Saturday, September 20, 2003

In a position to know 

Do you think the ability to determine what is racist is determined by genetics? It appears they do at Mesa State University, says Critical Mass. After the student newspaper used a colorful headline to describe a victory over our conference's University of North Dakota, the faculty adviser tells the Associated Press that he's uniquely qualified to speak about this.
The faculty adviser to the paper, Morris Brown, also apologized to the Indian student club. He said the paper would print a front-page retraction.

Brown cited his status as the only black professor on campus as reason for the club members to believe his apology.

'If I were white, yeah, you could be skeptical, but as a black man and a brother, I know how you feel,' Brown said. 'If I were Caucasian, I wouldn't expect you to listen.'

Erin O'Connor at Critical Mass explains,
They have now effectively announced that they answer to the special interest groups on campus, and they have indicated, too, that as white people they do not have jurisdiction over their word choice: that when someone who is "in a position to know" says a word is unacceptable, then that word most certainly is.