racial slur

From:Barry Rittman

I guess that I must have had a senior moment because I looked at the
message and I do not believe that there was any intent for this to be a
racial slur at all.
This year I,  (a pink caucasian),  am the president of the Minority
Faculty Association.  I feel that the mixture of English, Irish, German
on my side, the English and Welsh on my wife's side and the Hispanic and
Apache on my daughter in laws side is a great mixture. From the
invasions of the Romans and the Norman's I suspect other genes are also
The Minority Faculty Association is an organization that includes
faculty, staff and students from all cultures and tries to emphasize
harmony between different cultural and ethnic groups. One problem is
ignorance and this we try to minimize by distributing information about
cultural events, holidays, a cultural diversity calendar etc. so that we
are all aware of why certain times are special to different groups.
While it is dangerous to generalize, one major barrier that I have found
is the baggage from history. There is no doubt that some groups were
subjected to inhumane conditions and should remember theses so  that
history will not repeated. There is however a great danger in assuming
that it will be repeated. This show itself in our personal
interpretation of words, writings and actions. The problem is that it is
difficult and often impossible to measure intent. I strongly believe
that most people are not necessarily bigoted but are often insensitive
to words that may offend others. I believe that it is the duty of
everyone to diplomatically bring this to their attention. Hopeful they
will learn from this. If they do not learn then they may well be
I do agree that  we should all be sensitive but please give everyone the
benefit of the doubt as to their intent until proven otherwise.
This country owes its enormous success to cultural diversity and from
getting the best from all cultures. I am sure that we will continue to
do so.
I also hope that while we will take pride in our individual heritage we
will also think of ourselves first as Americans.

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>