Nov 16 2008, Written by Megan Neureither in Backpages,Backtalk, 0 Comments
I have absolutely no problem with people who support a given candidate or cause, as long as they know why they are supporting it, and it is with a reasonable justification that doesn’t violate any other person’s rights to existence. Part of what makes America great is that we have different opinions represented in our society. What I have a problem with is when people are completely disrespectful of others or other opinions.
I will be frank with you in saying that I am not the biggest Obama fan. I have issues with his fiscal policies that scream of big government. This is my opinion, and you are entitled to agree or disagree with me. However, I was absolutely disgusted to hear of the recent racially charged events going down on East Campus, which many have attributed to the outcome of the recent election. I read The Chronicle’s article of derogatory symbols being placed on benches and doors, and this past week I heard from a professor that her student on East Campus had reported being verbally attacked for her race while walking outside by other students.
What is wrong with these students? I fail to understand how anyone can fault another person based on their race for the outcome of a political election. Such an idea is simply absurd. The fact that these events are not occurring anywhere else on campus (that I’ve heard of) except East is perhaps telling of where this trouble primarily lies: within the freshman class? Freshmen, is this how you want your class to be represented within our student body? In case you haven’t noticed, this behavior is not acceptable. This is not what we do at Duke. It’s important to remember that you now not only represent yourselves, your hometown and your family—you represent all of us.
I know that most freshmen are not the problem. Don’t stand idly aside and let the few bad apples in your class wreck your reputation as a class and our reputation as a welcoming and intellectual institution that honors diversity and different opinions. Duke as an institution has come a very long way from the Civil Rights Movements of the ’60s. In 1969, at the time of the Allen building takeover, we had about 85 African Americans and no African American studies department. Let’s not move backwards. Stand up for what is ethical and right. You are our future—you’d better shape up.
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