Dissenter Speaks

By Suzie Yang

I am extremely offended by the hypocrisy lurking at the town hall meeting last night. The Student Senate’s fuming action to stop racism and intolerance is based on its own intolerance of one specific student’s foul taste for costumes and parties. The eager administrators then overgeneralized Kafka as an apparent racist who must be punished and publicly humiliated; and because the school has no judicial rights to punish him, the student code now must be revised. The party was not even about race, but being silly and able to laugh at how each of us is perceived.

As an immigrant who has experienced countless acts of bigotry, intolerance and prejudice, I, however, truly believe that no matter how incorrect stereotypes are, they exist as a by-product of generalizations which our brains use as processing heuristics. Maybe it’s important for us to reflect upon why others perceive us in a certain way and seek room for self-improvement. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to educate people to be more open about individual differences.

Intolerance must be stopped, but the second I stood up to defend Kafka to be one of the most genuine and nonracist people, I heard ‘Oh NO! You DIDN’T’ and ‘Bitch!’ from every corner of the room. Seems like a one-way street, doesn’t it?

Taking Professor Jorge Chapa’s suggestion to heart, I asked myself last night about whether or not my costume is going to offend anyone before wearing it this Thursday. I concluded that I cannot dress up as a cow because I might offend PETA, and possibly, vegetarians. Well, I am not going to take the risk, the last thing I need is another town hall meeting targeting me to show everyone the big picture of “racism, power and privilege.”

Suzie Yang

Senior in Business