Letter to the Editor (11/8/19)

In regard to Lauren Casey’s column about “The Great Poster Debate”:

As an Asian American student of a college with a white dominant student body, I am angry. This column perpetuates the divide of US vs. THEM on campus. Not only is this column unfair and unjust, it also represents the lack of understanding on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

The aspects she suggests these posters pinpoint is inaccurate and using misrepresented knowledge about propaganda to further the agenda. She writes that propaganda is supposed to “provoke others to act on an issue” but then contradicts this by writing that the posters are provoking the wrong feelings/emotions because this information is entirely untrue.

What are the “right feelings/emotions”? When is the right time to act on an issue? The Nobel Hall debate is less about the actual building but more about DEI. It is about the lack of resources needed to address DEI issues, the lack of support for students of color and the lack of having real, authentic conversations around campus. If you feel uncomfortable and have negative feelings towards these posters, you must ask yourself, “why?” The phrase, “For those who disapprove with how Gustavus handles diversity, as harsh as it sounds, they didn’t force any students to come here,” essentially means you do not understand.

Gustavus cannot be a “community” if they are not actively ENGAGING in the “conflicts and negative tension” and having real, authentic conversations that will help shape the future of the college and its student body. My call to action – challenge your perspective and speak to leaders and students of color about oppression and the navigation they endure every day. Challenge the unconscious world you live in. Only then will you understand an ounce of what the lived experience of many is. Thank you for your time.