To the Editor

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Aug 232006
 
Authors:

Once upon a time, when I was in grad school at CSU and one of the most politically incorrect white males on campus, a professor proclaimed, “I think you can be saved!”

Since white males didn’t deserve any sensitivity, he probably had no idea just how offensive he was. As a child, the paranoid, raging whippings started when I was about 5, and by the time I was 9 or 10, I wished I was dead. As a teenager, I was told that I would never make it in life, and that drove me to suicide. The idea that I could “be saved” starts with that same premise.

Now I’m getting a paper published in a field that I had to leave because I make colleagues and humans uncomfortable. In the author’s proof, the journal replaced the words in the author’s information, “retired by disability,” with “retired.” No doubt it was considered unprofessional and just too personal, an unmentionable topic.

Odd isn’t it? When one must be hypersensitive to issues of race and sex, and gays can come out of the closet, Disabled Americans, especially those with psychiatric disabilities, are not supposed to speak in public about our experiences in being denied productive work that we can do. Loss of it devastates our finances and health. We may be the largest and least employed minority, yet we should never allow blacks or women or gays to suspect that their issues and agendas are not uber allies. In the working age population, white males with disabilities number about 60 percent of all blacks, male and female, able-bodied and disabled, combined. Yet we should never expect the EEOC to take up our cases with the same passion, regard and timeliness as more politically powerful and favored uber minorities. No doubt we shouldn’t be cynical or resentful either. My goodness, that would be unprofessional, and just getting entirely too big for our britches, not to mention insensitive to those steeped in suffering and oppression.

Don Baker, Ph.D.

CSU alum

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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To the Editor

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Aug 232006
 
Authors:

I wanted to thank Robert Shipton for his response to Nick Hately’s column on our CU neighbors. It is that kind of blind intolerance of others that leads to hate crimes, racism and even homophobia.

This is supposed to be an institution that embraces diversity, yet there is hate and prejudice written up in the students’ own college newspaper.

Being a columnist, in any newspaper, brings a lot of responsibility and perhaps Mr. Hately needs to be reminded of this before he writes more narrow-minded diatribe.

Lindsay Parrie

grad student

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

To the Editor

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Aug 232006
 
Authors:

In response to your editorial on Monday, I would hesitate to say that racism in the media is the cause of the JonBenet Ramsey fascination.

The media are, unfortunately, a business. Since the FCC has relaxed ownership laws and more of our media sources are purchased by a declining few, profits and ROI (return on investment) are more important than presenting an unvarnished news.

As such, our ‘infotainment’ media is merely a reflection of the desires of the consumer, and not an editorial position of the media itself. They serve up what the public desires, as it is what sells their product.

To say then that the public is overwhelmingly racist, and thus only interested in seeing the fates of little attractive blonde rich girls (JonBenet, Natalie Holloway, etc.), ignores as well that Americans, by and large, seek escapism from their own situation in their news and information.

A simmering class envy exists, such that there is a schadenfreude release in seeing those with wealth and privilege affected by ills in their lives, making our own lot seem less significant.

We know, as a public, that things happen to people who are poor or disadvantaged, to people who are not as attractive as our celebrities, etc. What release then is there in recognizing our own daily lives as being miserable?

No. Better to delight in and be fascinated by the prurient details of the misfortune of those we perceive as more fortunate than ourselves. It is thus how we build up our celebrity and then delight in their fall.

We should be concerned first that the need exists at all, but we should also be concerned that we demand of our media to fulfill it.

The media are a reflection of the public. Have we become so shallow and self-absorbed? We do not demand actual news, if we did, there would be a larger market for it.

We seemingly do not wish to be informed, we do not wish to be challenged to think and to make our own deductions. We want celebrity gossip and unchallenging fluff pieces. We want infotainment.

Theron Croissant

Fort Collins resident

 Posted by at 5:00 pm