Alec, before I begin, I’d like to say that this is not an attack on you, but on your harmful and racist views. Your article last week struck me as very interesting as you touched on a topic that I am particularly passionate about. I hope that you don’t take this too hard ... or if you do, I honestly do not care.
To me, the main underlying topic of your article reads as one defending the first amendment: the fundamental right of freedom of speech. However, as you have done before in previous articles — which I will not get into right now — you make this most recent piece about the protection of the freedom of speech, which in this country is dominated by white freedom of speech. You make the claim that Black Lives Matter activists are attacking this freedom, at least in regard to the Wesleyan Argus piece (which I have read by the way). I can tell you, as a black man, this piece along with your response quite frankly disgust me.
For one, the article in The Argus has the nerve to say that the Black Lives Matter movement is at least partially responsible for the high-strung state of race relations in the country, when since the inception of this nation, the killing of black men and women has been deemed more of a sport than a crime. The Black Lives Matter movement is just the most recent reaction of a people fed up with the streets being painted red with our blood. This has been proven from Emmett Till to Freddie Gray.
But back to the crux of the issue: Just in case my statements above were not clear, it is the freedom of speech of minorities that has been and continues to be threatened. Not, as you imply, those of white people. In fact, as the majority in this country, the rights of white people are the least threatened of anyone.
What you see as white rights being attacked is a case of your white privilege. Allow me to elaborate. As the oppressor, you see the equality of other races as an attack or a diminishing of your rights, when in reality it is simply just gaining equality for those that have been oppressed for the entirety of this nation’s existence.
The groups that had The Argus op-ed removed were also using a combination of civil liberties. The result of these liberties is the right to protest. Which, whether you choose to accept it or not, is a right that is not exclusive to the white majority of the country.
Is it really that appalling to you that those who have never had any of their rights taken from them, be asked to be censored by people who found The Argus article offensive? Those same people have the right to stand up for themselves and the things they ally themselves with. This is 2015, not 1955. Those offended by oppressors have the right to voice their opinions much to your chagrin.
The target of your anger seems to be misdirected. It seems as though you are more mad at the president of the student assembly for signing the petition. You paint it as though she had no choice but to sign, that she was a victim. But in life we always have a choice.
You go on to say that “to destroy its press runs and call for its defunding, however, is neither tolerant, nor inclusive, nor likely to promote justice of any kind.” To this I ask: When has this nation been tolerant, inclusive or wanting to promote justice of any kind? Black people in this country are incarcerated at more than quadruple the rate of whites, but only constitute 13 percent of the population, compared to 77 percent who are white. Those who created the petition did so in a peaceful manner, something rarely afforded to black people in this country.
So please, Alec, for your own sake, acknowledge that people were offended by this article enough to stand up against it, respect the democratic process that you appear to hold so near and dear to your heart and please, stop choking on your white privilege.
TITUS ADKINS is a College junior from New York, studying philosophy. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. “The Titus Touch” appears every other Thursday.Comments powered by Disqus
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