Racism, Connecticut, CCSU, and The Hartford Advocate

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Apparently the Central Connecticut State University’s student run paper The Recorder - already known and condemned for racist, sexist and homophobic attitudes - is under fire again for a comic strip that makes fun of a abusing and locking up an underage Hispanic girl and urinating on her - and this comes on the heels from their last year (which gained them national “attention”) when the editor-in-chief Mark Rowan published an “opinion” piece, which was supposed to be “funny” touting how rape was “magical” and it was great for “ugly women”.

Nice huh?

But while everyone’s against it - the editorial faction of the paper is hiding behind free speech, and the student editor-in-chief Mark Rowan won’t step down - and the administration is saying they can’t do anything about it either (even though they’re against it).

Listen - free speech is one thing - but promoting racist hate speech is another - and that’s exactly what it is - because what else do you call making fun of abusing an underage Hispanic girl by urinating on her - it wasn’t a white girl was it?

And a major university is letting it fester and build and take root in a place where ALL STUDENTS OF COLOR should feel comfortable to be able to work - because WE NEED MORE JOURNALISTS OF COLOR - and part of getting there is sometimes through their student newspaper - which is being hindered by a University that is essentially supporting an intolerant and racist editorial staff.

So what are people doing?

Students and faculty are protesting - and protesting hard - and Yessica Amparo, President of the Latin American Student group on campus is going around to advertisers to have them pull ads until Rowan is made to step down - and hopefully it will all work - but they need help - and they need support.

Here’s what you can do to help the cause:

1. E-mail the good folks down at the Hartford Connecticut where Rown interns and ask people like publisher Janet Reynolds, Editor Alistair Highet, Managing Editor John Adamian, or Associate Editor Emily Dreyfuss why they would continue to allow an intern to work at their paper who supports such racist bile.

2. Go to the L.A.S.O site and contact Yessica Amparo or others in the organization to offer your support and to see what you can do to help - especially if you’re an alumni or can help organize protests and calls to advertisers locally.

3. E-mail the CCSU President’s office @ universitypresident@ccsu.edu and let them know that the response by President Jack Miller was nothing more than - well nothing really - and they need to do more to ensure a safe and non-racist environment for students of color to participate - and make sure to say how bad this makes not just the University look - but the whole state.

4. E-mail the Governor’s office @ governor.rell@po.state.ct.us for good measure to throw in how it doesn’t really bode well for CT’s state tourism with people of color.