By Daniel Johnson-Kim, Sports Editor
Political correctness can be a good thing.
But as most redundant sermons or lectures will tell you, too much of a good thing is bad.
One recent example of unneeded political correctness was Matt Worthington’s apology last Friday for comments he made in his speech about racial reconciliation on Jan 18.
Worthington stood in front of a body of students prepared to celebrate “Praise Friday.” And instead of singing praise songs, students were confronted by an apology that seemed unnecessary to most.
Including this half-Korean audience member.
The seemingly forced apology was for the portion of Worthington’s speech that read:
“We have seen groups like the KKK and the Black Panthers, and though we do not adopt their hate and anger…we do adopt their separatist behavior,”
Although it is true that the Ku Klux Klan and Black Panthers are in no way similar in the way they expressed or carried out their separatist behavior, anyone who can read a high school history book can discover that the Black Panthers were in fact a group of “hate and anger.”
Provoked hate and anger, but hate and anger nonetheless.
Worthington’s words were perfect for the point he wished to instill in the minds of his audience with this sentence: “seperatism is real, and these are two historical examples that prove it.”
Worthington should not have apologized for his controversial and convicting words because the apology overshadowed the effect it would have had on people who were moved.
Great speakers in the history of this country didn’t stray from controversy. And Worthington shouldn’t have either.
Would there be a Black History Month or Martin Luther King Jr. Day if Dr. King believed it necessary to apologize to the mounds of people he offended in the 1960s.
Would Senator Barack Obama be running for president if he apologized to his critics for the numerous anti-war speeches he has proclaimed throughout his career.
Of course not.
I am not placing Worthington’s speech, topic or audience on the same pedestal as King’s or Obama’s, but his apology just wasn’t necessary.
We should not be forced to apologize for our passions. We should not be forced to apologize for other people’s discomfort.
Discomfort promotes change. Discomfort is memorable.
We must face discomfort.A reworked version of the “aphorism” Provost Dwayne VanRheenan echoed through Moody Friday after the apology sums it up best.
“Sticks and Stones may break your bones…”
But no apology is necessary.