Volume 92, Issue 60

Thursday, January 14, 1999

incompetence


OPINIONS

New editions by old professors

Good frat PR

Prejudiced slurs are not tolerated

It's too damn cold to be taking a puff

Prejudiced slurs are not tolerated



Re: Slurs



To the Editor:
It is unthinkable for educated students to watch an interracial basketball team and exclaim: "Oh... there are 'niggers' here!"

Such racist slurs have no place in our society. Unfortunately, slurs directed towards homosexual persons still occur even in our "intelligent and enlightened" university setting. Such an incident occurred recently.

While I was observing an aerobic class, six guys wandered over. One stood beside me, peered anxiously and jokingly exclaimed, "Are there any guys here? Hmm... only faggots I'm sure!" As an alumnus and teacher who happens to be gay, I quickly remarked to this very startled and embarrassed individual that I was "one of them" who "loved this class" and that we take offence to being called "faggots." He paused and then apologized.

What bothered me most about this individual was that he and his friends were of a racial/ethnic minority. Doesn't he realize we share similarities? We're both born the way we are and, most importantly, both gays and racial minorities experience bigotry in some form or another.

In an earlier era, so many homosexual persons were tortured and burned at the stake that we were labelled "faggots," a word from old English meaning a "burning bundle of sticks." I wonder if "educated" people understand this?

Yes, some of the men who work out in aerobic classes are gay. However, and I hate to disillusion that individual and his friends, we also swim, body build, play racketball, tennis, jog and yes, even play football and hockey! In short, we are everywhere.

On the eve of a new century and millennium, let's hope attitudes change to reflect a profound respect for one another so that all people, regardless of their differences, can be valued in our communities and in our world.

Peter Collins
Bachelor of Education





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Copyright The Gazette 1999