The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the editor: We should not be complacent

Dear Grinnell,

There are issues on this campus that demand discussion and actions that need to be put in their proper perspectives.

As many know, incidents of hatred directed toward queer students have transpired over the past several weeks. This past weekend, I was glad to see discussion of these incidents spread. However, among the larger campus community, I have yet to see evidence of true outrage. Let this be clear: derogatory slurs were written on whiteboards and in blatantly public places; individuals degraded and attacked the queer community on this campus. And yet, too many people appear complacent. In fact, I recently watched a discussion among students trail off into a debate about appropriate levels of response and word choice while a strong resolution condemning these types of actions sat idly in front of them. Is this really the treatment this issue receives here? Are we truly worried about overreacting to an unprovoked vilification of our fellow students’ lifestyles? This is not some minor issue of self-governance, resolvable between those acting and those affected; this is a breach of contract between those acting and the entire campus.

Or am I wrong? Perhaps passiveness is the true reaction among the majority of students. Perhaps we do live within a campus where derogatory slurs such as n****r, sp*c or k*ke are considered relatively harmless and permissible. And for those who will try to draw a distinction, know that there is no difference between a word like f*gg*t and the words above.

While I hope our campus isn’t that insensitive, I’d like to end with a stanza from Maurice Ogden’s poem “The Hangman” for those who remain indecisive:

“For who has served me more faithfully
Then you with your coward’s hope?” said he,
“And where are the others that might have stood
Side by your side in the common good?”

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