Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Letter from Latina/o Studies and Native American Studies

Subject: An Open Letter Regarding the Recent Incident on Campus

September 27, 2005

Mary Sue Coleman, President
Edward Gramlich, Interim Provost
Lester P. Monts, Senior Vice Provost
Royster Harper, Vice President for Student Affairs John Matlock, Director, Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives; Patricia Aqui, Director, Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs; Patricia Gurin, Acting Director, Center for Institutional Diversity

An Open Letter

We, the faculties who teach in Latina/o Studies and the Native American Studies Programs want to express our outrage at the incident reported on the front page of last Wednesday's Michigan Daily (Sept. 21), involving two male university students who allegedly assaulted a couple of Asian heritage by shouting racial slurs, throwing eggs, and urinating on the couple. If true, the behavior of these University of Michigan students is inexcusable and should not and cannot be tolerated by this University Community, if this is to be a place where students learn in a safe and free environment.

The incident, unfortunately, is not an isolated one, but is perhaps just the most visible of the daily incidents of racial and ethnic intimidation that many students-of-color face on this campus. As faculty whose daily work involves teaching and conducting research that aims to increase interracial understanding and tolerance throughout the university community, we are deeply disturbed by the presence of such intolerance and hatred on our campus. One of our responsibilities is to educate students and colleagues alike to the history of anti-Asian racism and violence and how that history is linked to the long and complex history of racism and racial intolerance in this country. We also work to promote an understanding that will lead to solutions and mutual appreciation for the diverse nation that has been created by this often painful history.

We hope that the University will take at least two concrete and public steps to address this issue. First, a fair and full hearing into the incident must be conducted by the University administration. If these students are indeed found guilty of the accusations after a complete hearing, then they should not be permitted to continue as students at this University. An incident that exhibits such racial intolerance can not be tolerated by a University that proclaims its commitment to educating a diverse student body. Second, while we regret that a public incident such as this has once again unmasked more pervasive ethnic and racial discrimination on this campus, we hope that the university leadership will now marshal the necessary resources to ensure that the wider university community can collaborate collectively to ease, if not end, such race-based bias and intimidation.

As faculty we support all of our students who daily face such hostilities, both overt and subtle. We welcome the opportunity to work with you, the University administration, to find productive ways of dealing with these difficult issues that continue to haunt our campus climate.


The Faculties of the Latina/o Studies and Native American Studies Programs

Maria E. Montoya, Director Latina/o Studies Program Gregory Dowd, Director, Native American Studies Program Philip Deloria, Director, American Culture Catherine Benamou, Associate Professor Maria E. Cotera, Assistant Professor Joseph Gone, Assistant Professor Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Assistant Professor Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Assistant Professor Barbara Meek, Assistant Professor Tiya Miles, Assistant Professor Maria C. Sanchez, Assistant Professor Andrea Smith, Assistant Professor Gustavo Verdisio, Associate Professor Michael Witgen, Assistant Professor


Blogger PoloHippie said...

I propose we stop pissing off balconies onto Asians and start pissing onto these morons attacking the Drew & Mike show. I'm talking about a steaming and frothy piss here. Look, it probably wasn't a hate crime, but simply the people on the balcony were probably just upset that through affirmative action all the asians are getting all the scholarships in Ann Arbor.

I didn't see anyone get upset when the asian pissed onto the white guy in American Pie!

8:19 PM  

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