Leafing through the Daily on a Wednesday, I found myself disgusted. Below the headline “Looking at diversity and the Daily” lies a column by Diana Fu detailing the racist attitudes and stereotypes held against minorities – apparently notable is that of one Elizabeth Giorgi, author of the Oct. 3 article “Group honors Latino culture.”
In her column, Fu refers to the stereotype that all cultural heritage celebrations are just “a few hit songs, a salad or two and a handful of experts to educate the public on history.” Funny that she, a woman of “color,” would be so offended by stereotypes and speak so passionately about sensitivity, yet has a stereotype: Apparently the subconscious of every white individual thinks of Latino culture as a “homogenous entity made up of illegal immigrants.” Isn’t that being insensitive to the sensitive, open-minded white individuals? Not every white person is a supremacist.
I, too, am a student of “color.” Giorgi’s article referenced to our celebrations as consisting of “delicious churros, sweaty tango lessons and saucy Latino music,” which apparently is supposedly something that should offend me. Only it doesn’t. I find nothing wrong with these celebrations, which so happen to include all of the aforementioned things. Sure, that’s not the only thing they consist of, but the said things certainly draws the crowd.
Being a white student does not mean one is not “special,” nor does it mean they are any more “special” than us “colored” folk. There is nothing wrong with celebrating a “colorless” heritage – if anyone is so adamant about it, start a movement; how do you think all these “colored” activities started? With all the resources available to student groups and the ease of getting people together, there is no excuse for not making a push at the very least.
The only manner in which I feel “special” for being “colored” is in holding the belief that I have the power to educate others. As with any majority, and yes, white Americans are unquestionably the majority, a decent percentage of the population is not entirely educated about the minority. Heck, even I am not fully educated about my own heritage. That’s why these celebrations are so important.
It would appear, however, what Fu really takes issue with is the portrayal of minorities, and understandably so; it is a shame to ever see anyone misrepresented, and this often happens among minorities. However, targeting Giorgi’s article is a mistake. There was no ill intention in her article, and Giorgi was attempting to help raise cultural awareness. The article quotes one Sylvia González as saying that turnout was low in the early celebrations because not enough advertising was done. Well, there’s some advertising for you; on the front page of what is arguably the campus’ most-read publication, noting the key elements that would more than likely be found in fliers for the event. As for the Daily’s efforts to diversify and discuss issues, I applaud the effort. It is always a positive thing to see cultural awareness become a point of focus. Fu’s effort, however, was a step backward; her issue with Giorgi is something that should be discussed between them and not as a column in the very publication she honors.
Perhaps it would have been better to run an ad and use that revenue to employ a more worthwhile item. In response to her question, “Why do many students of color simply refuse to pick up the Daily daily,” I believe it has to do with opinions that make us appear overly sensitive and subject to an inferiority complex. Now “sit down, shut up, and stop complaining.”
Rodrigo Zamith is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]