COLUMN: Let’s change some things

Matthew Cox

As president of Black United Students, I must be the voice of the African American student body on this campus. BUS works hard to reflect their interests and views and also protect their civil rights.

Earlier this week, a columnist wrote an article entitled “Black people need to start sharing.” This column was about cultures other than African-Americans wanting the right to use the word “nigga.” The column, which was intended to be thought provoking and humorous, was instead offensive and demeaning. Racial stereotypes which blatantly disrespect any race should not be tolerated.

Since this word is used by people in the black community for whatever reason, it comes from oppressive people who dehumanized African people within the Diaspora for hundreds of years, and no, it is not a watered-down version of lynchings. Being that this word is such a confusing word on who gets to the right to use it, I urge everyone including myself to kill the word completely by not using it. I know it would be hard, but let’s try substitute the N-word with positive words like brother, sister or family. If we do this, all other cultures will follow suite. If not we will know who is really being offensive.

The printing of this column has shown that the Daily Kent Stater, as a major voice on this, only reflects the majorities’ opinions without using journalistic integrity. This is not to say the reporter is a problem, but as a “diverse” university the main voice on this campus does not have diverse points of views.

Change will come. The good that came from this column is that students, faculty and the administration will be more sensitive to the readers. Yesterday, the author of this piece, Aman Ali, and Editor Michele Park issued apologies for the printing of the column. Although I accept their apologies, the damage has already been done.

I would like to thank Pastor Aaron Wheeler, the head of the Ohio Civil Rights Commissions, Dean Jarvie, KASA and UHURU, and the Stater have shown great interest in correcting the system which has been flawed for years. Since the meeting on Wednesday I believe we have taken a step forward to having a better of the diversity on this campus. I will end on this note. We as students of Kent State University and in institutions are a chosen few that get the opportunity to attain an education in hopes we will change the world for the better.

Ali was right, black people need to start sharing, but not a disrespectful word. We along with all other races, genders, sexual orientation and economic classes need to share understanding, history and respect for each others humanity.

Matthew Cox is the president of Black United Students and a guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].