‘Django’: Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

I have been told by some of my friends to not start this article with the “N-word.” As good an idea as that may be, it would have gotten the point across. You would have read that and re-read that, only to let the first six letters of this article bubble and boil around in your mind before you finally turned to your friend sitting next to you and say, “What the fuck is this?”

Of course, you would be correct in saying that it is never appropriate to use such foul language. Why on earth would anyone ever see fit to say a word that has been used for over 200 years to dehumanize a group of people? In fact, why do we not just ban the word completely? Let us act as if it never existed. Strike it from our vocabulary.

Isn’t that what Spike Lee wants?

Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” recently debuted, and it wasn’t long before people started attacking it. Why? Because that inglourious basterd, Tarantino, dared to use the “N-word” in a period piece about slavery. In addition to Spike Lee, a director who has been accused of being anti-Semitic and has forced people to move out of their house in order to live some twisted vigilante Twitter life, Katt Williams also jumped on the “N-word” wagon. Williams claims that Tarantino “has no right” to use the word. Personally, I agree. The word should never be used. That way, 90 percent of Katt Williams’ stand up would not exist anymore.

Movies can serve multiple purposes. In fact, media in general can serve many different purposes. They can entertain, provide an escape, educate or provoke a meaningful thought process. While Tarantino’s films are not known for the latter two, it is important to understand the context and meaning of the films before judging them based on their merits. “Django” is not meant to be a documentary. It’s also not meant to represent history accurately. You shouldn’t expect either if you’re seeing a Tarantino film. Spoiler alert: in real life, Hitler does not actually die in a movie theater. If people understand that, they should not be offended when they see this film. While it does contain some historically inaccurate depictions (such as mandingo fighting, or the human equivalent of cockfighting), it seemed as though most of the story stuck to the time period quite well. If people get offended by the use of weapons, the sight of blood or a few carefully chosen words, then do not see this movie, or move to a big city. You will be equally unhappy if you do either.

One question we should ask ourselves is where to draw the line. Do we decide that things that offend African-Americans should be censured? Or East Asians? Or students? Or vegetarians or people who sell things door-to-door or poets? There are a lot of people in this world, and they will all be offended by different things.

In this age of political correctness, something needs to be understood: nothing is acceptable. Absolutely nothing is acceptable. Every word you say will offend someone somewhere at some point in time. That leaves us with two choices. We either need to stop being a bunch of pussyfooted ninny-hammers, or we need to censor ourselves to the point of silence.

Jonathan Hilltier is a second-year English major. He can be reached at jonathan.hilltier@gmail.com.