Did you ever look through your high school annual and note that — by sheer coincidence — most of the candid photos featured members of the yearbook staff and their friends?
Perhaps Vassar College experienced something like this recently.
According to The College Fix there was some hubbub over Jeh Johnson, the U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security.
Jeh had been scheduled to speak at this spring’s commencement but officially pulled out on Valentine’s Day.
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[A February 17th article in The Miscellany News] detailed the decision…Johnson made to withdraw… …
Johnson, who is black, was accused by some students of committing “war crimes” for enforcing immigration laws on the U.S. southern border.
Calling immigration a “difficult and painful issue,” Johnson, who served during the second Obama administration, withdrew as a speaker…
That’s all well and good, but the February article itself was criminally problematic: It quoted too many white people.
Thus, the whole piece was pulled.
On March 23rd, the paper’s editors launched a massive mea culpa.
[T]he online version of the article has been pulled…by the Executive Board in concert with the News Editors. We would like to take this space to discuss the reasoning behind our decision and recognize the feelings of disappointment and hurt surrounding the article’s publication.
Crew members made it clear that the story had been rushed and Jeh was forced to cancel at press time.
Corruption in Caucasus:
[W]e attempted to include a variety of quotes from students describing why there was protest to the announcement of him as speaker in the first place, and the students’ reaction to his withdrawal.
“In prioritizing urgency over thoroughness,” the publication “made misguided and insensitive oversights with whom [it was] representing in the article and failed to provide in-depth reporting of the issue at large.”
The “at large” part is a matter of melanin:
Most of our quotes came from white students. Therefore, we reduced students of color’s positions to a tokenized, singular perspective.
It typifies America’s racism. Or at least the editors’:
The article in question exemplifies many structural and institutional problems found within our newspaper. The Miscellany News has been affected by the effects of this structure. Journalism in college, as well as journalism at large, is historically a white-centric and often elite field.
What could have made them unknowingly racist because they had a history of being racist in the press? Such isn’t spelled out.
However, it was certainly a dangerous act:
We are reminded of both the systemic problems our board members are involved in and the privileges and dearth of diversity we allow to continue for many generations. We cannot explain the problems of past articles on people of colour, and we can’t address the whole issue of representation in our board.
The editors concede that “consistent action must be taken in order to address the systemic problems within The Miscellany News.”
To admit there are “systemic” issues, as I understand, is to say they’ve discovered overly racist mechanisms embedded into the outlet. It would be easy to identify them and remove them immediately.
They could also form a commission.
[W]We will take immediate as well as gradual steps. We are currently creating a review panel to look at quotes and source material to verify their authenticity and ensure the integrity of the representations within an article. It will not be affiliated with the editorial board and will rotate through articles.
The editors took tremendous time composing their confession so as to “cover the gravity or complexity of the situation.”
The article was removed to “prevent further harm among the communities [they] misrepresented.”
Perhaps they were too busy to reach out enough in an effort to get everything done. Is it possible that one white writer only surveyed a small group of pals who are pale? If so, why wasn’t the web article simply supplemented with less white words?
Perhaps it’s because these are the days of epic apologies. Rather than correcting an error, it’s more en vogue to run from town while shouting “Unclean!”
But maybe I’m wrong.
In any case, it doesn’t matter what, make sure that a lot of non-whites are interviewed for Vassar articles. If you don’t, your name may not appear in print.
You can find more of my content here:
University Drops a Bomb: There Will Be No More ‘Office of Equity and Inclusion’
College Students Hold a ‘Die-In’ to Protest Their Own Freedom to Unmask
University Puts Freshmen Through ‘Equity’ Orientation, Schools Them on ‘Whitesplaining’
Check out all of my RedState work Click here.
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