Letter to the Editor

U-News Staff


I’m sure it has already been brought to your attention the controversy surrounding the “Do I have a booger” article.

I do not believe the writer wrote with the intention of being racist or coming off as bigoted. As an African-American student at UMKC, I understand the complaints being raised from other students.

However, I think this is an opportunity to explore the larger issue at hand. I think that African-American students are embarrassed by how the writer portrayed the characters in her article. It is only my theory that the source of the embarrassment comes from the reality of the situation.

Do many African-Americans speak in the dialect the writer portrayed? Yes.

Isn’t it true that this dialect is many times viewed at as uneducated or inferior to “standard English”? Yes.

These feelings of inferiority have always come through loud and clear to African-Americans. We have to become educated and well-rehearsed in the manners of “standard English” to fit into mainstream society (read White). Everything from our dialect to our hairstyles to our way of dressing cannot be celebrated.

When the writer wrote those words in the style of the heavy African-American, she exercised her superiority over them without even realizing it.

Do I blame the writer? No. In 2010, white superiority is invisible.

If anything, the writer has opened a door for all of us into self-examination. I thank her for taking the curtain off the elephant in the room that has been veiled for so long.

-Lauren Sims