Comedian Patrice O’Neal’s performance last Friday in Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium should be considered an embarrassment for everyone involved.
O’Neal’s sophomoric, lude, inappropriate style of comedy has no place at a university attempting to create a safe, accepting environment for all students, regardless of sexual preference, racial or economic background.
O’Neal insulted anyone from the audience he chose. He mistook the ethnic background of University President Michael Rao –– and implied his background would give him insight to terror attacks against the United States –– and said “Look at this lesbian … everyone knows lesbians run school newspapers,” to a Central Michigan Life staff photographer.
We fail to see the humor in hateful statements such as these.
This type of gender and racially oriented attack comedy directed at the physical audience has no place at CMU. It creates discomfort for the person under ridicule and members of the group as a whole. O’Neal should never have been brought to CMU because his material is contradictory to the core values the Office of Residence Life –– which oversees On the Fly Productions –– stands for.
Comedy about ethnicity, sexual preferences and politics has, and can, be presented in a tasteful manner. On the Fly Productions and Program Board should have chosen a more appropriate comic for the community built on diversity and acceptance that CMU is attempting to build.