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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    ‘Black’ party wasn’t racist

    In Tuesday’s paper there were two articles, one on the front page (“”‘Black’ theme party sparks concerned response””) and one in the opinions, section (“”Racism + Ambiguity = Danger””) regarding racism and this “”black-themed party”” that went on.

    After reading both the articles, they seemed very similar in nature. Both called this themed black party racist. What was the reasoning behind this? Because they dressed at the party like “”gangsters, pimps and hos.”” Because of this they called it racist.

    It would be more accurate to call it misrepresentation. This is a stereotype, mostly created by the MTV world that surrounds us today and the music videos. This statement is completely ignoring, however, the fact that two of the partygoers were dressed as lawyers, and two dressedas characters from “”Family Matters,”” according to Courtney Smith’s article, which is completely unrelated to the stereotype noted above.

    So even calling this party stereotypical is a long shot at best. And calling it racist is flat-out ignorant. These two articles and the close-minded quest to seek out racism sets our society back just as much as actual plain-Jane racism itself.

    Andrew Fuller Jr. economics freshman

    Student union ‘pesto’ not really pesto

    It’s really a shame when a business must trick a consumer into consuming. I certainly felt tricked when I ate my first bite of 3 Cheeses and a Noodle’s “”pesto,”” which completely lacks both savory pine nuts and spicy basil.

    (Non-swear) words cannot express my discontent with our socialist, dishonest Student Union; their misrepresentation of this sauce is an affront to our school’s culinary diversity. (Socialist) Student Union:3 Michael P. Hathaway:0.

    Michael P. Hathaway geography senior

    Objectivity not the point of higher education

    Some of the David Horowitz debate implies that objectivity somehow exists out there in the idealized ether of higher education. I hate to break it to people, but it doesn’t. Get over it.

    Every time a teacher – any teacher – picks something to read or to assign, something else gets left out. By leaving things out, that perspective is omitted. Right-wingers do it as much as lefties. Nothing, including the sciences, can be “”objective.””

    The point of higher education is to learn to critically examine what is being taught and to evaluate it in the context of one’s goals, one’s beliefs, one’s own conceptual framework. If the teaching is bad, one has to learn to be a good student in spite of it.

    When the class is over, take what is good and incorporate it. Leave what doesn’t work. But analyze and evaluate all of it. What Horowitz is really afraid of is that students will actually begin to think. Then his conservative paradigm becomes the subject of critique: Who is behind him? Who stands to gain or lose? Is academia really the threat to world order he implies that it is?

    Feminist teachers, in particular, ask that students critically examine the assumptions of a sexist culture. That is what Horowitz finds dangerous. As a member of the ‘good old boy’ establishment, he is shown to be the petty, sniping, highly paid ideologue of the right that he is.

    I think the Horowitz claims are more of a red herring than they are useful discussion about higher education. The questions that more interest me are those about funding – why the state continues to decrease its funding of education, even when tax revenues produce a surplus, why research is privileged over teaching, why tuition continues to go up while courses and programs are cut.

    In a world where creative innovation, critical problem-solving, and higher order thinking skills are what is going to lead to success on the world stage, why aren’t we pursuing them as if our lives depended on them? Why is Arizona all but dead last in educational funding? Who benefits from this set-up? Who gets hurt? Who gets left out? What do we all lose? Now that would be a real debate.

    Erec Toso senior lecturer, English department

    Administration should punish MLK party hosts

    I was very concerned to read the article “”Black theme party sparks concerned response”” yesterday morning in the Arizona Daily Wildcat. The party that occurred during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday involving several UA students was not only offensive, but also ignorant and stereotypical. Even though this party was not meant to be “”offensive”” and was deemed a simple “”misunderstanding,”” it was interpreted that way by myself and many other students.

    Having guests dress up as their favorite black person at first may “”seem”” harmless. But, when guest arrive dressed as characters from “”Family Matters,”” painted in black face, wearing do-rags and fur coats, it becomes an offensive and generalized affair. To go further when asked how to dress like a “”black”” person the holder of the party responded: “”Dress up like gangsters, pimps, and hos.””

    Is this who black people represent? Do stereotypical characters and negative figures represent an entire race? No, they do not. This party was nothing but a poor representation of what many people believe black or African-Americans are based on the media and stereotypes.

    However, based on the theme of this party and the actions of these students it appears that this is who they deem African-Americans to be-vulgar, ignorant, and uneducated. These events need to stop here with the UA. All over the country parties and activities of this same nature are occurring, but with no consequences. Holders and attendees receive a simple pat on the head and are told not to do it again; but it keeps continuing.

    These events will continue as long as there are no reprimands for student’s actions. Even though this party occurred off-campus, the administration and Office of Student Affairs need to take a stand that these actions will not be tolerated. For the future of this university some action needs to occur.

    Chandra S. Jennings-Jackson health education senior

    MLK party hardly ‘intolerable’

    According to Webster’s dictionary, racism is defined as “”a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”” Although the individuals who attended the MLK “”black”” party may have stepped over the “”politically correct”” line, they were in no way committing acts of prejudice or racism.

    Jessica Wertz (“”Racism + Ambiguity = Danger””) may be correct when citing that most the party goers were dressed in demeaning stereotypical attire that misrepresents the black community. Then again, would I or some other individual going dressed as Tiger Woods or Obama have lightened the mood on your so called “”racist”” gathering just because it’s less stereotypical?

    For that matter we might as well chastise not only Mr. Kuechel, but celebrities such as Carlos Mencia or Dave Chappel who make millions on thinking up skits to portray the stereotypes of minorities. This “”intolerable act”” as you put it is in no way detrimental to the on going lives of the individuals in the black community at this campus or anywhere else for that matter.

    As for Elliot Aronson, a very respected man indeed among the psychology crowd, he is credited with refining the theory of cognitive dissonance in which he denoted that individuals change their attitude in certain scenarios to “”fit in.”” In my opinion, though, citing Aronson’s work is out of context with the matter at hand.

    Keuchel said that there were a number of black fellow partygoers among the crowd. Were they changing their behavior or attitude just so they could fit in? If anyone should be disgusted by the theme of this party it should be them. Funny if it were the case that they stayed at the gathering and furthermore were welcomed by those who organized it.

    It is agreeable, though, that students on campus are old enough to acknowledge what behavior they should or should not partake in. Many students do not recycle on campus, and not recycling is something students should not partake in. Quoting Carlos Mencia “”take a joke America””; this includes Ms. Werz and Ms. Tarleton as well.

    Edward Beck molecular and cellular biology junior

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