Elephant in the room

Conversations surrounding representation are too hostile

Colleges are meant to be places of openness and expression. You are meant to find yourself and strengthen your voice. However, nowadays, saying your opinions paints a red X on your head. With the media, anything you tweet, post, upload and Instagram, will be found offensive by someone. And if you have done something unacceptable in the past and someone brings it out in the present, then people will put you on the stake and say you’re a terrible person. I find this to be quite… annoying. This mindset is antithetical to its perceived goals. If you want the world to be better, people need to be able to change. 

I sense I may be getting the same hate after this, but the following topic is important to me. 

I dislike the discussion around representation in the media.

Sometimes, television shows, movies, books, video games, add “X” character in to represent “Y” race or “Z” sexuality. Sometimes it is handled properly and praise follows; but sometimes, the cracks in the writing of said character don’t fully represent the group and people riot. And more often than not, whatever source it contains doesn’t get a full shake, with people choosing to look at this one topic over all else. 

During the month of February 2019, Esquire Magazine released their March issue with a white straight teenager on the cover, titled: “An American Boy.” 

Almost immediately, the internet blew up and attacked Esquire for releasing this article and cover during Black History Month. It got news coverage and people complaint to Esquire for not “reading the room;” but the editor of the article stated that it is a start of a series of growing up in American, representing  a white, black, LGBTQA and female Americans. 

Honestly, people need to listen to the other side of the argument. Once you have the full picture, then you can come to your own opinion on the matter; however, with the people only taking in the face value, people seem to be losing that communication skill. 

CNU, being a liberal campus, is open to liberal ideas and opinions, but with society and social media, it is hard to voice any opinion without either painting a target on your back or hurting someone in the process. It is exhausting to talk about.

Even writing this article, I feel like I have a target on my back. If you disagree I hope we can talk about it professionally. That’s what I want – a discussion on these topics.

~Felix Phommachanh, Staff Writer~

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