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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ohio Democrats Have Race Ruckus: An Opinion Column From 2000 Bites Back

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A newly recruited "outreach coordinator" for the Ohio Democratic Party won't be reaching out after all. She has been brought down by a racially insensitive column penned as an Ohio State University freshman nearly seven years ago. The column remained frozen in time on the Internet, where it was unearthed by a mouseclick and did the author in.

Pho's Akron Pages broke the story late last night. Amazingly, he was being urged to cover it up, which does not speak well for the Demo insider who tried to play censor.

An excerpt from the October 2000 column that kicked up the dust reads as follows:

"President Kirwan's [OSU prez at the time] plan to bring more minority faculty and students here is ridiculous. Why should minority students receive more scholarships and opportunities because they are minority? I could understand this plan if the minorities were doing well, but according to the graduation rates presented in Professsor Mityagin's article this is not the case. It seems the less likely one's chances of succeeding in college is, the more scholarship opportunities arise. the Diversity Plan is just one form of discrimination on this campus.

"Another example of discrimination is the presence of all-African American floors in residence halls. to me, this is a form of segregation promoted by the university. Nowhere on my housing application did I see a box I could check for an all-Caucasian dorm. Why? Because this would be discrimination and lawsuits would be filed against the institution."

Obviously written by a kid. Hopefully a college education opened eyes and changed the young freshman's views. Did the ODP overreact? The question could be argued either way. The thoughts expressed in the letter are deeply offensive. But they were nothing more than the youthful musings of a largely unformed intellect that moved in a different direction.

Bottomline: A lot of today's college students really need to pay closer attention to the types of things they are posting on the Internet. They have been getting warnings. Here's an example of the warnings coming true.


  1. Bill,

    Why do you say the thoughts she expressed were deeply offensive? From the excerpt you posted she seemed offended that her university would discriminate on the basis of race. If they are hiring people based on race, or admitting students because of race we should all be offended by the school policy. As far as the dormitory issue goes she is pointing out an obvious double standard. It is okay for one demographic group to request to be segregated by race but not for another demographic group? If it is wrong for a white student to demand a white roommate (and it is) it is equally wrong for any other race to do so.

  2. Hi LargeBill --

    I think her comments in the Lantern column are offensive to some people, myself included. Why? I don't think she is a minority, nor has she experienced discrimination based upon race. I think the matters she saw as racial discrimination against "caucasians" were overblown, and I think that society has a duty to make up for some past injustices. We pay damages to people who are abused in state hospitals. We pay damages to people who are wrongly imprisoned or victims of miscarriages of justice. We should try to make sure that all citizens who were victims of injustice have a level playing field (Disclaimer: A very, very short version of my views, extremely condensed, and not a full elaboration of all the ins and outs of everything on this topic.)

    Second: I feel awful for this young person. I feel like I took part in a mob. I wish I had taken a pass and not written a word about her youtthful indiscretion. I wrote a longer comment on Jill's today.