Dennis Liu ‘22
There is a Ted Talk I watched for a class that’s always stuck with me. It was by renowned journalist Jorge Ramos. The talk was entitled “Why journalists have an obligation to challenge power.” And this one quote from Santos on neutrality and the purpose of journalism was especially powerful to me:
“I’ve learned neutrality, silence and fear aren’t the best options—not in journalism, nor in life. Neutrality is often an excuse that we journalists use to hide from our true responsibility. What is that responsibility? It is to question and to challenge those in positions in power. That’s what journalism is for. That’s the beauty of journalism: to question and challenge the powerful.”
Whether you write for “The Spire,” or for your job or internship, you have an obligation to do your topic justice. If you are writing about someone in power, it is your job to hold them accountable. That is the purpose of journalism. Without accountability, how can things get better?
This concept of holding those in power accountable is personal to me, because I have spent a large portion of my life letting others get away with things they shouldn’t have. I have let myself become passive and stepped on by the foot of injustice. No more. I am done.
What is and who has power? Power is the person sitting pompously on a chair, leg crossed over their knee, slouched to the side, laughing at others without a shred of empathy. I think that is power. And I am sick of that person. So this is me, holding them accountable.
During the spring of 2021, I looked outside my window from my room on the fourth floor of Alumni. It was a beautiful day where purple College of the Holy Cross lawn chairs, donated by alumni, were being passed out for free to students. And I saw an unidentified student steal one of the chairs and run away with it.
To that student, I ask: What is wrong with you?
Those chairs were free. Those chairs were donated. All you needed to do to get one was sign-up on myHC and ask nicely for a chair. But you took the time to steal one and run away.
I have many questions. Why? Who were you trying to impress? Why did you have to ruin a nice and sunny spring day? Do you hate sunny days? Was myHC too complex for you to figure out? Who raised you? Is purple your favorite color? If so, that doesn’t make you very special on this campus. Why run away? We live on a hill: even the athletes get out of breath. Why make this so hard for yourself? Just, why?
Anyway, nobody lives in fear, because nobody cares, because all you did was steal a chair. But I saw. And I have this much to say: I also, do not care, because literally all you did was steal a chair.