The Oregonian has a breaking headline that reads: "OSU Students Upset by Perceived Racist Symbols".
I read the headline and thought it strange. The word "perceived" that is, and its mediating presence in the headline.
So here are the two "perceived" pictures that led some of Oregon State University's (OSU) 297 Black students to become incensed. The pictures are sourced from Eric Stoller's blog. Stoller is on the faculty at OSU.
The picture below appeared in OSU's student newspaper, The Daily Barometer, and it covers a call from a junior student who "encouraged" football fans to paint their faces and hands black as a show of support for the school's football team.
The call led about 50 students and staff to protest before a game because the Oregonian article says:"a previous football game included some students wearing black face paint and Afro wigs."
The article also says that the "protestors were largely ignored by the thousands of football fans headed to the game."
This is the other "percieved" racial insult:
And this is how the Oregonian explained it:"Earlier this week, some students were also angered by a noose hanging on the front lawn of a fraternity house. While it was later discovered that the noose was left over from a Halloween fundraiser at the fraternity, students were still bothered by what they considered a symbol of lynching."
A few weeks ago a student in my "Racism" class asked me a well intentioned question. She wanted to know why I sometimes refuse to inform whites about their racist behaviour.
I answered her question with honest intent and replied that "because at times I am just overcome by what I refer to as 'white fatigue'. This means that I am very often tired of schooling whites about their ignorance on matters of race and racism. I refuse to be in-service to whiteness 24/7 and 365 days a year."
You can read the response a Native student wrote about this whole fiasco here. Also see the comments at Stoller's blog if you need to get a sense of why 'white fatigue' should be covered by your health plan (if you have one of course).
Stoller also points out that Covallis, where OSU is located in Oregon, "is ranked as one of America’s Top 25 family friendly enclaves, ... and "the 8th best place in the nation to live."
What ya waiting for Eugene? A quality life awaits in the land of unintended racism and white oblivion. Kinda like Portland though huh?
Now why do I feel fatigued again?