Letter to the Editor: Avoiding racial slurs adds to a cycle of ignorance

I am the Critical Issues Coordinator of Bradley’s Activities Council and I want to express my disappointment that the advertisement for my event, “N*GGER W*TBACK, CH*NK,” was withheld from being published in The Scout.

I understand that there were concerns with The Scout’s readers taking offense to the words, but the choice of words is a way to engage and encourage students to attend the performance—a performance that addresses and educates students on the seriousness, effects and the existence of these words that are still commonly used today.

The Scout’s staff explained they decided not to run the advertisement, which included the name of the performance, because the staff were concerned with offending readers.

Even though the poster was rejected, an agreement was made to include a small blurb that explained the event in detail.

When I sent in the blurb, it included the title of the event with a brief explanation of the purpose of the show, clearing up any questions readers may have.

The Scout printed a portion of my blurb, but decided to abbreviate the name of the show with “NWC.” The Scout’s refusal to print the full title of the play is a major concern of mine.

The show is a student-funded event that was also a huge success on Bradley’s campus in 2006. One of ACBU’s main sources of advertisement is through The Scout and the decision to not print the correct name of the show potentially affected the amount of attendance at the event.

Funding for the show was voted on and approved by students on the Student Activities Budget Review Committee (SABRC) and faculty/staff members of the Intellectual and Cultural Activities Committee (ICAC).  By withholding the full title of the event, The Scout’s editorial staff chose to censor the voice of Bradley students, faculty, and staff.

One of the main reasons for the show’s title is to grab people’s attention and to get them thinking. The Scout’s choice of not printing the words is a great example of why this show exists. In today’s society some people try to disregard the existence of racism and racial slurs, but sweeping these words under the rug and turning a blind eye to them does not make them go away.

The Scout deciding not to print these names does not make them go away. We need to be able to confront these racial slurs, realize the seriousness and educate people about the effect of the use of racial slurs.

Trying to avoid these terms and not talk about them is what I believe to be an indirect way of continuing the cycle of ignorance.

 

Candice Richards

ACBU Critical Issues Coordinator