November 10, 2005

Criticism of the Greek System

I swear we didn't coordinate this, but Niral and I both wrote letters to the editor regarding Sarah del Nido's criticism of the Greek system.

Niral affirms the positive aspects of the support system present in Greek life and asks that future criticism of Greeks and the Greek system be less inclined to leap into hyperbole but rather focused on thorough research and clear-headed dialogue.

My op-ed is reacting more to the responses to del Nido of the past few days (here in particular, but here and here as well). My argument is that criticism--even of a politically correct nature--should not be shut out by being kept off the opinion pages or out of common discussion. My request is not that all Dartmouth students adhere to some rigid PC standard and constantly question their every action and motive. But I am requesting that when people do criticize our methods and motives, we don't attempt to shut them out by labelling them as "radical political correctness maniacs."

Unfortunately, the page editor deleted one clause that I think makes a fairly large difference. The beginning of the fifth paragraph reads:
I am not saying here that racism is rampant, classism common and sexism standard. I am saying that we cannot know anything about the presence, effects or extent of prejudice or inequality if we demonize our chastisers and pillory those who try to investigate our faults.
I am not, in fact, so definite in my opinion of whether racism, classism, sexism, etc. are prevalent. I think it is not nearly as dire a situation as del Nido may believe, but it is far more present than many of us would like to recognize. My original sentence was far more agnostic:
I am not saying here that racism is rampant, classism common, and sexism standard—I hold my own opinion on that subject, but I will not burden you with it here.
I actually hope someone writes in to challenge my "opinion" as it was printed--that is a conversation I hope is undertaken, not whether a "white trash" party is horrendously offensive or just in bad taste.


  1. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Yeah, you are an idiot if you agree with that DelNido bitch.

  2. that wasn't the point of my article, which if you would have read it you might have figured out, but the point was that I think people like you who avoid attempts at actual self-questioning by dismissively calling someone like her a "bitch" deserve all the overly politically-correct criticisms they can get.