Travis Porter contradicts Georgia College values
As many of you know, I have started a petition to keep the group of Travis Porter from performing at our make-up homecoming concert this upcoming Wednesday. Before you read this, I challenge you to look up his group’s lyrics – you can pick any song you like. I am doing this because I want to preserve the cultural values of Georgia College: reason, respect and responsibility.
The Yik-Yak incident was a shameful act that, in my opinion, does not reflect the values of the student body and University as a whole. After the incident took place, our campus came together to discourage the mistreatment of groups and individuals, which I am very grateful for. Unfortunately, we are contradicting such protests as we endorse and pay Travis Porter. If you have looked up the lyrics, then you know that they are beyond inappropriate and incongruous with our school’s values. With that in mind, I want to address a few challenges I have heard from other students.
First: “It’s ok because we signed a ‘clean’ contract with the group.” This argument can be deflated with a simple analogy. This is the same thing as inviting a renowned white supremacist to come as a guest speaker, but we told him to keep it clean. He could be teaching us all how to grow a sustainable community garden, but the truth is everyone knows what he represents. Besides, you can’t make those songs clean unless they are completely rewritten.
The second challenge I have heard is, “We are all adults. If you don’t like it, you can leave the concert.” This is true, but it’s completely irrelevant to my argument. The fact of the matter is that our school is against the objectification of women and sexual harassment, yet we are paying someone to encourage it. It’s about the school I love having a double standard. The debate was never about being mature enough to handle it. If you would like to hire Travis Porter for a private party, that is your choice, but I simply cannot have my University pay for a performer that directly contradicts everything we believe. Yes, we are all adults, which means we should know better than treating other people in a way that these lyrics promote.
I recently read the discrimination and harassment brochure found in many of the campus restrooms. Under examples of sexual harassment, it includes: “pressure for or forced sexual activity, sexual innuendos or humor and unnecessary reference to parts of the body.” I have not found one song written by Travis Porter that does not violate this policy. In short, I think it’s ridiculous and disappointing. When I was a freshman, one of the first things the school taught me was that it valued reason, respect and responsibility. When it said that, I knew this was the place for me. Today, I worry that our values are mere words. Someone recently told me that Travis Porter performed at Valdosta State University, and everything went great. You know what? We are not Valdosta State. We are Georgia College, a prestigious liberal arts university that puts the interests and value of people above our interest in music.