Letter to the Editor: In response to Robertson

Attention students (particularly white males): there is a nefarious “diversity cult” lurking in the administration of this college. They are bent on taking your money and power and giving it to racial minorities and LGBTQ members no questions asked Why? Because this institution (like all places of higher-education) seeks to foster dependence and childishness.

This is the world as Chris Robertson sees it; and his relentless search for the conspiratorial on this campus often approaches that of a schizophrenic. In his letter to the editor last week, he discussed the issue of what “empowering students” really means and how our tuition money is used to accomplish this. Robertson suggests that there are only two answers to the question of the definition of empowerment: one can be whatever you want it to be, and the other is lavishly throwing money at minorities and the LGBTQ community.

In his piece, Robertson says things that range from baseless speculation: “[empowerment] is money spent on advancing political agendas and paying a steadily increasing number of administrators at the price of students and teachers…,” to things that are downright ugly and disturbingly telling: “[empowerment] can be doing more for oppressed minorities on campus (one can’t help but notice their numbers multiply daily)…”

I am unaware of many things on campus, including the ratio of administration to faculty, their respective pay rates, and many other financial goings on. I challenge Robertson to go find and present this data in a true journalistic search for the truth, so graciously done pro bono by this uncompromising youngman.

I sense his pen hurtling towards me like an arrow already, but that is fair. This is, after all, a forum for scholarly discourse and public disagreement. So I’ll say a few more things.

I’m so sick and tired of people like Robertson and the many others (and when I say people, I mean like “We the People”, as in the White Men that the Constitution originally referred to) denying the existence of things like racism and white privilege in this country. I myself have been in some very uncomfortable head space lately as I, a white male, try to take stock of what my randomly assigned station in life means. Newsflash: I have prejudice! Everyone does! Admit it! Then go and talk it out with anyone who is willing to talk too. Don’t be afraid. I would highly recommend the HD 140 course: “U.S. Race Relations” taught by Glenn Jackson to each and every student here at BC who has thought about these things or has wanted to but has stopped out of confusion and doubt.

Make no mistake: racial and ethnic minorities and people of sexual preferences that skew from heteronormativity are at a disadvantage in this country. The “concessions” that are made to them,  in the form of affirmative action or “safe spaces” are petty attempts made by those in power to make up for the legacy of a system built for white heterosexual Christians. They are such tiny Band-Aids on the lashes of ten thousand whips and the bruises of hundreds of boot-heels. It’s a mess, and there have been hasty misapplications of money. But this idea of privilege isn’t to make you feel guilty, it’s to make you pay attention and think about our society and where it is headed.

Empowerment means the giving of power. And yes, some power is being given to minorities and LGBTQ members, because they have less of it and those who do have more have given up some. Is that a problem? Yeah, I feel empowered having gone to BC: it has changed my life, given me amazing opportunity and knowledge and I really love this college. I have been given power too, but for me it was adversity free because I’m White by utter random chance. This is how I feel. Don’t take my word for it, or Chris’. Get educated and decide for yourself how you feel about it.

 

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