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The Northerner

Students should avoid offensive rhetoric

Jessica K. Long

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To the editor,

As a concerned student, I would like to respond to the letter published Nov. 12 and written by Joe Wanninger entitled, “Racism is not just a white issue.”

I am sure that many readers, much like myself, felt that this letter was very offensive and was obviously a strongly sarcastic, opinionated letter with no factual basis. I can say with certainty that after reading the letter I was extremely thankful that it was not a reflection of the beliefs of all Anglo-Saxons in regard to racism.

“Ms. African American freshperson” was the first overtly offensive reference made in Mr. Wanninger’s letter.

Although the author may not have realized the offensive nature of this label, it was blatantly disrespectful, just as it would be equally as offensive and disrespectful if I were to repeatedly refer to Mr. Wanninger as “Mr. White-biased authorman.”

As educated college students, we should know that making such statements is degrading and demeaning.The author’s statement suggesting that blacks are more racist than whites and are more likely to get away with their racist comments was a generalized, hypocritical, unintelligent misconception.

Although it was not the first instance, this bitter and disgusting denunciation further discredited the possibility of viewing this author as being impartial and informed in regard to race relations as it affects blacks and whites.

Perhaps the only accurate statement made by this writer was that “culpability lies in all sides.”However, this is overshadowed by comments which were reflective of his biased and defensive stance as a white American.

Unfortunately, he (like many) has been misinformed about the abolition of slavery as being a step taken by whites in order to recognize “the error of their ways.”

Emancipating those enslaved was in fact an essential step in the struggle towards equality; however, in no way did the vast majority of whites abolish racism or recognize and take responsibility for the fallacies of this horrendous institution.

Racism will only cease to exist when we all learn to speak without offending and listen without defending.

In the future I would advise those that wish to address issues as controversial as race to think before they write and to have an educated, unbiased, informed professor/advisor revise their letters in order to prevent authors (such as this one) from making himself/herself look like the exact person that he/she claims not to be.

Jessica K. Long Junior Spanish/ Fine Arts

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Students should avoid offensive rhetoric