I am writing in response to the various, recent incidents and allegations of discrimination at Emerson. While I cannot comment on any one specific incident-mainly because I do not know all the details-I would like to point out a blatant and surprising problem that is in danger of rendering our college a hypocritical institution. For a school that is supposed to educate students about communication and the arts, we are doing a very poor job communicating within our own realms.
We live in a world full of -isms (ageism, sexism, racism) and phobias. We have a Center for Diversity, a Center for Spiritual Life and a myriad of organizations representing different interests and beliefs. So why are these incidents occurring? That is a good question, and I will answer it in this way: we refuse to communicate our fears and misperceptions, and, in turn, we fail to communicate the reality: what is the "truth" of the matter, how do we approach these misperceptions and how do we address them?
Every time these incidents happen, people claim that they will not happen again. At best, this statement is wishful thinking. But frankly, it is a bold-faced lie. Similar instances will reoccur if we do not take time to educate each other. How can we classify ourselves as "liberal" or "progressive" if our actions are so old-fashioned and ineffective?
I ask all of us to be aware of what is happening in our midst. I ask all of us to speak up if we notice something "off." Lastly, I ask all of us to clearly and effectively communicate with the faculty, the organizations, the administration and, most importantly, with each other. We will improve neither the College nor ourselves if we continue to ignore reality. If we forever hold our peace, we will never move forward.
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