Black ink : Black Student Movement, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. online resource ([Chapel Hill, N.C.]) 1969-current, October 05, 1992, Image 9
OCTOBER 5. 1992 CAMPUS No Pity for Hardin By Scott B. Wilkens Contributor "You hate me! You really hate me! You all hate me!" -Chancellor Paul Hardin Hardin said these words during a meeting held on Sept 16 with the coalition. They came after an hour of discussion during which both sides repeatedly stated their posi tions. As the meeting progressed, it became clear that the chancellor was loosing control of his commu nication skills. He repeatedly cradled his head in his arms, moan ing as if in physical agony. At one point, the chancellor looked at Margo Crawford, director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center, and said condescendingly: ’’Come on now Margo! Get a little bit smarter!” Although this remark was made in the midst of a tense meeting, I feel that it indicates a total lack of respect on the part of the chancel lor, if not blatant racism. Believe me, I do not want to believe that our chancellor is racist After all, he was supposedly an activist for Civil Rights in thel960s. However, in 1992 he makes it painfully obvious that racism, however subtle, is alive and kicking. As I said in the Dean E. Smith Center on Friday night (Sept. 18), the administration does not view all students equally. A white face car ries a lot more weight than a black face. When asked how many white students it would take to change his mind on the BCC, Chancellor Hardin responded, “Quite a few.” Meanwhile, thousands of black stu dents support the concept of a free standing Sonja Haynes S tone Black Cultural Center. 1 don’t know about y’all, but I sense a whopper of a double standard. Let us for a moment set aside the BCC issue. Ask yourself what the chancellor and his administration have done to improve campus race relations. Not one cotton-pickin’ thing. They haven’t even talked about doing anything. Y es, they did solicit a committee report on race relations, which characterized them as “chilled.” But reports don’t do any good if you are not prepared to act on them. On this basis alone, every stu dent at the University of North Caro lina at Chapel Hill should be angry with Chancellor Hardin. What does he get paid six figures for anyway? I can tell you that his salary is not based on competence or diligence. I know that my rhetoric sounds harsh. Perhaps you are saying to yourself, “Scott sure is being mean to the chancellor. 1 really feel sorry for him.” Believe me, I do not get my jollies out of criticizing Paul Hardin. In fact, it pains me deeply that he has so gravely maligned our campus. Please don’t feel sorry for Paul Hardin. He does not deserve your pity. When we don’t do our homework, do our professors pat us on the back and tell us they shouldn ’ t have assigned so much? Do our professors exempt us from all fu ture homework assignments so that we can spend more time with friends? The coalition doesn’t hale the chancellor; it is just trying to make him do his job. Asian students BCC By BiUy Fan & Hubie Yang Contributors African Americans know what it means to be left out Throughout history and during many glorious achievements, African Americans have faced systematic oppression. Yet through resilience, they have overcome. Much of America was built on their sweat, blood and pain. The greatest irony is that they have always been told that their achieve ments were made possible by white America. Fourteen years ago, the Black Student Movement was promised a free-standing black cultural center. At that time, the Asian-American population at the University was relatively small. Unable to organize an effective voice, Asian Ameri cans and other ethnic minorities at the University relied on the BSM to act as standard bearers. The Asian- American student population has grown since then. Today, Asian Americans comprise about four to five percent of the student popula tion. It has been implied by many that Asian students at the Univer sity and throughout the nation have been politically apathetic; that, in fact, they have not contributed to the struggle for civil rights and fur ther, that they do not deserve to enjoy the fruits of the civil rights struggle. There’s more to this issue than just black and white While our participation has not been as visible as the African Ameri- cans’, a parallel can be discovered. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recog nized that America could never truly be just if even one minority voice remained crushed under the weight of majority oppression. The coined phrase, “Fight the powers that be,” is in recognition that power institu tionalizes cultural perspectives. We all know that’African-American history was systematically left out of the nation’s history books. Only the efforts of men like King and Malcolm X reaffirmed that there was another voice and that voice belonged to the oppressed minor ity. At this university, the BSM has been the leading protector of civil rights. Asian Americans and other ethnic groups have benefitted from the BSM’s sacrifices. Like the movement at the University, it was again the struggle of African Ameri cans and the Civil Rights Move ment of the 1960s that spawned the multicultural movement. But such a multicultural movement took place at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1980s. AtBericeley, Asian students comprised the “ma jority minority,” and they led a coa lition that included African Ameri can and Hispanic American stu dents. They chose to call their union a multicultural center. The multicultural movement sought to rectify the problem of institutionalized oppression by em powering all minority voices, even those too weak to be heard on their own. If we Asian-American stu dents at this university have seemed “politically apathetic,” the point is that we don’t want to be—we want our voices heard, the same way the African Americans wanted their voices heard in the great Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The African-American commu nity can truly understand the pain of having a minority voice lost among a powerful, cultural society. But likewise, we Asian Americans are fearful of being a “minority within a larger minority.” Not only does our voice run the risk of being un heard by the establishment, we are concerned that our voice will be drowned out by the “majority mi nority.” It is our deepest hope that our African-American friends will not institutionahze specific cultural perspectives. African Americans have conuibuted greatly to this state and nation and currendy constitute the largest minority at the Univer sity. But let us not forget the contri butions of other immigrants and their impact on the nation’s history and culture. With the changing de mographics in this nation and at this university, Asians and Hispanics will giuw as political communities and the United Stales will become more ethnically diverse. Instead of growing apart, we must grow to gether. The more divided we are as people of color, the easier it is for the establishment lo oppress us all. We are extremely impressed by the energy, organization, skills and fundraising abilities of the BSM. Other campus ethnic groups have long looked lo the BSM as a role model; a leader to model our own struggle after as we attempt to gain political empowerment on this cam pus and in this nation. We Asian Americans know that the African- American community will not for get us in our struggles. We recog nize that the fight for a free-stand- ing black cultural center has been the struggle of the BSM. Regard less of what anyone thinks the build ing should be named, we realize that It is the BSM’s prerogative to name the center. There is a misconception that the only racial tensionson this cam pus is between blacks and whites. The aftermath of the Rodney King verdict illusU'ales that the “Rain bow Coalition” is quickly becom ing a “Rainbow Collision.” We do not want Asian Americans to be come a “pawn” in the administration’s racial “chess game.” We don’t want to be a part of the efforts to divide this campus, and we surely do not want to dilute your efforts to obtain a building that would promote the African-Ameri can culture. We support the construction of a building that would promote Afri- can-American culture. We support it knowing that it will be fully en dowed by private funds. We sup port it knowing that it will be open to the entire University community and that its meeting rooms and au ditoriums will be open to all cam pus ethnic groups. The African- American community can truly un derstand the pain implicit in the politics of exclusion. We know that the BSM at this university will not forget it here. Editor's note: This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Asian Students Association or other Asians at UNC.