South Park, the series notorious for making fun of everything and anything, took the show in a completely different direction in the nineteenth season, previous to the most recent. In having a legitimate story line and consistent theme, for the first time, it relentlessly satirized the cultural wave that has risen in our country in recent years known as “Political Correctness.”
Still from South Park, “Naughty Ninjas” (Season 19, Episode 7, 2015)
This was hysterical to some and outraged others as our country is polarized into those who are outraged by the PC culture, claiming it to be unnecessary and absurd, and those whom believe we must make serious changes to see equality and respect for all Americans, in particular minority groups. Although it makes the movement to be a complete joke, it reveals a lesson that everyone can take note of in building a more peaceful society on the current issue we see in regard to instances of police brutality and showing respect to those serving our communities.
There has been an open debate by those who hate the PC culture claiming there is a war on cops, but those on the other side claim they simply want justice for and end of people falling victim to police killings. South Park’s season 19 episode “Naughty Ninjas” addresses just that. Officer Barbrady is released from the force for his incidental shooting of a minority student; uproar and the decision that the police officers are no longer needed in South Park is the result. The town claims institutional racism has led them to marginalizing and harming innocent minorities, therefore, there is no place for them in serving their newly gentrified town.
As the lack of trust grows for police officers because of these instances of brutality and deaths the episode takes a shot, at what Dan Caffery in his piece reviewing the episode would call false empathy. The show is making a stand that people a part of the politically correct culture only care when it suits them to do so, harming anyone in their path. The more important lesson, however, to take from this episode is that there is a middle ground we can reach if we acknowledge it in situations like such.
Officer Barbrady is not a bad person, just like a majority of police officers are not, and the shooting is an accident in this episode to reveal the many controversial deaths seen in our society recently. When something is a clear crime committed by authorities then people have the right to seek justice, however, what is not right is to blame the entirety of cops as the same because of the actions of some. Our society could not function in security and peace without our law enforcement, and failing to show them the gratitude the institution as a whole deserves is sad. Without them working around the clock, every day, rain or shine, we would have civil unrest. At the end of the episode when there is nobody to keep the daily peace of the town they must turn to their police officers, which with pride answered the call to serve.
I will never understand fully the way certain minority groups who protest feel in regard to this, however, I respect them. The one thing I want for society, which this episode does a great job of addressing, is that we must continue to combat the injustices we see, but no matter how poorly they are treated there are more officers who have sworn to protect our lives and communities we live in, working for the greater good than those who have marginalized individuals; those are the men and women who deserve to be respected, rather than generalized with the others, because they will always be there and act in our best interest.
– Anthony Duran