by Concerned Crusaders in the Black Student Union
Dear Stephan Duncan,
The Black Student Union (BSU) read your piece in last week’s paper “Racism on Campus?” and were confused about the intentions of your article. We understand that you are a weekly contributor to the Eggplant section of the Crusader and what entails of being an Eggplant writer—that being sarcasm and comedy. However, we were unable to concur which part of your article was designed to be humorous. The content of your article did not manifest laughter or deep reflection within us, only befuddlement. Although we recognize the point of your articles are meant to evoke humor and reflection, we believe the jokes, wherever they are, could have been executed better with precision and clarity. “Racism on Campus?” is filled with potential but the piece could have been written with greater care and acuity toward sobering issues that have affected this campus and by extension, the American society.
For instance, when you mention Don Lemon’s statistic that follows “72% of African-Americans are born without fathers” we thought it was distasteful. You adequately introduce a topic of concern within America; however, we are troubled that this part of your article is bereft of information that may deem crucial to the understanding of the potentiality of a child nurtured by a single parent. We feel your audience may wrongfully believe these children of unwedded homes are pathetic.
A good comic, like Dave Chappelle or George Carlin introduces an issue and presents viable solutions to the problem or their perspective on how to remedy the matter, all under the spectrum of comedy and reflection. Simply stating that there are 72% of Black kids without fathers and that you are a racist for loving your father is not an effective demonstration of the issue apparent. We think that perhaps you are articulating the concerns of individuals who are privileged to have been nurtured by two wedded parents; and that perhaps those who are products of households “without fathers” are shaming their peers of two parent households. Don’t. No one should feel sad or resentful for situations that they cannot control. There are many cases where individuals have flourished in their community and later their vocation despite having one parent. Though the statement is true, it is not detrimental to the viability of Black children’s potential and thus should not convince anyone to apologize for having two parents.
Stephan, though we do not know you personally we are going to assume that bigotry has not affected you the same way it has affected persons of color. To confine bigotry to something that can be contracted as easily as a common cold is nonsensical. Racism is more like catching genital herpes, a life sentence. To develop herpes means an individual did not take necessary precautions and did not listen to their parents during “the talk”. This failure to synthesize the advice necessary to live an existence blissfully has led to a life-sentence of pain and despair.
There is not a cure for genital herpes; rest, tea and Vicks rubbing ointment will not be sufficient remedy for something as serious as this. Comparing racism with that of a common cold suggests that it is tentative and that perhaps not at all burdensome. Racism is a disease which, if affected by it, will never cease to affect you; it is something that will remain in your system however clandestine or minute.
Stephan, by now we desperately hope you understand that the crisis of “scholarly proportions” is not a product of some individual’s over sensitivity or perhaps others’ propensity to draw false comparisons, but within the context of your article. We are not trying to impede your right to speak freely on any matter; your audience simply desires that you reflect deeply before publishing your thoughts.
Concerned Crusaders within the Black Student Union