Thursday, March 28, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 118


 
 









 

Not funny

To the editor:

As a student who was part of the peaceful rally on Thursday, I am outraged by the gross misconception and
depiction of us in Monday's editorial cartoon. In no shape, manner or form were Provost Edward Sheridan or
(College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences) Dean Andrew Achenbaum, who did not meet with us, ever
threatened or treated in a disrespectful manner.

We as students simply voiced our concerns about the state of the African American Studies program and
where we would like it to go. The Daily Cougar never included the history and struggle of the AAS program in
becoming a future department, or the 35-year history we have at this school.

Monday's cartoon continues to perpetuate the racist view of Africans resorting to violence to get our points
across and to get the "white man" to listen.

Chioma Akuchie
sophomore, biology



Citizen's duty

To the editor:

Shame on The Daily Cougar for posing as a responsible news agency as it continues to spread misinformation
and bias on our campus. The contributors to Tuesday's staff editorial have a lot to learn about conducting
full research before composing a printed opinion.

First, understand that our purpose in marching to Provost Edward Sheridan's office Thursday afternoon was
not to formally request that the African-American Studies program be upgraded to a department.

As we stated many times throughout our demonstration, our gathering and our march was to amass visual
support for the hiring of James Conyers, of the University of Nebraska, for the position of
African-American Studies director. After having heard Conyers speak and reviewing his credentials, we know
that he would be an asset to our University. We don't want to allow the administration to pass this gem up
and, consequently, short-change our program.

I'm flattered that the staff found our march "very '60s ... very Berkeley," but don't accuse us of merely
being nostalgic. Demonstrations are still used today to call attention to a group's cause and, obviously, ours
was successful in this endeavor. As the editorial stated, "it was an abstraction used to catch the attention
of the University, and in the process, put pressure on officials to handle the matter quickly."

I now pose the following question: What's wrong with that? It is the duty of the informed citizen, or college
student, to hold the people who make decisions affecting our lives accountable, and to let them know we hold
them accountable.

Furthermore, there aren't any "Request to Transition from Program to Department" forms just lying around
the provost's office. The implementation of our wish requires a process. In other words, this was only the
first step.

Now allow me to pose a second question. Why is it that people always want to answer black folks' cries of
injustice with quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.? Don't y'all know we're tired of hearing King's speeches
anthologized as nothing more then turn-the-other-cheek-and-don't-upset-the-status-quo rhetoric?

That brother was a socialist, but the propaganda-pushers err, textbooks won't tell you he grew weary
of his non-violent philosophy toward the sudden end of his career.

Yet even as you read this, your sentiment will remain unmoved, and when you put this letter down it will be
as if you never picked it up in the first place. And that's fine with Sankofa, because we're going to press on
as if we never read that editorial.

Trust me, we don't need an official endorsement from your paper to promote our agenda our strength is
in our people.

Tresha Charles
junior, English



Lost respect

To the editor:

Wednesday's editorial board submission was a pompous and deplorable read. I have learned to expect such
from The Daily Cougar. The Opinion section of the paper is continuously full of false information, yet you
continue to print it, so why not the opinions of others?

Many people submit letters about your biased, at times degrading, content that go unprinted. However, the
shady, misinformed opinions of your staff keep slipping in. Remember Michael Ahlf's ridiculous, exploitative
commentary on how blacks accentuate negative stereotypes?

Besides inaccurate information, you continue to run offensive material as well. I haven't forgotten the
depiction of Muslim leader Quannell X as comparable to Hitler, have you?

You write an editorial about how Sankofa was not righteous in the way it supported its chosen candidate for
the African American Studies program, but of the 100 students present, your reporter could not speak to
one to find out how to correctly spell the organization's name.

Then there was the laughable analogy that if you vote straight ticket in our SGA election you are somehow
silencing important student voices. Oh, please.

The editors constantly print inaccurate and offensive material, but when someone criticizes the paper, you
can't seem to let these opinions in. Contradicting yourself in your own paper seriously damages your
credibility. At the risk of "berating" you, let me say that you have already lost the support of a lot of our
student body, and all of my respect.

Autumn McCowan
senior, communication

Editor's note: Don't criticize The Daily Cougar for printing false information in the Opinion section if you can't give any examples.

The misspelling of Sankofa's name was in a news story. The reporter who covered the Sankofa rally was told by a demonstrator how to
spell the name, wrote it down, then showed it to another demonstrator who confirmed it was correct. As soon as we found out it was
wrong, we ran a correction.

Lots of offensive things are printed in The Daily Cougar. They're called opinions, and they're protected by the First Amendment which
also protects your right to disagree with those opinions. Disrespecting the paper for printing opinions you disagree with is absurd.

Letters go unprinted for only four reasons: the author won't tell us his or her name, classification or major; it contains information that
we know isn't true; it's so badly written that it's incomprehensible; or (most commonly) we don't have enough space and the letter
becomes untimely. Never because we don't agree with the writers.
 
 


Letters Policy

Letters to the editor are welcome from all members of the UH community and should focus on issues, not personalities. Letters must be typed and must include the author's name, telephone number and affiliation with the University. Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, language and space. Letters may be delivered in person to Room 151, Communication; e-mailed to dclettrs@mail.uh.edu; or faxed to (713) 743-5384.

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