I’d like to know what happened with the article, “Black Leaders Oppose Virginia’s Slavery Apology” [Vol. 41, issue 18]. Why is it that only right-wing viewpoints are represented? The article questions the concept of reparations, suggests that an apology for slavery isn’t needed because it was ‘legal’ and ends with the quote: “To blame someone else is not the positive way to spread the history.”
Last I checked, white people enslaved Africans for hundreds of years. How can we talk about this history without discussing the perpetrators? When we ignore the privileges white people get as a legacy of slavery and racism (inheritance money and land, access to better schools, job priority, housing priority, lesser sentences for crimes, etc.), we undermine our efforts to construct an egalitarian society.
The way the article is set up suggests that these are the ONLY opinions that black folks have. Just look at the word ‘black leaders’ in the title. Why is it that BOND and the Network of Black Conservatives are the only national voices included in this title of ‘black leaders?’
Just look at the leader of BOND: “Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is the most courageous, outspoken critic of the civil-rights establishment in America today. Often referred to as the antidote to Jesse Jackson,” Rev. Peterson is also the man behind the National Boycott of the NAACP, believing the organization to be nothing more than a tool of the “elite, socialist” elements of the Democratic Party…”
Yet, the problem is bigger than just one article. It’s reflective of an increasingly hostile climate in Santa Cruz towards people of color and illustrative of the gaping holes in our education. Four things could help: 1.) bring back the journalism program, 2.) hire more faculty so we can, finally, have a department to coordinate the critical study of race and ethnicity, 3.) put more resources into recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, and 4,) ensure that anti-oppression education is an integral part of our experience at UCSC—in the dorms, in the classes, and in the community.
*A concerned student*