Letters to the Editors

Criticism of racist posters coverage unproductive

Dear Editors,

Re: “Article paints white students as racist” (Journal, Feb. 15, 2008)

The Journal’s coverage of recent acts of hate speech and racism on and near campus has sparked heated conversations of what does and doesn’t constitute racism. I’d like to point out that nowhere in the article published by the Journal on Feb. 12, 2008 (“More defaced posters found”) was there any specific blame on “white students” as a group. Instead the article focused on white-supremacist groups and the more subtle ways racism can be perpetrated by all people on campus, not just “white students.” I’d like to remind Thompson and the Queen’s University community that guilt, denial and defensiveness (as evidenced by Thompson’s unfounded accusations) towards reports of racism aren’t productive and instead one must work beyond these initial reactions towards a more productive anti-racist state of mind. Additionally, everyone has an obligation to read a book and become educated on matters of race and racism before they decide to say or write reactionary rants that further shut down sincere dialectic.

Dana Wesley
ArtSci ’09

Librarian upset by racist graffiti

Dear Editors,

Re: “More defaced posters found” (Journal, Feb. 12, 2008)

I was dismayed to read about Mr. Holtzer’s encounter with racist graffiti on the bathroom stalls in Stauffer Library. Although graffiti in the washroom stalls is an ongoing nuisance for Queen’s custodians, this is the first notice received by library administration of messaging of a racist nature. We have been assured by Physical Plant Services (PPS) that the remarks attributed to one of the building’s caretakers in the recent Journal article referred to the scourge of campus-wide graffiti in general, rather than racist comments specifically.

The library is committed to providing a secure, welcoming environment to support scholarly inquiry and discovery by all members of the Queen’s community. Students, faculty and staff may be assured that racist or other hostile messages are neither ignored nor tolerated in library facilities. Although such occurrences are extremely rare, any instance brought to our attention involving hostile messaging is always reported to appropriate authorities.

We have asked our colleagues in PPS to report any future graffiti of this nature. Members of the Queen’s community who encounter such messaging on library premises are likewise requested to draw this to the attention of a staff member.

Paul Wiens
University Librarian

Lack of Lovelace coverage frustrating

Dear Editors,

Almost two weeks after the unfair incarceration of one of our own professors, Global Development Studies Professor Bob Lovelace, I’m shocked but mostly disappointed that the Journal didn’t feel it necessary to cover this issue at all. Though there was time during Reading Week to update the Journal’s website to let students know about the wins and losses of the Golden Gael teams, our own professor’s trial went unmentioned as did Saturday’s 400+ protest on Lovelace’s behalf, which included a considerable number of Queen’s students.

Lovelace’s arrest isn’t only an Aboriginal and environmental tragedy, but also questions the very rights and freedoms supposedly entrenched in the Canadian Constitution. Though both the University and the AMS have taken measures to deal with the situation, the Journal has made no mention of any of Queen’s responses or upcoming events on the issue. To me, this should have been breaking news whether appearing online or printed separately. Mainstream media indifference aside, I have to stress my total frustration with the Journal’s coverage of its usual norm-friendly issues at such a concerning time.

Chantal Clément
ArtSci ’08

RWS did consult with Earth Centre

Dear Editors,

Re: “AMS teams abuse green buzzwords” (Journal, Jan. 29, 2008)

It has come to the attention of the Earth Centre executive that in a letter to the editors it was assumed team RWS didn’t consult the Earth Centre before including our organization as part of their platform on sustainability. While the Earth Centre didn’t endorse any team during the AMS elections, the executive would like to clarify that team RWS did indeed discuss their platform with us before and during the campaign period.

Raili Lakanen Earth Centre Co-chair (Human Resources) 2007-08
ArtSci ’09

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