March 30, 2004

Letter to the Editor: Response to K. Oluwajuyemi, GTA

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Kathy, I understand your argument completely. Personally,I’ve always felt that I was entitled to rule the earthbecause of my white penis (you know, that “white” and”male” privilege you speak of). In today’ssociety it grants so much power and opportunity, and demandsrespect from all.

If you’re looking for an apology from today’s whitemen of the world, then here you are: we’re sorry. Weapologize for all acts of oppression dating back to the 11thcentury. We’ve oppressed genders, races, religions, andeverything else that appeared “different.” Yup,we’re a bunch of bastards, through and through. Has the whiteman made poor moral judgments in the past? Of course, along withany other group who has ever held power. So why don’t we alljust apologize for the acts of hate our ancestors committed datingback to antiquity? Greeks should apologize to Persians, WesternEuropeans to the Italians. Let’s have our Japanese exchangestudents carry the guilt of Pearl Harbor and don’t forget toresent German youths for their Nazi ancestry.

To be honest, Kathy, I have no idea how difficult it must havebeen to be a slave in the 18th and 19th century. No movie or bookwill ever allow me to walk in their shoes; the most I can do isempathize. The most you can do is the same, so let’s save thesympathy attempt. You weren’t owned by whitey in 1850, and Iwasn’t a slave owner, so what is it exactly you want thewhite people to feel guilty about? How exactly are we racist? Youthrow the term around so freely. Because we won’t carry theburden of guilt accredited to our founding fathers? Why should we?Society has progressed past that, or so I thought.

Do you really believe the white man is trying to dominateAfrican-Americans? White men are standing in the defendant’sbox every time there is a conflict of race or sex. Black colleges,black scholarships, black awards, BET, extra tax breaks forcorporations hiring a minority – is this our attempt of control? Ablack privilege seems to be treated as equal, but a white privilegeof the same type is considered racist. If a black extremistorganization wanted to march on campus and Ramsey ruled NO, howmany complaints of bigotry do you think the university would get?Yet it’s okay to tell a white group, “Sorry, youcan’t speak here.”

I don’t want the KKK on campus any more than you. But whenthey do come, like so many other students, I will choose to ignoreit, just as I did when Sister Souljah gave a lecture. Save yourfinger pointing for actual racists, not a newspaper staff arguingabout constitutional rights and their flexible interpretations. Theconstitution may have been created by slave-owners, but thecontents allow you (and me, with my infinite whiteness) to openlydiscuss anything we see fit as equals, which we are. Let us notforget that of all the victims of whiteness, whites have killedmore of their own race than any other. We even shed ourkindreds’ blood trying to make right the freedom taken fromslaves in the United States. With this said, I would also like toapologize to all the white people who white people have killed. Weare obviously self-oppressing, too. Damn our white phalluses andthe trouble they have caused. After all, that is what was “sograciously bestowed upon [us] at birth” that created thiswhole mess. Will it ever stop getting me into trouble?

 

C. Westmoreland
Junior, English

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