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

to allison stanger, from the empowered ignorant

Dear allison stanger,

Let me preface by expressing my rejection to academia as the end-all be-all for well written, valid and important works. No amount of carefully selected words can cloak your privilege enough for it to not peek out in your article “Middlebury, My Divided Campus”. No amount of professorship and years lived gives you agency to claim your experience as truth and mine as ignorance. Your assumptions are grossly inaccurate and dangerous. YOU are dangerous.

Read that again allison stanger.

YOU are dangerous. You, the professor at an elite institution. You, the white liberal. You, the heralder of free speech. I will not coddle you or your feelings. I will not be gentle in my approach. I am angry and you cannot tell me I have no right to be. And you will not invalidate my words. You will not point to my anger as evidence of misinformation. You will not dismiss me.

 

Dear allison stanger,

I wonder how much privilege someone must have to do the things they do. I wonder what life someone must have lived to compare fear of coming out of the conservative closet with that of coming out of the LGBTQ+ closet. I wonder what life someone must have lived to compare being called a “reactionary bigot” to being called a wetback, or the myriad of equal or worse slurs POC hear. Since when is the experience of being called a racist the same as experiencing said racism? When did the most powerful and privileged group in the country become so…. sensitive? Yes. Sensitive. I could choke on the irony.

Dear allison stanger,

I wonder why your stakes are lower than mine. I wonder why you hold the right to safely express your deeply rooted bigotry on various platforms, but my anger in this single response will elicit a negative pushback that could affect my life. I wonder if this administration will protect me that way they protected CM. I wonder if you will hold my anger with the same respect that you held CM’s pseudoscience. I wonder if you will use your physical body as a shield to protect me from the enraged conservatives, administrative and peer alike, when they come for my livelihood for expressing my opinion. Is my freedom of speech worthy of your protection allison stanger?

Dear allison stanger,

I wonder how many letters you’ve received. How many flowers, and words of love from friends and strangers alike for your “bravery” weeks ago. I wonder how badly your neck hurts. How much the light bothers you. I wonder how angry someone must have been to pull your blonde hair so hard that after weeks you still wear a neck brace. I wonder about the rage you experienced, and who it came from, and who is blamed for it, and why of all words you decided to describe them as “thugs”. I wonder if you still describe them that way when you recall your assault to others. I wonder which students, which “thugs”, you’re weary of when walking around your divided campus. I wonder what parts of your divided campus you traverse.

Dear allison stanger,

I wonder if you care. I wonder why white liberals like yourself look at “radical” POC as the reason this campus, this country, is divided. I wonder why you turn your head in disgust at violence and refuse to look at your bloodstained hands. I wonder why our safety becomes compromised at the sight of your tears. Why the cries and rage of historically oppressed and marginalized students are exaggerations but your white tears are sacred. Your white tears are truth. Your white tears create wars and put the lives of Black and brown bodies in danger. You have no idea, allison stanger, the danger I put myself in with every word I type. You have no idea what kind of fear student protestors have as they are being called in, one by one, to be questioned about those events. Your white tears absolve you of your crimes while our existence at middlebury college criminalizes us.

 

Dear allison stanger,

I wonder what kind of sacrifices you’ve made. I wonder if there have been points in your life in which you have had to compromise two things that would ultimately shape you. I wonder how they played out, and what the reasoning behind your choices were.

I wonder if you’ve stopped to think about us in that light. Us, the thugs and radicals. Have you stopped to think about our lives? Many of us have made sacrifices to be here that you will never understand. We make sacrifices every time a professor is casually racist or a peer is painfully ignorant. We make sacrifices every time we speak up for ourselves. You don’t know what it’s like to a be woman of color calling out her white male professor in front of everyone. The mix of fear and anger and adrenaline. You don’t know what danger we put ourselves in when we find the courage to exist as our entire selves on this campus.

Let me ask you, allison stanger: Why would anyone sacrifice years of sleepless nights, years of part-time jobs, of AP classes, of extra-curriculars, of test prep, of tutoring, of applications, of breaking points, of hope, for one protest? To what brink must someone be pushed to put everything on the line? How much abuse does someone have to endure before deciding enough is enough? Why would students so vehemently protest a single man from speaking on our campus? Why write an article directly addressed to faux liberalism herself?

I’ll tell you why, Dr. Allison Stanger.

Because it matters. Because we matter. And we will rise, with or without you.

Anonymous, ‘18

 

P.S. The sciences you claim to be so objective are drenched in cultural politics. The racism in biology (Tuskegee, hello?) and sexism in math (have you seen Hidden Figures?) and chemistry (Marie Currie) are immediate examples that come to mind. I am positive there are hundreds of other examples. Don’t belittle the humanities and social sciences.

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This entry was posted on April 10, 2017 by in Uncategorized.
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