Letter to the Editor: Publication of QOTI response inappropriate

A Letter to the Editor:

I am not at all thrilled about picking up Monday’s issue and seeing such derogatory language published within it. I am an avid reader of The Lanthorn, oftentimes encouraging peers to take a gander at the newspaper as well. However, where I can give credit, I can also criticize.

This issue has been the second where my status as a Black woman has been threatened through this paper. The Lanthorn is supposed to be the voice of Grand Valley, providing students with the platform to be themselves. I understand that wholeheartedly. My issue is with the continuous disrespect to my race. Does this mean that the voice of Grand Valley has a racist undertone?

Grand Valley prides itself on being diverse, but is this what diversity means? Picking up my school newspaper and seeing such defamatory language has made me question if I’m really welcome here. Does Grand Valley really aim to diversify with open arms?

Allow me to digress for a moment. A fellow student was quoted calling Trayvon Martin a “colored boy” in Monday’s issue. My race was referred to and identified as colored by Caucasians, after being called niggers by Caucasians, after we had been taken from our native land and enslaved by Caucasians. We have fought long and hard for equality, and in 2012, words like “colored” should vanish from our vocabulary as it pertains to the African American race. Someone saying this, and it being printed, set us back as a university 100 years.

One of the first things you learn in journalism is to not print things that will offend or degrade someone or a group of people. This is clearly stated by AP Style, in which the Lanthorn follows The Lanthorn is not exempt. Comments like these should not “slip through the cracks”, and whether you know it or not, this speaks to the carelessness and distasteful attempt to increase readership on your behalf. It also underlines the poor judgment of your editorial staff and calls in to question the message that you want to send to readers.

If you all wanted to create an uproar, you’ve gotten it. I am livid with the idea that you as an editor thought it were okay to green light the comment. But understand this: someday your children or young siblings will have to live in the world that you foster through your writing and publishing. We as a country have come too far together to let things like this occur. Something has got to change.

TERRIA WILLIAMS Sophomore, Communication studies