Admit problem

I would like to address a few of the points that Andrew Krenke made in his recent letter to the Editor.

One of the things that Mr. Krenke said was that he has been a victim of racial violence. To quote him, “For those of you who don’t know, there is nothing more scary than someone attacking you for the color of your skin.” Although I personally have never been a victim of racial violence, it has touched my life. When I hear my parents or grandparents speak of the numerous accounts of racial violence and humiliation that they have encountered and endured, it makes me literally ill. Most of the incidents that my parents and grandparents went through took place in the past.

However, the pain and terror will be with them until they pass on. I am not trying to minimize Mr. Krenke’s situation. But, I come from a generation of people who have been violently attacked, past and present, for no other reason than their skin color. I do not need to be told about the scariness of racially motivated violence

Mr. Krenke went on to say that “… white students should resist the temptation to act on this violence … we should all admire the restraint that Mike Hicks demonstrated when his group was slurred by a black greek member.” I must reply by saying that the racial violence on this campus is a result of years of ignorance and misunderstanding by all of the students. We all should “resist the temptation” to resort to violence as a way of solving our problems.

Instead of admiring the restraint of Mike Hicks, I will admire the restraint of Martin Luther King Jr., a human rights activist who preached nonviolent protest at a time when black people, his people, were being denied basic human rights. I admire the restraints he used when blacks, and in most cases, black males, were being humiliated, beaten and tortured because of the color of their skin. I admire all of the minority students at this school who endure subtle and not-so-subtle forms of racism each and every day.

Another “interesting” idea that Mr. Krenke stated included the notion that certain traditionally black organizations are “… more united and organized to react to violence than the white community …” Mr. Krenke went on to insinuate that because of this, racial violence would “escalate.” I had to wonder what in the world made Mr. Krenke believe this ludicrous concept. I finally decided that Mr. Krenke suffers from “stereotypitis.” Blacks are violent by nature, right? Wrong! Mr. Krenke has been watching too much T.V.

Mr. Krenke suggested that the SA cut the funds of traditionally black organizations on campus because of “abuse” of these funds. One example of this “abuse” that Mr. Krenke cited was “… the numerous series of black on white violence occurring after black sponsored events in the HSC.” Surely, Mr. Krenke knows that the traditionally black organizations who sponsor these events do not promote or condone racially motivated acts of violence against anyone. And these incidents happened after the events were held.

Finally, Mr. Krenke blamed the leaders of the traditionally black organizations and Vice President for Student Affairs—Barbara Henley. Neither should be blamed for the racial violence on campus. We, unfortunately, live in a racist society. NIU is simply a microcosm of society. Racial tension has been a part of this campus for a long time. The fact that the tension is turning into violence is not surprising. The administrators, professors, students and leaders of most of the organizations on this campus have all seen it coming for a long time.

I am very troubled about the situation here at NIU. It is about time people started talking about the racism on this campus, even if it means my enduring articles like Mr. Krenke’s. Denying the problem has not been working. Peace.

Salena M. Gordon