Thursday, November 17, 2005

Email Incident

I just received another ememo in my inbox. This time, it's about a hate email. The chancellor wants to assure us that "[s]uch hate-filled words do not reflect the values of this campus community."

Good, I suppose, but what about the recent queer hate grafitti on a bench? What about the anti-asian graffiti in the downstairs UMC restrooms? Why was someone told not to discuss her sexual harrassment case? Why, when someone wrote a lewd message on an RA's door, it was investigated fully, and with forensic experts, but when someone writes "learn to like dick you fucking dyke" on a (straight) woman's door because she has a "safe zone" sign up, nothing happens?

Why is it that these "efforts to build a welcoming and supportive environment for all members of the campus community" 1) only seem to occur when there is a bias-motivated "incident" and 2) only seem to be aimed at the black population? (With all due respect and sympathy to Ms. Gebre-Michael and other members of the black community... but you're not the only ones.)

Why is it that these ememos seem to be damage control; a way to (try to) avert further scandals, rather than tools to actually discover the root causes of the incidents? (That's not the same as figuring out whodunnit... cops can do that just fine. The administration at this school should be examining _why_ these occur in the first place, and working to end them.) Why do they only come out after the press gets involved?

Why do I feel that, to paraphrase Mr. DiStefano, such hate-filled words _do_ reflect the values of this campus community?

Because change doesn't come because those in power say it does. Change comes when you and I make it happen.
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