A Racist Text

by Andrew Grossman | 11/12/01 6:00am

To the Editor:

Ms. Hollie's Op-Ed on the racist backlash against Muslims ("What We Can Do," Nov. 5) is right on the mark. It is about time that someone brought on-campus events like the "ghetto party" together with their off-campus equivalents like the racially motivated murder of Thung Phetakoune by his obviously unbalanced neighbor.

In that vein, she asks, "Would it be acceptable if our fellow students wore a derogatory image of a Jewish person on their backs?"

To Ms. Hollie's hypothetical question I add two of my own. Would it be acceptable if fellow students carried a derogatory image of a Jewish person in their backpacks and shoulder-bags? And what if faculty members made these students purchase these foul readers?

Well, there's no need to imagine. I say Dartmouth ought to ban "The Merchant of Venice" and fire any faculty member who has ever assigned or cited it.

Some may say that Jewish students on campus aren't murdered or pushed around or really derogatorily addressed in any way, but these people are missing the point and probably racists themselves. "The Merchant of Venice" is abuse, it is assault, it is murder.

And we must therefore act accordingly.