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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I write in hopes that the new committee on race relations announced just before the Thanksgiving break will not simply investigate the “events” and “climate” here at Ole Miss, but also think about exactly why some students still use the “n-word.”
As a parent, I am not inclined to blame a student’s upbringing. If you are old enough to be at Ole Miss, you are old enough to think for yourself. Nor am I inclined to see the media as a major villain. Certainly anyone looking for racial nonsense can easily find it on the internet, but again, if you are smart enough to get into Ole Miss, you ought to be smart enough not to trust everything you read or hear.
Rather I believe that the protestors on election night were angry because they realize, consciously or not, that Whites -- 60 percent of whom nationally and a whopping 89 percent in Mississippi voted for Governor Romney -- can no longer determine who wins. Nationally, this suggests that conservatives must stop exaggerating issues such as “”voter fraud,” “welfare dependency,” and/or “losing the urban vote,” all of which are widely perceived as coded insults to minorities. Here at Ole Miss, we must find some way of underscoring the fact that remarkable changes in our electoral make-up pose no threat to our nation’s basic values.
Put another way, I actually feel rather sad for any member of this community who uses the n-word, mostly because I believe that they are scared about those who differ from themselves. With luck, our new committee will find ways to draw n-word users into a useful, university wide dialogue.

Peter Frost
Visiting Professor
Croft Institute