After reading this article (Immigrating Nonsense) just uploaded by The Dartmouth Independent, I wrote the following, addressed to TDI and to the article's author, Douglas Hayes. I suppose TDI isn't quite worth bothering about because its impact on campus discourse is really limited, but a) I despise stupid people who make (implicit) claims to intellectualism and b) I think TDI is showcasing how much racial tensions underlie a lot of campus life, but I think they're going about it blindly and stupidly.
Anyway, a little disputation. Enjoy.
--- You wrote:
A reporter's take on the intellectual standards of Dartmouth's immigration rally
--- end of quote ---
Given that you're so concerned about intellectual standards, I would like to point out that the repetitive misuse of the word "xenophobia" and its various inflections in your article robs that word of its actual denotative meaning, which is "fear of foreigners." In describing the College Republicans' opponents as being xenophobic, you are clearly missing the point. Mr. Sangwan's nationality did not seem to be at issue even in the "brown" statement--just his skin color. While I am not condoning such racializing, I would like to point out that conflating xenophobia with race is etymologically incorrect and, in this case, shows a complete lack of care about what words actually mean in favor of a rapid (and, honestly, rather vapid) response. While it is patently obvious that racism is mixed up with xenophobia in the case of immigration here, your word choice is not only incorrect and poor, it is ignorant. You talk about "intellectual sensitivity," and yet you do not even know what the words you are throwing around actually mean.
And while I'm on the subject, please refrain from using the word "intellectual" ever again. Your constant yammering about it voids the word of any distinctive meaning, causing it to fall into a base synonym for "civilly discursive." As I read your article, I began to wonder what kind of person might have such an infelicitous relation to the wonders of varying diction, so I facebooked you. Your two favorite books are the dictionary and the thesaurus. I suggest you become better friends with them.
Also, I would like to point out that the compound noun "collective un-conscience" does not exist. In fact, the noun "un-conscience" does not exist. So much for your "intellectual rigor," Mr. Hayes.