beyond the green: collective of middlebury voices

a student-run publication that seeks to provide space for voices that are not being heard on our campus. we are grounded by politics that are radical, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-transphobic (against all forms of oppression) and that reject the structural neo-liberal paradigm that characterizes middlebury college and its official publications

We do not have to justify our place at Middlebury

During the past academic year, The Campus has continuously published articles that have both subtly and explicitly reinforced the marginalization of several groups on this campus. The most recent of which have been, “The Coddling of the Middlebury Mind”, “Letter to the Middlebury Community”, “I’m Only Human”, and “Conversations in Confines”. This last article in particular, “Conversation in Confines”, which defends the validity of Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments on black students at elite colleges, is especially degrading to Black students. For Black students, who have to constantly defend our place at Middlebury, this is not an abstract intellectual debate. This is the manifestation of the racism that undermines our intelligence.This ideology does not question the placement and intelligence of white students; this directly affects Black students.

Furthermore, the article proceeds to compare “athletes, legacies and other groups who are admitted on more than academic merit” to Justice Scalia’s views on the intelligence of Blacks in collegiate settings. However, Justice Scalia was specifically talking about African American students’ inability to meet the qualifications and the challenges of elite education, thus proposing to instead send them to lower-track schools. We condemn these views that perpetuate the racist stereotypes that have historically dehumanized Black people in and outside of academic spheres. We condemn the reductive nature of Scalia’s view, which also erases the effects of racism and white supremacy on retention rates and academic outcomes of Black students at elite colleges. Our condemnation is not a one-sided argument, or a censoring of productive conversation, but rather a challenge to consider the implications of an article that willingly questions the very place of marginalized students in our school community. These ideas that devalue black students are grounded in a racist system that permits the dominant group to question a marginalized group’s belonging with complete disregard for historical power imbalances.

Black students belong here at Middlebury. We do not have to justify our place at Middlebury. We do not have to engage those who ask us to justify our place. When you ask us to consider the other side of the argument, you are asking us to consider our assumed inferiority as a logical position. In no way does this consideration further our (or your) education.

The controversial Op-Ed, “I’m Only Human” similarly delegitimizes the struggles and concerns of people of color at Middlebury. It tries to invalidate microaggressions, which are detrimental to the daily lives of Middlebury students (as well as symptomatic of systemic racism), shrugs off white privilege, and more than subtly identifies the Islamic faith as a more urgent global problem.

We acknowledge that The Campus is supposed to be a forum for all student voices that may reflect the opinions of the broader Middlebury student body. However, The Campus needs to be held accountable for their journalistic negligence in failing to differentiate the views of guest contributors from those espoused by the editorial board, as the dissemination of these views actively harms and systematically silences minority groups at Middlebury College.

Given this, we call upon The Campus as our official school newspaper to:

  1. Place explicit and clearly visible disclaimers on Op-Eds and guest contributions stating that the publication does not share the views of the guest contributor, online and in print.
  2. Publicly apologize for printing a picture of a Sports Editor in a culturally appropriative outfit and remove the picture from print.
  3. Create a foundation for collaboration with cultural organizations to create an inclusive journalistic forum, which instead of sensationalizing black and brown pain, produces accurate, thoughtful, and anti-racist work.
  4. Recognize that neutral spaces are not equal spaces; the Campus and journalism  was founded in a historical stream of Western, white, wealthy, male, hetero, ableist, cis consciousness and the Campus must actively work against that stream in order to serve ALL students, not just those for whom the school was created. As the official newspaper of the entire school, The Campus cannot just serve as a mouthpiece for those voices who have never had trouble being heard, but rather as an amplifier for the voices of those who have constantly been shouted down.

We, the undersigned student organizations, hereby denounce the racist sentiments expressed/reinforced throughout the Middlebury community that serve as further indications of the lack of inclusivity at Middlebury. Institutions such as Middlebury were never intended for students such as the undersigned, and the ideas both directly and indirectly embodied by the Guest Contributors and published by The Campus further exacerbate this reality. We will continue to fight the implicit prejudice and explicit discrimination present in the Middlebury community and we will not be silenced.

Standing up against prejudice, In solidarity, Alianza

Combating oppressive perspectives, In solidarity, Distinguished Men of Color

We, the Muslim Student Association of Middlebury College, decry the indirect verbal targeting of Muslims in the Op-ed “I’m Only Human,” which seeks to misrepresent our beliefs and problematize the existence of our faith.  In addition, we stand with our black brothers and sisters against those who would question their right to the education they have more than earned. In solidarity, the Muslim Student Association of Middlebury College

We, as Asians and Asian-Americans, denounce expressions of racism that seek to undermine the concerns of minority groups. We also recognize that a stand for black liberation is a stand for all of us against white supremacy. In solidarity, Radical Asians (Raisins)

We, as Progressive Christians and Allies, strongly and unequivocally denounce attempts to downplay real and lived instances of racism and discrimination experienced by marginalized groups, especially Black students at Middlebury College. We recognize the harmful effects of racism on these groups and call for cooperation in making Middlebury an inclusive, safe campus for ALL students, especially those who have been historically marginalized and whose place here has been constantly questioned and undermined. In solidarity, Gather

We, as women of color at Middlebury, denounce stigmatizing and racist statements that misrepresent and trivialize the experience of historically marginalized people, especially black students. In solidarity, Women of Color

We, the Black Student Union, condemn any acts of marginalization masked as an intellectual debate. In solidarity, Black Student Union

In solidarity, Queers and Allies

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This entry was posted on February 25, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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