November 7, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 39  

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EDITORIAL & OPINIONS

Letters

"Caucasian" isn't a dirty word

Re: “Caucasian club causes stir — no burning crosses, yet,” Nov. 4, 2003

To the Editor:
I am a woman. I am half-Greek. I have been through the foster care system and have suffered abuse. I don’t think anyone would bat an eyelash if I joined the Women’s Issues Network, the community Greek Association or the local support group for abused children and young adults. In fact, I would be surprised if my peers didn’t support my decisions to learn about my “culture” and what has contributed to my identity.

I am also Caucasian. I have an Irish and French Catholic background and I was born and raised in Ontario. I am troubled the word “Caucasian” is setting off alarm bells when it comes to cultural groups. From this article, all the information I could take about this “controversial” club is that it had the word “Caucasian” in its title.

Is this why people are so upset? Just because I am Caucasian doesn’t mean I don’t know about oppression; I am marginalized in other ways. What does this have to do with celebrating Caucasian culture? I wouldn’t judge anyone of any culture who wanted to learn or celebrate in a way that didn’t inhibit anyone else’s right to do the same.

I am not defending this club. I don’t know what they do or what the motives were behind setting it up. But according to this article, people were receiving e-mail about a “Caucasian Club... that celebrates diversity and mutual understanding” and, next thing we know, we have an article full of the KKK also celebrated white culture. The most shocking of all was the quote from our own VP-campus issues who stated that “the mere name... could invite white supremacist groups” and it was “not healthy” to have “this kind of group” on campus. I would like to ask, what kind of club is this Ms. Kennedy? The only unhealthy part of the e-mail seems to be the taboo word “Caucasian.” Joining a group to learn about my culture is not the same as promoting racist values, as a despicable group like the KKK does.

I actually felt guilty for being curious about what this club is all about. Who is being discriminated against now?

Catherine Bermingham
Psychology IV

'Birdwatcher' rebuts

Re: “Campus women respond to UWO’s ‘people watcher’,” Nov. 4, 2003

To the Editor:
The uproar of female students in response to my opinion piece was expected. It is popular knowledge that letters are often edited or abridged, so note that a few disclaimers were omitted from the original piece.

I would expect English majors to recognize irony. The Gazette recently published a multitude of letters with blatant disregard for girls who wear those infamous bracelets. I just thought I would make an attempt to write a piece from their perspective and in their defense.

Please do not consider this letter as apologetic in any way. I just wanted to point out you were all clueless. I would, however, like to apologize to my fellow HBA members who were defamed alongside my attempt to stimulate the opinions section. The same stereotypes and prejudice should not be used on HBAs as it is on anyone. Like many of my peers, I was and still am an arts student. Do not confuse my pursuit of a business degree with certain attributes that only conniving and shallow business men possess.

Also, please don’t think you are making any advancement for the women’s rights movement with your responses. It is pretentious to think you have an ability to implement a paradigmatic shift with your crafty little sentences and their jagged edges. The opinions pages should always be read for entertainment value and nothing more. And for those of you Web savvy ladies who took the time to look at my picture, you should seriously consider going out more often.

Daniel Abichandani
HBA I

Fundraising

Re: “Donate to get these guys a clue,” Oct. 30, 2003

To the Editor:
“Jackass” is a term better reserved for Johnny Knoxville’s movie rather than a generalization about a group of guys out to make a difference in the community at large. Dallas Curow’s comments in last week’s paper were a vicious attack on three altruistic students who spent 36 hours fighting the cold weather to make a statement. They were an unfair stipulation about a group of 100 fraternity members who raised over $11,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Ms. Curow made a worthwhile statement in her article. However, the flaw in her thinking was her inability to disconnect a mistaken comment of one person from the vast amount of good accomplished on campus last week and by the CCS on a daily basis.

This is not a counterattack against Ms. Curow. It is however, a statement of my sympathy for a writer who would make an offensive comment like “the money might be slipping into their pockets.” Such a statement completely discredited her. It is a true shame that with the travesties pervasive both on campus and in our community today, Ms. Curow decided to pick out one person’s mistake in what otherwise should be considered an incredibly successful campaign.

She is the one exhibiting a complete lack of integrity by insulting a charity fundraiser. I am quite apologetic for the level of discomfort Ms. Curow experienced last week, but her insensitivity to philanthropic goals and knack for making stereotypic generalizations make her the only “jackass” in sight.

Jeff Mosko
Honours Biology III

Ed. note: People won’t give to a charity if they’re rudely harassed, which was all Dallas Curow was pointing out.

 

 

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