February 18, 2010
It has been on my mind for some time that your editing is flawed. I appreciate that you are probably newer writers, but that does not excuse some of the poor writing I’ve seen. I want you to write more intelligently – be thorough, investigate and don’t make unsubstantiated claims.
I am going to pick on Shane Cronin as an example, though I do not think he is alone. In his editorial, which was presented as being anti-bigotry, he got carried away and did the deed himself, and I, in his words “found the ignorance on display cause for reflection.”
Racism is based on the idea that there are prejudices and gross inaccuracies in making broad statements about a people because of a skin color, or race. Shane says “I’m going to make a bold statement: white people, my experience has led me to conclude, do not often socially integrate with people of color.”
And this: “UMass enrolled 863 African American students during the fall 2009-2010 academic year. It enrolled 770 during the academic year a decade prior. That is an average growth rate of fewer than ten black students per year enrolled. Those figures don’t strike me as being particularly ‘affirmative.’”
Shane and friends, I would like to point out some flaws here. First, you are calling out a particular student, as well as white people in general to stop making racial statements, followed by your own racial statements. Second, get your terminology right. In one paragraph, you talk about African-Americans and blacks. Just pick one and stick to it until there is a reason to change terms. Also, in this paragraph where you count the number of African American students, you fail to mention a very important thing – that the category African-American students does not include people of mixed race or other minority people of color. It is a flaw in our system, but I think it is also a flaw in your writing to repeat the error.
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that we have major racial lines drawn in this nation, and that the university has done a poor job of integrating women, people of color and transgendered students into the system, and I am pissed off about it. I also agree that we need to think about our words and what they mean. Racism is not just white people fearing black people; it is any person acting in a discriminatory manner towards another based on the other person’s race, color, nationality etc.
While your experience may not be one of racial integration, it is unfair to make a statement about all white people. I would remind you that while it is a complicated fact, it is white voters who had the majority of votes and got Obama elected.
In reading your editorial I went from intrigued to disappointed. It sounds like your heart is in the right place. Please, in the future, think three steps outside of your comfort zone. I think you will find some scary truths, complicated answers and some very good writing there.
I must agree with several things that Alex Perry said in his “The Party of No” article. Former President Bush and Republicans have taken much blame from those who are critical of American politics, Congress’ lack of meaningful progress and the current state of our country. The GOP has indeed worked hard to halt the progress of the Senate’s health care bill; perhaps for good reason.
I disagree with Perry when he says that Democrats are to blame for the, “failures of this administration.”
Yes, I believe that they have tried to go too far left on many issues and I believe they have failed to listen to the public. That said, I believe it is clear that both sides of the aisle have failed to work together on much of anything recently.
Americans want improved health care and they want it reasonably priced. Who wouldn’t? Many wanted universal care, but it seems that even more did not. A true compromise is in order and the fact that none is in sight is evidence that Congress is failing us. This is one example of dozens where party politics inhibit progress.
With midterm elections around the corner, we can be sure our politicians will say all the right things. They will campaign hard and incumbents will prioritize re-election over much else. Progress is likely slow even more as a result.
So who is really to blame for the recent failures of our government? It is those who forgot that politics is about public service rather than power.
By: Nick Savell (UMass student)
I am not quite as outraged as many are about the raise for Chancellor Holub. It seems absurd that during a recession we give the Chancellor a raise, but he has had to deal with running the University despite the economy.
The only thing that I ask is that he keeps the fees for out-of-state students, like myself, right where they are. Governor Deval Patrick’s new budget is going to bring more than $20 million into the university. The new budget will hopefully lessen the burden on out-of-state students, or at least keep it as it is. I think it is outrageous to make students from outside of Massachusetts pay so much, especially after an increase in federal funding.
Ross Bernhardt (UMass Student)