On Sun, 19 Nov 1995, Bill Bishop wrote:
> I am deeply concerned about the current state of intolerance and hostility
> between a small, but vocal group, who believe UVM is an utterly racist
> institution and the much larger community of whites and more moderate
> people of color who disagree with this viewpoint.
Often times the voice of the small, but vocal group is not heard. In
this case, I am not hearing many voices in support of the "much larger
community." Is this because they feel that many of the rascist acts at
UVM are nothing to be concerned about? That the small, but vocal group
is not a threat towards what the larger community is so comfortable
with. Are they silent because they agree with the "small but vocal group?"
> the people I hear from are no longer listening to the discussion on
> UVMTODAY. Messages are deleted without being read. Many people are
> afraid to speak up and challenge the radical assertions being made. Free
> speech and intellectual debate are important aspects of the atmosphere at
> UVM and any college or university. The silence from the majority of
> people at UVM on the topic of racism and diversity is striking. Why the
> fear about discussing these issues? Why have so many people shut down?
> The answer is that they sense no room for a moderate position because they
> will be labeled a racist or a pawn of the power structure at UVM if they
> dont agree totally that the system is corrupt.
Those are some great questions...Why the fear about discussing these
issues? I believe a part of it has to do with naming racism, naming
white privilege. The closer we come in learning about racism and undoing
racism, the scarier it can become. By ignoring it, this doesn't have to
be dealt with.
By the way, by admitting that the system is corrupt,
racism is not removed from the white person. This is just one of the
steps. There is so much room to think critically about these issues, but
as always, along with thinking criticallly comes education. It's
important for us to see the error in our own personal arguments, and to
think from the other side for some time. In my opinion, the ALANA
community has had to do this for sometime...throughout their education.
It's about time white people did this.
A new voice,