Unfortunately, this entry is inspired by the comments on the article following the recently publicized events on the Syracuse University campus (http://dailyorange.com/2013/02/eight-students-arrested-outside-on-schine-student-center-early-sunday-morning/) and an article I read this morning about an Asian-Themed Party hosted by the Kappa Sigma Chapter at Duke University.
Here is the message sent out from the fraternity’s e-mail address:
I read the comments to find an all too familiar discussion… people (happens to be caucasian males in this instance) finding no harm in offending another group, and then defending their points with saying that we are just being “sensitive”, while they are denied consideration as victims of racism or discrimination. No, it wouldn’t alleviate the situation if there are Asian members of the organization.
I believe what is misunderstood is that it’s not about being white. Regardless of your race or ethnicity, if you’re in an environment where:
– a group or institution with certain values (opposed to an individual expressing their freedom of speech) can patronize or belittle yours
– one culture is considered the norm (White American)
– you’re the minority (whether self-proclaimed or pointed out by society) and treated as inferior through messages and actions
You are being sent the message that you are different, you’re an outsider, and you don’t belong. In the same respect that Americans don’t promote bullying or defamation in the media, I don’t care who you are or where you’re from, but I will not let you make me feel less welcome in my own country.
A race or ethnicity is not a costume to parade around tastelessly for the sole purpose of jokes and your entertainment.
I don’t think the response by the Asian-American community nor punishment will really attack the issues at hand, but by speaking up they are doing what’s right and it will help future generations.