Discourse / Letters / November 13, 2017

Letter to the Editor: White opinions of racism do not matter

White people do not get to decide what is racist.


Selina Aviles ’17

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Nov 16, 2017

Tell that to Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Baines Johnson. If THEIR opinions hadn’t mattered, we wouldn’t have had the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act.

According to the Oxford dictionary, “racism” is defined as “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” Notice that it doesn’t specify “except white people”!

Of course, if you’re a postmodernist, it’s possible that you don’t believe words have meanings (other than definitions YOU have created)? Yes, meaning is constructed.

You wouldn’t like it if a white person told you YOUR opinion doesn’t matter. That’s often how people of color feel in a predominately white society. It’s disrespectful for white people to make such a racist claim, just like it’s disrespectful for YOU to make such a claim.

You’re generalizing about white people. It’s absolute hypocrisy on your part.

Racism is reprehensible.

Nov 18, 2017

You’ve done your Alma Mater proud with such an articulate and thoughtful sentence, Selina!

That aside, this shouldn’t have been published as a letter to the editor. It’s single statement that contributes very little to the debate; this is why we have comment sections…

Nov 20, 2017

“White people do not get to decide what is racist.” Selina Aviles ’17

Yes, racism is rampant at Knox with the objects of hate now being white people in general. Let’s substitute black for white in this sentence and see how that stands up.

“Black people do not get to decide what is racist.”

Not pretty is it?

Yet we are to embrace the statement “White people do not get to decide what is racist”?

Sounds quite racist to me.

That such a stupid and racist statement is expected to be taken seriously does not say much for the intellectual development of students and faculty at Knox College and illustrates pretty well the abject failure of the liberal arts education at Knox College and higher education in general in America.


David Salter Class of 75

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