Clean Up the Trash
October 28, 2011 • 592 views
It’s all fun and games until someone drops the n-bomb.
In the past few years students have flocked to event pages on Facebook to talk trash with other schools’ athletic teams. While the rhetoric can be lighthearted, the conversations have, on the event pages for games against Brien McMahon and Trumbull, devolved into racist tirades and class warfare. This has created a debate amongst students about the institution of trash talking.
Trash talking not only has the ability to bond students together, but it can also hype up the game and encourage a large showing and a lot of energy. Usually, trash talking is in good fun, and can be funny. However, we believe there is a line, and that line has been crossed by Staples students.
In fact, for the first time that we can remember, Inklings had to flag the article on this subject as containing explicit content. Derogatory posts that attack groups of people based on race, ethnicity, wealth, gender, or sexual orientation are, in reality, bullying. For example, posting the median income of residents in Westport versus a poorer town, as was done in the Brien McMahon event page, is not only irrelevant, but is also arrogant and mean-spirited.
Even worse than group attacks are individual insults. This is especially relevant when someone has not asked to be a part of the trash talk. If people get insulted on a trash talk thread, it’s an overreaction for them to attack anyone related to or associated with the original offender, like a girlfriend, a dad, or a little sister. Instances such as these may hurt people who just don’t want to be involved. Those who participate in the thread subject themselves to criticism, but targeting innocent bystanders is a form of cyberbullying, a consistent attack on an individual.
Trash talking should be a lighthearted activity, but some students are ruining the fun for everybody. Those who make personal attacks or use racial slurs are giving a bad name to the Staples student body.
However, we do not believe that trash talking should be banned. It fires up the crowd to support the blue-and-white.
Instead, students should be able to moderate their own conversations. When unsure of whether a post crosses the line, we propose the “face-to-face” rule. If people would not feel comfortable saying their comment out loud to an opposing fan, it is probably going too far.