Points addressed

Responding to Mike Hick’s letter entitled “Racial Slurs,” I would like to address a few points. First, I recommend that before committing yourself on paper, be sure that the opinion you express is logically cogent. Name-calling is not an act of racism, it is one, in this case, based on a prejudice, belief or attitude. Racism infers that some group or individual consistently exercises power or control over a group or individual of an ethnic group different from their own, and uses such power to the demise of said group or individual. So, to call someone racist without the evidence of the consistent exercise of power is an unsubstantiated charge.

Addressing your comment that if “six or seven white men were yelling … commentslike ‘black bitches’ this whole campus would be in an uproar,” I would like to challenge you to your claim. Let me inform you that as a general rule, black students experience racism and prejudice (such as this type of name-calling) regularly. I assure you that most of such events do not hit the front page of the newspaper, as you assert.

Even if your assertion could be supported, name-calling (in this instance) is certainly not a case of “reverse discrimination.” Furthermore, who has championed a cause for blacks, Native Americans, Latinos or any other group of people that has dominated the news and caused an “uproar?” Turning to the comment: “It offends me just as much to be called a honky … as it would a black person a nigger” I wonder how, in your lily white existence, do you know what it’s like to be black and be called a nigger?

Responding to the claim you make that “this guy is probably a lobbyist for black rights,” shows your own prejudice by denigrating the integrity of those who are truly concerned for black rights, as well as the rights of others, who do not participate in, promote or tolerate racial prejudice by or against anyone. Further, by assuming as you have that because he is black, he “fights for equality,” you lump all black people together into one category. It is this kind of stereotypical tendency that leads to the very kind of prejudice about which you speak.

Finally you say, “we are trying to equalize the races.” What are you doing to bring equality in the face of an unjust world?

Before making any further ill-based assumptions regarding the motives or intentions of this writer, let me say that I, by no means, agree with instances of racial prejudice, acts of discrimination or racism, no matter who or what color the perpetrator. In instances when such prevails, it is up to those who are truly concerned with this problem to counter it responsibly. Thus, it is important that when we make claims, we do so on well-based ground, rather than lodge erroneous supposition and pass it off as truth. Otherwise, such miscalculations will only lead to further perpetuation of the very attitudes and behaviors you “claim” to denounce.

J. Knight

Adult Continuing