Letter: Opinions questionable

By The Daily Illini

Like Daniel Saeedi in his letter to the editor on Thursday, I am ashamed of what counts as an opinion at The Daily Illini. Also like Saeedi, I have struggled to appreciate Jon Monteith’s political attitudes in the past few weeks – for instance, when he refers to sexually active women as “hos” one week (“Illini imbeciles”, Sept. 20), and then begs us to protect a woman’s right to choose (“A doctor’s perspective”) the next.

If the DI used to have intellectual credibility, as Saeedi suggests, I would not know. I arrived at this University (and the Midwest) this fall. I have been stunned since arrival by how well-funded the DI is, considering its lack of intellectual rigor in comparison to the student newspapers I have read at other universities.

This is a diverse university, which makes The Daily Illini’s practice of employing mostly American, white, young, middle-class people as opinion writers questionable on many counts.

Zachary Schuster in his piece, “Think before you speak,” on Thursday, stated that “college campuses are isolated havens” where “we are given free reign to do many things that wouldn’t be acceptable outside college campus.” I do not feel privileged in this way, but apparently this is the norm at the DI. Many of us have (and live) real world experiences that the writers’ prejudices often fail to speak to.

As Saeedi writes: “Step it up, people!” Is Schuster, for instance, aware that discourses of alcoholism have been used historically in racist and classist ways? Is Monteith aware that some women would prefer he not endorse their right to choose, if he also wishes to make jokes at their expense?

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The Daily Illini has the means to do better. Why is the privilege to reach so many bestowed on such careless, or at least very inexperienced, young people?

Liz Jackson

doctoral student