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Comments made by momotron

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

I can see why people are angry, but this issue has been blown way out of proportion. I understand that minority student organizations would be put off, but that's no reason to simply walk away from a useful dialogue, which is what the teach-in was SUPPOSED to have been. You can't just walk away from an opportunity to work things out like that. It's detrimental to the process. Additionally, I can't help but find the list of "demands" somewhat of an overreaction, especially the accusation that UCSD is not a "safe" campus for black students. Nobody in their right mind would come to UCSD to be in a "fun" or "accepting" environment: we come here because we all share the sort of masochistic tendencies that can only be satisfied through the special kind of academic insanity this university offers. In short, social life here sucks for everyone, without regard to their ethnicity. There isn't some sort of unspoken conspiracy to make people feel threatened or uncomfortable, so far as I am aware.

The response by the campus administration has been a bit overboard as well, albeit well-intended. The fact is that the Cookout was apparently not a sanctioned event, nor was it even on campus. It may have been distasteful, but it is in no way the responsibility of the administration, nor does it fall on the administration to punish the students involved. And Utsav Gupta's recent decision to freeze funding to all student media organizations was even more absurd. It's a knee-jerk reaction that not only impinges upon the free expression of UCSD students, but if left unreversed for any amount of time, stands to deny students a viable method for conducting civil public dialogue of their own initiative, as a paper or television channel with no funding can no longer function.

The problem now is that everyone who was hurt by these recent events, the administrators who are scrambling about in damage-control mode, and even the news media covering it all need to take a step back, calm down, and come back ready for rational and civil discussions on the issue rather than protest rallies, demands, and knee-jerking. Otherwise it's just going to get in the way of all the uninvolved and uninterested students at UCSD who want to go to our classes, grab a bite to eat, and chill in our dorms without being beaten about the head by a race debate.

February 25, 2010 at 11:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )