Re: Letters to the Editor – April 18, 2005

While those who wrote to you regarding your April 1 centerfold accuse you of contributing to a racist culture, I’d like to accuse them of contributing to a culture of fear. This fear culture is formed in part by those who wish to make everyone fit into an acceptable profile: open-minded, accepting, and afraid of offending with a remark that can be vaguely connected to an innapropriate thought.

Regina Stanback Stroud states that the centerfold paints an image of “the black male as a violent, immoral criminal.” Your centerfold played on cultural stereotypes, but from what I recall, didn’t make any sweeping generalizations about “the black male” being a pimp; rather, it made a statement about one black male being a pimp. Regina creates a racist connection, and that is why I don’t think she’d be any fun at parties. More importantly, it was a joke that anyone who likes lame humor can appreciate (I did not appreciate it).

It’s a beautiful thing when a black man can pose as a cultural stereotype and laugh with white people because they understand that it’s ridiculous. The person who sees that as racist and attempts to persuade others to see it the same way contributes to a tense and nervous society that is at a constant risk of reaching its breaking point.

Anthony CruzStudent