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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Bias does not fix bias

The events of this past weekend were, to say the least, quite disturbing. They became so out of control to the point that extremely disparaging and demeaning things were written about individuals of the Grinnell College community. I in no way condone or support those actions. They have hurt so many people in a way that can never be undone. I am concerned, however, that groups and organizations are being incriminated where individuals, acting in their own right, committed these acts. This ensuing assignment of blame is very troubling.

Unfortunately, hurtful and generalizing statements aimed at such groups as Grinnell College male athletes as well as, more specifically, the Grinnell College Football Team have been expressed profusely. If every member of either of these two groups organized, participated, and/or was aware of the extent of the vulgarity and hurtful nature of what was written, I would not object to these broad statements, but this is just not true. Should we convict an entire group for the actions of a few?

This incident is generally being termed as a bias-motivated incident, a classification I could not agree with more. But should we meet bias with more bias? Should we meet ignorance with more ignorance? By pigeonholing an entire organization or group that some of those individuals happen to belong to, are we are doing any better than they did? Is that not how hurtful stereotypes and generalizations start, when the actions of few are generalized to many? Should we not hold ourselves to higher standards than them by striving to be more thoughtful and conscious?

—Curtis McCoy ’10

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