Letters to the Editor

Letter: Diversity benefits the majority

By
Thursday, October 8, 2015

To the Editor:

Your recent editors’ note ends, “We do not and will not tolerate racism,” but this begs the question: What are you actively doing to dismantle it? I mean, if you ain’t for us, you’ve got to be against us.

It seems many organizations at Brown and beyond think recruiting a few token people of color is enough. In 2008, for instance, The Brown Noser was still a predominately white male organization, for which I was writing political satire as a black woman. I was having some difficulty getting published, so I asked the editor, who’d written the entire staff about the general lack of quality in the work, for some feedback on mine specifically. The response I received called my writing “very good and funny” but said “it made the reader feel kind of bad about race relations on campus.” White tears.

Quiet as it’s being kept, diversity in organizations, in many ways, benefits the majority more than the minority. The majority can pat themselves on the back for making a quota and learning about other cultures without even applying for a study abroad. Meanwhile, students of color have been set up for failure inside of systems that were built to exclude them and their authentic expression of their needs. We’re given brief platforms, tone policed and finally mocked for creating under-resourced but safe spaces for ourselves.

Privilege is spending more time proving you aren’t a racist than becoming an ally. Privilege is racism only crossing your mind when someone calls you a racist. Privilege is defending your right to bear arms and free speech or press when unarmed black bodies can’t even breathe and brown people are being denied an education. Privilege is reading this letter and not publishing it just because it makes you feel bad. So while I don’t know what cows have to do with white privilege, if Mr. Brown can moo, you need to be making sure everyone else can too.

All the best but do better,

Elizabeth Morgan ’10 MFA’13

  • TaxiOnna

    Wonderful response. Am not looking forward to the “Don’t Read the Comments” Section’s reaction to this, as per usual.

  • Brunonia

    Wow. talk about a combative, violent “all or nothing” letter. “if you ain’t for us, you’ve got to be against us”. Really? That’s the extent of your imagination? Privilege, whether it be by wealth, social status, or what have you, is correlated more with European, Asian, and Near Eastern people, for they had the luck and the skills necessary to domesticate and farm animals and crops ten thousand years ago. Wealth and inequality, to many sources, originate from this Neolithic Revolution. It makes total sense to “ensure everybody else can [moo] too”. Simple. Give everyone who can’t moo a Eurasian climate, protein rich, storable grains, and semi- wild livestock. Wait ten- thousand years or so and there you have it! everyone who can’t moo now can!

    • SocialJusticeScientist

      Is that you M. Dzhali Maier?

    • ‘`*-.,_,-*’`*~-.,.~*’*~ (2014)

      u sound dum

  • Man with Axe

    Privilege, exclusion, authentic expression, safe space, racism, diversity. Man, it must be tedious to be a college student today.

    • in Bey-o speramus

      What was it like in your day, describe this utopia, this place in which people of color had voices and students felt the right to express themselves (students, not just white students). Do tell do tell do tell

      • Man with Axe

        Back in my day, people of color had to do what other people did to “have voices.” They had to raise their hands in class. Write for the school paper. Write letters to the editor. Walk around with signs protesting this or that, just like people of whiteness had to do. The difference then was that they weren’t babies who thought that every utterance of theirs had merit, and that half of all campus writing positions and publications had to be distributed out based on race and sex and sexual orientation and condition of whether you still have the genitals you were born with.

        If your writing was any good the school paper would publish it and people would read it. Hey, you know, compared to today it was utopia.

        • in Bey-o speramus

          “Write for the school paper. Write letters to the editor. Walk around with signs protesting this or that, just like people of whiteness had to do.”

          That is… literally what is happening. And no student of color thinks that. Have you, like, ever met a student of color? Or are you thinking of like gnomes or something?

          • Man with Axe

            I’m not understanding you. You claim that people of color have voices and can express themselves only in the utopia of my mind. You say that, even as the author, a person of color, is expressing herself with her voice. Do these people of color have voices or don’t they? If you, yourself, are a person of color, do you have a voice? Is my voice, as a white man, more significant than yours? Or do your comments and mine sink or swim on their own validity? If you don’t have a voice because you are marginalized, what makes you think you could possibly win an argument with a white male like me who has a voice and is not marginalized? Or what the heck does any of this “I don’t have a voice” and “I’m marginalized” mean? Seriously. What does it mean to be marginalized? Does that concept, which makes no sense to me, apply to Elizabeth Morgan, with her two ivy league degrees?

            I have to laugh (to keep from crying) when I see the students of today start a commentary by saying first, “I am a whte middle class cisgendered heterosexual male, and so I am aware that I have no idea what it’s like to be a marginalized person. My opinion is therefore not worth anything, but here it is anyway.”

  • Rhein Ouaiffe

    Sad. I wonder if the author was like this before she arrived at Brown, or if she picked up this nonsense there.