Ploss’ final DI column

By George Ploss

I have no doubt many of you rejoice at the fact that this is my last column as a staff member of The Daily Illini. The last three semesters have been fun, insightful, arduous and tedious, albeit beneficial for you and I alike. Some of you have hurled immature insults while others have applauded my risky topic selections and my dedication toward my community. I have taken in both and am a better person for it, thank you, both. The insults have hurt but reinforced my fortitude and resolve on the issues I have brought up.

With topics such as white privilege, black male incarceration rates, racial double standards in the black community, black student retention rates, financial aid, hip-hop, and so forth, from an Afro-centric, African-American perspective I feel have been insightful to the campus and community. Many of you disagree as I receive your letters and threats frequently, but as so many of my elders repeatedly tell me that if I’m making you so upset, then I’m doing something right.

I also want to thank my community support and readership, you all have been my foundation through the trying times of my college career, and have kept me level-headed and heart-strong with the love I have for you and the desire for us to be completely free. I want us to know that no matter what the odds, whether big or small, we are not victims, and only to ourselves should we look if we fail. We have every opportunity to succeed, and we will.

I have never considered myself a spokesman of the African-American community, just someone with an insightful opinion. The black community is not monotonous, but diverse, and I am just a small member of what is actually an eclectic, diverse aspect of the student body with depth and breadth whose opinions are ignored, marginalized and written off.

So why not, if given a soap box to stand on, bring up issues on a weekly basis that black people talk about?

By provoking discussion in these issues whether in concord or not I have done my job as a columnist. I loved my time with The Daily Illini. I love The Daily Illini; it is the best collegiate publication in the state of Illinois, one of the best in the country and I am proud to have been a part of its tradition of greatness in the field of journalism.

I have a bi-weekly hip-hop column in the Buzz, so I will be around, just not as frequently. Thank you all for your readership and comments, good and bad, because in the end, as Nas said, “I’m a poet, a preacher and a pimp with words, a thief who stole your heart and a prince you deserve.” One Love.