Listen: Kara Bledsoe '16 on Campus Speech and Inclusiveness
WHYY's RadioTimes: The campus speech debate
The term “political correctness” has been revived in the past year, highlighted primarily by events and reactions that have taken place on America’s college campuses. Today, we talk with local university students about speech on campus, inclusiveness, and the highly charged incidents that led to the increased tension among two conflicting ideologies. We’ll be joined by Alec Ward, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, and Kara Bledsoe, a senior at Swarthmore and host of “Afro-Radio” on the school’s radio station.
"This idea that a student of color is required to educate another person on why their actions are offensive - I take issue with that," Bledsoe says. "Having lived this experience, I know that it gets really tiring, frustrating, and difficult to have to continuously defend your hurt and your pain. Trying to put this situation in a purely rational, 'let's have a dialogue' [context], that makes a lot of sense. But when it becomes necessary for you to try to convince someone why wearing blackface is hurtful and to explain that history to them... If I have to take you all the way from ground zero to where I am now, that is a lot of work and a lot of labor on behalf of students of color."
Kara Bledsoe '16, a black studies and engineering major from Memphis, Tenn., is a member of student government and the host of "Afro Radio" on WSRN.