Volume 93, Issue 17

Tuesday, September 28, 1999


Letter on racism lacks guidance

No truth or spelling in advertising

Racism or sexism can't be reversed

Peace and love ignored

Freedom tank

Costly mistakes

Smiling on the beauty pageants

Police report should have been dropped

USC needs to get their finances in order

Justice Mercer-Style?

To drink or not to drink

Editorial Cartoon

Letter on racism lacks guidance

Re: "Clubs week lacks colour" Sept. 23

To the Editor:

It is with great disappointment that I am writing to The Gazette today in response to the Sept. 23 letter by Jeff Sewell, a fellow fourth-year sociology student.

I have no idea how the very real concepts of "power" and "privilege" slipped through Mr. Sewell's years of sociology education, as his letter seems to indicate, since it sorely lacks any sort of power analysis. Power and privilege are what play a large role in producing and reproducing the many social inequalities that Mr. Sewell purports to be staunchly against.

He also brings up a phrase that is quite popular with privileged protectors of the status quo everywhere – "reverse discrimination." I don't think reverse discrimination can actually even exist in a context where certain groups (such as white males) hold power and privilege over others.

There is also the disturbing fact that usage of the word "reverse" implies that discrimination is abnormal when it happens to people who hold power and privilege in society and is only normal and acceptable when it happens to the other.

And finally, what I feel is perhaps the most dismaying thing about my colleague's letter is his final ignorant statement – "We ought to be able to speak our minds as openly as everyone else and have every life chance that others in our society have."

I'm afraid I have no pity for you, Mr. Sewell. I'm sure the black man who gets regularly questioned by the police every time he walks down the street (for no other reason than because of his dark skin) doesn't feel any pity for you either. The same can probably be said of the Native woman who was thrown into an abusive residential school as a young girl by our very own government.

Heck, maybe your sister won't even pity you after she finds out that you get paid more than her even though you're both doing the exact same job. Every life chance, huh?

By the way, you accuse London of being conservative (and I certainly do not disagree with you there) but your sentiments smell very conservative to me.

Helen Luu
Sociology IV

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Copyright The Gazette 1999