Inequality on campus
EDITOR: The Feb. 23 article “Outrage over slur at SSU” missed the point. Why are only 5 percent of California State University students African-American (3 percent at Sonoma State University), instead of 7 percent to represent the percentage of black people in California (13 percent in the U.S.)? What hiring practices result in only 4 percent black faculty (67 percent white) in the CSU system? Why do many black professors never reach tenure, being denied it or leaving due to a difficult campus climate? Why do many college texts leave out or diminish the contributions of black people?
This understanding — that somehow being white creates an advantage in life — makes it difficult for white students to engage in sustained work toward a racially equitable system, no matter how tolerant the individual student. Sporadic outrage at notes left on tables provides an easier target — intolerant students who need to learn how to behave. Students don't need training in “tolerance” as much as they need tools to address the white supremacy of our educational institutions.
If you read The Press Democrat article with outrage, wondering what's wrong with folks who behave so hatefully, ask yourself what you might do on an ongoing basis to change the underlying structures in our community that perpetuate racial inequality.
EDITOR: To honestly evaluate Sebastopol's action on SmartMeters, we must ask whether there really are scientific data showing that Wi-Fi can harm human health (“PG&E rejects Sebastopol ban on SmartMeter,” Feb. 22).
Our search is aided by a letter dated Feb. 8, 2012, by Martha Herbert, a board certified specialist in pediatric neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and teaches at Harvard Medical School. Herbert reports on her study of health issues and pulsed EMF. Her letter is linked at greenswan.org.