May 16, 2003

Equating racism and homophobia

To The Editor,

The anonymous author of the "Campus Homophobia" article unfairly implies that racism on this campus is a moot point. This is based upon the belief that it is a social taboo to refer to a black student as a "nigger." The fact that racism is no longer as overt as the open usage of disparaging terms in no way correlates to the general acceptance of racial diversity on this campus. Within all minority issues on this campus, it is merely a matter of how you prefer to engage the hatred. Do you prefer to be told to your face that you are not accepted, or do you want it in a more subtle, politically correct manner? In both instances, the minority becomes estranged from the majority. This is due to either the complacency of the former or the intolerance of the latter.

No righteous cause for the sake of minority issues has ever been furthered by denigrating another. Asserting the existence of an underlying hypocrisy in the acceptability of the terms "nigger" and "faggot" undermines the integrity of struggles for racial equality. This is tantamount to a disenfranchised suffragette pleading her case by stating, "Why am I restricted from voting if it is acceptable for blacks to vote?" Let the mores of respecting alternative lifestyles and benevolence towards fellow men be the fundamental basis of your argument; you devalue two righteous causes by comparing racism to homophobia.

I also implore victims of discrimination to disregard the negative consequences of stepping forward. Situations like these will never be resolved as long as the victims of intolerance remain a nameless, faceless mass. For the sake of any minority community facing oppression, it is essential that a courageous few sacrifice individual comfort (in the form of anonymity) for the betterment of situation and enlightenment of all.

Samuel L. Owens

Third-year in the College