Letter to the editor: Nov. 18 student letters disappointing

As a white student at OSU, I was disappointed by the student letters published in the Barometer this past Wednesday(Nov. 18th). I do not believe those letters represent the views of most OSU students. They certainly do not represent mine.

I am not sure if the letter-writers were present at the same event that I was. They complained about not feeling welcomed in the Speak Out and claimed to be victims of some sort of reverse “racism.” The Speak Out was a space for students of color to relate their experiences. White students were not welcomed to speak in Monday’s ‘discussion’ because it was not intended to be a discussion. We were there to listen, learn, and acknowledge the urgency of addressing racial injustice in our university.

The letter-writers dismissed the experiences of students of color, using words such as “bigots”, “over-dramatic” and “whiny”. It is not for them to determine whether other people’s suffering is legitimate. Students of color do not need “white validation.” They need collective action to stop racial injustice on campus and beyond. It also became clear to me that a few white students in this institution are oblivious to American history, the history of this state and recent events across the country.

Finally, it is absurd to evoke “first amendment rights” to justify speaking at a forum specifically organized for others. I was about eight years old when I learned that my freedom ends where others’ begin, and that I should listen when others have something to say.

Luciana Leite

PhD student in Forest Ecosystems and Society

College of Forestry

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