White Student Union does not equate to 'white power' [Letter]

I found Patrick Sheridan's letter about heritage to be quite disconcerting and felt compelled to respond. In making the statement that African Americans by their very existence have a richer heritage than others is a racist statement. Are African Americans comprised of richer heritages than those born in the Middle East or Greece with thousands of years of civilization? Does the author feel that those of Gaelic or Celtic heritages did not suffer at the hands of Romans or Britain under their cruel and oppressive rule? Would fighting against atrocities and oppression not qualify as being involved in a struggle or its ongoing effects?

The next part of the letter that deserves comment is how the author feels that there are clubs and social opportunities already available at the university for whites to participate. Are these same clubs closed for minorities, or are they open for everyone? They are in fact open to everyone on campus which refutes the author's contention that those opportunities are only plentiful to those of white heritage.

Lastly, what I found to be the most disturbing aspect of the author's letter was where he equated a club for white students with "white power" and, subsequently, hatred directed to other races. I wonder if this same author equates celebrations on St. Patrick's day by those of Irish heritage with the IRA, or if he equates the Black Society of Engineers with the New Black Panther Party. I am willing to bet that you will not find Mister Sheridan telling worshippers outside of a mosque that their social venue is equivalent to that of Hamas or Hezbollah. So why then is the author equating the establishment of a white student union with the negative connotation he put in his letter? It is such attitudes and opinions that further divide this country on racial issues and only makes people more sensitive concerning their own heritage and how they express pride or awareness of this in public places such as campuses.

Matthew Mekonis


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