for a brown person to comment on race issue* Oh...maybe I should. First: yea, there are racial slurs, but depending on who's saying them, is going to depend on how its going to be taken. Did anybody bother to see if there was a prior history of tension between the lady and her neighbors? Also, on the Obama might as well all start berating me beause I'm just coming to terms with the fact I'm part Cuban. I didn't grow up in a traditional Cuban household, but at the same token, I still know that I'm Cuban. Just because you may not be what is expected of your race, doesn't mean that your heritage can be robbed from you because society doesn't think you're worthy. I absolutely hate talking about slavery, however, when there was slavery, and the explorers of the world, do you think that after they forced their beliefs on native inhabitants and Africans? I mean there are plenty of people who don't grow up with one or more of their cultural identities, however, that doesn't mean they can't celebrate their heritage. I seriously hate it when people who cannot identify with certain racial issues, such as the identity crisis that many of us who are mixed with 2 or more ethnicities face. It's not easy: I'm Cuban, Black, Cherokee, French and Irish, and trust, since day 1, blacks, whites and even latinos (I don't know any Native Americans personally), have disowned me because I was "different". To this day, I get blacks that come up to me and say "quit trying to front like you're not black". Its called ignorance. Those of you stating stuff about Obama and his "identity crisis", seriously need to shut up because that stuff is offensive. If only you knew what it was like being the one that stood out for being's not far from being the unpopular kid in class...except its not because of being a nerd, instead its because your parents are of two different ethnic backgrounds.
MaraJade06014 MaraJade06014 9 years
I do think that people are overly sensitive! Jeez, I can't count the number of times I have called a little kid a monkey, especially my little brother who is three. Give me a break! Our society has created a monster where anybody can sue anybody for the stupidest things and make millions. Now everyone is so concerned about being politically correct they are afraid to say anything at all. Where will the madness stop? Pretty soon we are going to loose the right of free speech because it is too dangerous and might offend someone. In the end I think people need to get over themselves and stop blowing things out of proportion.
Suckafish Suckafish 9 years
Thank GOD! Finally I am aware that I am not alone in my beliefs that America as a whole is becoming an oversensitive EMO nation. As we go on, the more we destroy our culture, who we are as Americans. Im tired of sitting around wondering if Im offending someone, SCREW that! Im offended by everyones offensiveness!
Geisha-Runner Geisha-Runner 9 years
People do need to get over themselves. Ok, you get offended. That's between you and that person. Not the whole freakin' world! You got a problem with me, you come talk to me. Not a lawyer!
txgrl9687 txgrl9687 9 years
I know this may be old news now, but the girl who got "attacked" at school for making an immigration sign made her attack up. They showed a video on the news of her walking down the hall scratching up her face and arms to make it look as though she were attacked. Not sure what her motivation was for doing this but the girl needs some serious therapy. Just thought you should know the truth before you feel too sorry for her.
thorswitch thorswitch 9 years
It's not that you can't say the word "monkey," but because of it's historical use as a slur against blacks and a way of equating them with the monkeys in Africa, its likely that it will be taken as a racist slur. If you're referring to people from just about any other race, though, it's generally not a problem since it doesn't have the same historical connotations to it as it does for blacks.
libre1 libre1 9 years
thorswitch - Really? I never knew that. (Not American). (sits here absolutely blown away) - so you can't say the word monkey, basically?
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
Oh, and the girl kind of lied about being attacked over her immigration poster. I hope Citizen will post an update on this issue!
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"i dont see an officer giving a ticket for disorderly conduct unless there was some kind of threat involved." Exactly. Obviously this woman is presenting the story in the most flattering light, and the actions of the unbiased police officer says more to me than what she has to say.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
The worst are the people who are always screaming racism.
thorswitch thorswitch 9 years
Libre - "Monkeys" is a demonstration of "derogatory language implying that because of the person's race, they are inferior, or the speaker is superior" because it is frequently used by racists to imply that blacks are no better than the monkeys in the jungle, and that black should "go back to Africa" where they belong. In my experience, it's generally considered to be one of the most offensive term's that can be used towards a black, similar to "the N-word," just not as well known.
Aleemk Aleemk 9 years
Everything has become a little ridiculous with the PCing of everything. The thing that I will point out is that Absolut's ad got the job done. If you did not know Absolut before then you sure know it now. Eventually the specifics of the ad will be forgotten, but the name may stick in your head. And for the people that do not find it offensive or do not care either way, that name will still be in your head when you go to the store and pick a bottle up. As for the Obama issue, I understand that he has to be careful of who supports him publicly because it is a representation of him. However, with that whole ticketing and then having the person step down almost makes him look racist or hypersensitive to anything not PC. What is going to happen when he tangos with other nations that do not sensor things? Will he take offense or is this just a campaign issue?
ABear ABear 9 years
I doubt Obama has ever been around a group of children if he thinks calling a child a monkey is a long-shot. Red, yellow, black or white...all children act like monkeys.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
I hate how every little thing gets turned into something offensive. I think the Absolute ad is funny, and I call my husband and a good friend of mine's kid monkey all the time. I had no clue it was a racial term. As for the girl in TX, I really feel that it was the teacher who made a poor choice in this assignment. She knew it would bother some students in the school. I can't think of a single protest sign that isn't going to offend one person or another.
We are way too sensitive. Or...maybe not. I think a lot of people like to start s*it to have their say on something, or be witty, or "brave" or whatever else they think they'll get by calling someone out on the most random BS. That little girl did nothing wrong. As for calling kids's a word that people use to describe wreckless or playful actions when you say someone is acting like a monkey. How in the hell can someone be like oh yeah, ANYONE saying "acting like a monkey" to a black child is obviously racist. Obama needs to get off his race trip. He is biracial, we know it. It doesn't make him better or whatever, and he has no right to start flinging the whole everything is racist BS around. Honestly, I know wayyyy more racist african americans than white people. He never says anything about THAT side of racism. Ugh, he pisses me off.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Blah blah blah. I call everyone a monkey. Dogs, kids, my boyfriend. We're all monkeys over here :OY:
DarkRayne DarkRayne 9 years
Name calling can be ticketed? It would be interesting to hear the 911 call on this. "Hello police, my kids just got called monkeys by a deranged neighbor, get over here quick, she might be dangerous" !
ghostgrrl ghostgrrl 9 years
Why is the Absolut ad, targeted to a Mexican audience, written in English? Maybe this is a publicity stunt.
samantha999 samantha999 9 years
YES we are too far on the PC side of things. Its not being sensitive or over sensitive its being immature. Never heard of sticks and stones. It is not sensitivity but fear that provokes all of this. If I say something you do not like you will sue or assault me. We are in a world were we have learned if you hurt my feelings I will sue you for the emotional distress. Lawyers love it and we grow more pathetic with every legal suit filed because someone hurt your feelings. Boo Hoo! As for Obama - he threw his grandmother under the bus for speaking her mind and basically patted his evil pastor on the head instead of taking him down. He can be whatever he wants to be black, white, bi-racial but he still won't be a man. Just grow a back bone and tell people what you think - be honest and maybe the world will be a better place and on less Prozac.
kitson1 kitson1 9 years
and my point was, yes, we are too sensitive today for all the wrong reasons. lol I should have spit that out sooner
kitson1 kitson1 9 years
Let me tell you, the tides seem to have turned. I am a white female who attends a predominantly black college. I have to walk on eggshells around EVERYONE, including my white professors, to make sure I don't say anything that could remotely be considered a racial slur. But when I'm walking down campus, the only thing I ever hear out of the guys is "she mus' be a strippa...girl, what don't choo cum ova lookin' like a pornstar, sexy...etc." Pardon me for having to spell it like that, but that's the only way to describe it. I have sooo many black guy friends that are not disrespectful in the least to women--they are wonderful boyfriends and husbands and don't feel the need to catcall every female that walks past. So why do some feel the need to prove that they can talk to me however they want without having a word said back to them without it being a race crime? I just want to be able to defend myself against sexual harrassment, but if I do, at this school at least, it's a race issue. So I get to just put up with being yelled at like a piece of meat, and there's not a damn thing I can do to stop it.
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