Fear of outcry

On Saturday night (Oct. 12), my friend Jason was walking by VCB with his girlfriend when he was blindsided by a cane. He turned to confront his attackers—about 10 men. He was struck twice more before two men came to help.

Jason escaped with two black eyes; the others were not as lucky. One was stabbed, the other brutally beaten. As this assault occurred, six or seven women taunted and jeered the victims.

Why did this happen? Because Jason and the other two victims were white; their attackers were black. Never would I expect such a thing in DeKalb—I figured we had overcome all that racist stupidity since, after all, the buzzword at NIU is “diversity.”

It was apparent the black men were waiting for an unsuspecting white man to stroll by because many blacks passed by without incident. Jason did not provoke them and neither did the two other victims.

Were they in the wrong place at the wrong time? I don’t think so—they were in a heavily traveled, well-lit area of campus.

The funny thing about this event, however, is how it went unreported in The Northern Star. Does our paper fear a racial outbreak? Why should it—NIU is such a “diverse” campus. Why would anyone construe such an occurrence as racist? Perhaps it is because we play up our being “diverse” that such unnecessary events occur.

If we worked together as “students” or “Americans” and not play up our differences to such an extent, maybe there would be peace. If there was a white student union on campus, all hell would break loose. Out of sheer sensibility, such would not occur.

Everyone should have an equal right to attend this university, regardless of their race, creed or color. But by being a student at NIU—or as an American for that matter—one is open to criticism. Racism has no place at NIU—criticism should not reflect race and neither should its interpretation.

Being different is good but only if we see ourselves as Americans first, not as blacks or whites. We need to realize we depend on each other for survival. Pride in one’s heritage is commendable but not if it is held over everyone’s head.

I’m disappointed The Northern Star did not mention Saturday night’s event for a week—I fear it is because such a story would stir racist sentiment. Maybe it is time to stop editing the news for fear of public outcry.

Jason is okay, but the other victims may not be. For their rights—as Americans—their story should be told, regardless of how racist the incident was. Ask the guy with the knife wound. He’s not thinking too highly of diversity these days.

Mark Linke


Political Science