A reader writes:
“…while editorial editor of the campus newspaper at XYZ University, I witnessed race hysteria first-hand.
“An incident involving the mere presence of a Confederate flag resulted in a visit from a reporter from the state’s largest newspaper, named Towanda Underdue. She interviewed several of the abundant resentistas among the school’s black students and reported about ‘subtle forms of racism.’ The piece was complete B.S. of a kind you’d find all too familiar.
“I wrote to the paper’s editor saying that these forms of racism were apparently too subtle to even be described and suggested that the testimony of the black students suggested a chip-on-the-shoulder attitude attuned to detecting offense where none need be. Criticizing the reporter’s willingness to essentially form an indictment against the University’s students without evidence, I wrote, ‘Underdue’s article was underdone, and an apology to the students of XYZ is overdue.’ The letter wasn’t printed.
“As both editorial editor and editor-in-chief the following year, I actually reached out repeatedly to the black student association, members of whom had written letters (which we published) accusing us of being a white boys’ club. None took my offer to volunteer for the newspaper.
“I also once entertained a submission from a pretty whacky Mexican kid, asking him to basically take care of some coherency problems in his piece and make his point. He re-submitted the piece later without having so much as spell-checked it. I ignored it and later found myself reported to the relevant administrator for discrimination. As it happened, I was very friendly with the administrator who consequently had no trouble accepting my account of the illiterate and ungrateful little bastard.
“Believe me, I’m not making this stuff up. Mostly the behavior of the black students was just disappointing. They had a kind of persecution mentality that prevented them from warming up to my overtures. My candid approach simply didn’t fit into the poisonous narrative they’d been marinated in. Very sad.
“Amusing story: after accusing the student government of ‘re-education’ efforts for censuring the fraternity that had displayed the Confederate flag, a Dominican guy with a radio show wrote an abusive guest column refering to me as ‘Massa O’Donnell,’ which he read on the radio and which I published, just for laughs.
I later ran into him and said, ‘You’ve got me all wrong.’ He was surprised to learn that I actually belonged to the Latin American Student Organization and spoke Spanish extremely well, having studied in Argentina for a year. He then told me he’d gone for an exchange program in Britain, which I identified as my country of citizenship. ‘Cool,’ he gushed, ‘you know, I even have a Union Jack up on my wall!’ Feigning great disgust, I said, ‘You display that offensive symbol of colonial oppression?’
“He got the point, and we remained good friends from that moment on.”