My Apology to DePauw.

I am sorry that it seems like I am always speaking negatively about you.

I treasure the skills that you have taught me and many that have enhanced ever since I got here. I am a better critical thinker, more inquisitive and so on than many and I recognize this as a privilege of going to DePauw.
I am sorry DePauw that I inform those outside of the injustices and marginalizations that occur to some of your students. Many of which you have refused to do anything about.
I am sorry that you are in denial of the pain and disappoint that you cause so many of your students.
I am sorry that you are in denial of the existing traditions that support segregation and hinder community building.
I am sorry that you drown or suffocate anyone that is different (and embraces their differences) and their opinions.
I am sorry that you don’t see the hard work, so many students and I put in, in making you better.
I am sorry DePauw that I have a burning desire to use the skills you have taught me in the real world starting with you.
I am sorry DePauw that I ever thought I would contribute so much to your community, color my world to you, sing my culture to you and dance with yours.
I am sorry that I think ONE day, sorry I mean 8 hours out your day, of discussing the importance of diversity is important.
I am sorry that I haven’t accepted that I am only an option to you and always will be.
I am sorry that a day of mandatory discussion on marginalization is too damn hard for you to do.
I am sorry that you side with students who would rather smoke or drink 8 hours a day than have diversity dialogue. Or rather have a day off to do NOTHING than discuss issues some of their peers face.
I am sorry that you think it is uncomfortable for students to talk about racial, religious, sexual, gender, and socio-economic status sensitive topics.
I am sorry that you don’t see that you shoved and continue to shove the fact that BLACK down my throat.
I am sorry that you don’t see that I was Black yesterday, Black today and will be Black tomorrow.
I am sorry DePauw that you wont accept that I am uncomfortable everyday.
I am sorry I spent an entire semester and a half trying to plan a day of discussion that only took a day to throw down the river.
I am sorry that I feel like I ask you for exactly what you should and can give me but you feel like it’s too much to offer.
I am sorry that I think and at this point KNOW that you are a hypocrite.
I am sorry that I think and at this point KNOW that you are selfish.
I am sorry that even though I am only a Sophomore, I am ready to graduate.
I am sorry that being a private 60,000 dollar institution makes you NO different but rather common.
I am sorry DePauw that I thought so much of you.
I am sorry——–actually I AM NOT.

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8 Replies to “My Apology to DePauw.”

  1. I left after my sophomore year at DePauw.. and I’m a white cis-male. The elitism of the institution was disgustingly deafening. Strength and compassion wished for your journey.

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    1. This resonated with me. This is beautiful, heartfelt. Thank you for inspiring me with your courage. I am a professor at DePauw, an immigrant who has been judged on the merits of teaching his own language by folks who used their position of power to tell me I didn’t belong if I chose to do things differently. I dared to teach as I am, as I am becoming. Difference is not tolarated at the professoriate level in our institution. Folks who see themselves as liberals, when called to action, retract behind their privilege, the safety of their witeless. I feel you, hermana. Testify!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If ou hate it so much then transfer. The amount of Self segregation is immense. As well, try taking a sociology or anthropology class and I’m sure this blatant blaming and over all encompassing generalization of every student, because that is DePauw, is a little ridiculous and unappreciated.

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    1. Ines, you are a shining light here. Once again you prove to everyone how privileged we are to have you with us. The ignorant, the spiteful, the fearful (usually fear drives the anger we see in the bigoted comments of those who exploit their anonymity in these forums to spread messages of privilege and intolerance) will not win out. Do not forget that you are on the right side of history.

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  3. I agree…leave. The amount of students preaching about equality on campus started to become overwhelming by the time of graduation, that I was glad to get out of there. Every single student was treated the same regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Students would seclude THEMSELVES, and then complain about not receiving equal opportunities. Realize that the only reason you have problems, is because YOU make them.

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  4. Dear Ines.
    In my time at DePauw I have learned an enormous amount from my students, especially my students of color and those who come from less privileged backgrounds than I do. (I am thinking of names that go back to the class of 1990 and include you and many others.) Thank you for that, and for your work in planning Wednesday’s events, which I was looking forward to as an opportunity to learn more, and to be part of a dialogue that needs to happen. No, wait, I am still looking forward to that, because there is a lot to learn, and because it is an opportunity to keep talking about how to make change here. You know, when I look around, I see people who really understand the purpose of what we do at DePauw, and then there are some who are only along for the ride. And then there are some people who could still go either way … The people who are genuinely here to learn and grow, they (you) are the real DePauw, and the people I am here to teach. That’s the center, for me, and the other stuff is the margin, whether it knows it or not. (But I realize that is easy for me to say, because at the end of the day I get to go home. Also, because I’m a teacher, and because I’m white etc., people mostly don’t say the kind of inexcusable shit to me that they say to you. ) I am sorry that nothing I say or do here appears to have much impact on things I find embarassing, shameful.

    I am sorry that some people did not see what you were trying to do, and why it was important for everyone to be there. (Actually maybe some people did, sort of, see that, but they thought something else was more important, that everyone should *freely choose to go … well … that would be nice, I guess. Maybe someday that will happen.) I am sorry that the idea that we are one campus, one community, and that when something is broken we can all come together to fix it, is a hope but not a reality.

    I am sorry that DePauw cannot yet afford to have need-blind admissions. I am sorry that the people who ask themselves in the middle of the night whether they belong here are the people who actually *do belong here, and not the people who actually don’t, who rarely have a clue to that effect, and feel able to tell others to get out of “their” space … which is not, in fact, theirs, whether they know it or not.

    But I suspect there will be quite a few people there on Wednesday, actually, more than you might be thinking now. Because it’s very easy to post hateful shallow ignorant stuff anonymously, isn’t it. Things look rather different in the light of day when everyone can see who you are. The people who come on Wednesday will be showing they care about ending racism (and other forms of exclusion) on this campus, they’ll be saying, hate and fear have no place at our school. Or maybe they’ll just be saying, ok, I don’t really get this, but I will come and listen with an open mind and an open heart. Those who don’t come … well, there’s an old saying, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

    Ines, I understand why you want to leave right now, but I am sorry, because when people like you leave, the real DePauw, the possibility of what DePauw could be, leaves with you.

    Thanks,
    –Meryl

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ines:
    I’m proud that DePauw had the foresight to bring in someone as intelligent and passionate as you are. I can only observe from the outside as I am at another school now, but I am proud that you and your peers who worked so hard on this needed conversation are a part of the DePauw community. My heart and thoughts are with you as this semester and as your DePauw journey continues. I also hope you submit a piece for the upcoming symposium headed by Sandro and Sara Martinez–I’d love to have the honor of hearing you speak in person.

    With love
    Kyle (’12)

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  6. Hey Ines,

    I’m a DePauw alumna, and I was upset to hear that the DePauw Dialogue had been made non-mandatory. When I was a student, I was largely oblivious to the experiences of students of color, and to my own privilege. I know that my student self would have benefited from attending a mandatory event. I am planning on contacting the alumni office and voicing my disappointment.

    I feel for your frustration, and know that it is not your responsibility to wipe out ignorance on campus. But do know that the dialogue is reaching members of the community, and that we hear you. Treat yourself to some self-care and keep your head high!

    -Sarah

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