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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the editor: Correcting unfounded allegations

This is a Letter to the Editor in a series of letters responding to last week’s Staff Editorial: From some other concerned Grinnell students. Find a list all the letters in this series below the article.

To the Editor,

I was taken aback and dismayed by the staff editorial in last week’s S&B, “From some other concerned Grinnell students.” The editorial, from beginning to end, was filled with inaccuracies and unfounded assumptions. Even the first words—“The leaders of the Stonewall Resource Center”—were misleading, as they implied that the actions we have taken have been SRC-backed. Naturally, many of the people involved in this effort are LGBTQ and/or are affiliated with the SRC, since the hate crime that recently occurred (as well as far too many over the past several years) targeted the queer community, but that hardly means that this is an SRC operation.

Much more fundamentally, the allegation that we are somehow exploiting the present situation to push some unrelated political agenda is simply absurd. What occurred last weekend was a hate crime, and the actions that we are taking are in direct response to the series of hate crimes that have occurred over the past several years—they are meant to be a part of the effort to prevent such incidents as far as is possible, and to mitigate their effects when they do occur. The suggestions that we have presented to the administration do precisely that. The claim that this is a “political agenda” that is being artificially conflated with the recent hate crime makes no sense, unless of course the staff of the S&B believe that preventing hate crimes and mitigating their effects is an invalid “political agenda,” and that by advocating for these measures we are “exploiting the emotional state of the campus.”

Lastly, the charge that by using the name “Concerned Students of Grinnell” we are somehow usurping the right of other students to call themselves concerned is frankly laughable. If this claim is valid, then the Feminist Action Coalition, the Grinnell College Christian Fellowship and indeed the Democratic and Republican parties must abandon their names, as they imply that non-members are not, respectively, feminists, Christians, in favor of democracy or in favor of a republic. I think that most Grinnellians will agree that such a stance is ridiculous, and it is no less ridiculous when applied to this situation. Our use of the word “concerned” hardly forecloses anyone else’s right to be concerned or to call themselves “concerned.”

This is a great college and a wonderful community. Some of us are trying to make it a safer and more positive place, and the S&B’s decision to denounce us with baseless allegations and cynical insinuations is a disappointment and a stain on the reputation of a historically excellent publication.

More Letters to the Editor from this week’s series:

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