Crimson Misses Perspective's Point
To The Editors:
In their response to the Perspective September '94 introspective ("Why do You Have to Get All Racial," Dartboard, Oct. 1, 1994), The Crimson's editorial chairs gleefully pointed out that hypocrisy lies deep and dark at Perspective, Harvard and Radcliffe's Liberal Monthly. Perspective staffers are supposed to be liberal, and having racial problems is antithetical to their espoused goal of being liberal.
Do The Crimson's editorial chairs not realize the difference between being racist and openly confronting racial concerns? Their responding commentary was evidence that they had completely missed the point.
Last spring, Perspective staffers filled out anonymous surveys and began to discuss previously unspoken racial dynamics on staff: Why is there such a lack of minority students on staff? Why are first-year women of color feeling alienated and unwelcome? How and why does race matter?
My article was written with the intent of letting the Harvard and Radcliffe community know that yes, even Harvard's self-acknowledged liberal students have much to learn about race. We at Perspective have tried to notice the formerly unnoticed realm of race.
Instead of addressing race as a necessary component in understanding the working dynamics within The Crimson, the editorial chairs proceeded to flex their intellectual wit by poking fun at Perspective's attempts to discuss race. Instead of writing about how and why race should be discussed or not discussed, they crafted phrases like "the pot calling the kettle 'of color'" (a response to my use of "women of color").
To make the point that we live in a comprehensively radicalized social structure, I wrote the following: "when we go house-hunting in different neighborhoods, choose a radio station, size up our classmates and our teaching assistants, or watch a family using food stamps at the local grocery store, we are thinking racially." Making light of the issues concerning race. The Crimson responded with talk of balancing checkbooks and vacumming to provoke racial thoughts.
Please indulge me this one last solipsistic reference, my mother always told me that those who are quick to poke fun at something are probably those who are suffering most from that something. Isn't it about time that The Crimson took a look within? --Sarah Song '96 Senior Editor, Perspective