Dear editors at The Odyssey: we at The College Reporter are big proponents of open, honest dialogue pertaining to relevant social issues. We are also big proponents of welcoming voices into discussions that represent less popular, if maybe politically incorrect, opinions. After all, as the self-proclaimed voice of F&M’s campus and student body, we dig that.
However, what we don’t like is seeing important conversations butchered by unedited, poorly thought-through work .
We, like most of the student body, read an article on your site this week. “Don’t Tell Me I That I Don’t Struggle Because I’m White And Privileged.” (And we hope you realize that typo was your error, not ours.) A lot of people had a lot of feelings about this article, and we include ourselves among them. We noticed that the article exemplified a deep misunderstanding of white privilege. However, to us, it also raised questions about the quality of the forums with which we chose to engage in important dialogues.
The article was unedited, for one thing. As we just joked about, the group did not even get the headline right. If this article had gone through a proper editorial process, maybe someone could have discussed with the writer the differences between personal struggles and systemic privilege. Maybe there could have been a conversation about the difference between unproductive white guilt and the acknowledgment of the existence of a very real and very repressive social structure. Maybe you could have produced something thoughtful and intelligent, and added an interesting and unique perspective to an incredibly important conversation. Needless to say, you didn’t. Instead, you produced something deeply sensationalist, and it was pretty disappointing to see.
We know you can do better. It’s well worth your time and effort to spend more than 500 words tackling an issue like this. These are such important conversations to be having, and it’s great to see a conversation starting, but let’s be responsible and intelligent about the way that we have them. And let’s remember that an editorial process, a board of concerned students, a newspaper, is crucial to enabling them.