Columnist elaborates on white privilege

By: Kwynn Townsend-Riley – Columnist, Senior

I would like to apologize for the numerous grammatical errors in my last article [link: https://flyernews.wpengine.com/columnist-responds-to-criticisms-2/]: I was rushing to have something printed, and it resulted in something unprofessional. I am still receiving rude, mean responses from my last two articles. However, my message stays the same. Please allow me to elaborate.

White privilege is neither a fairy tale gone wrong nor a myth. It is real, and it is real on this campus. This relates to the student body using the word “ghetto.” The word “ghetto,” like many other terms used during racially turbulent times, is now adopted to describe something for the sake of cultural, or “hip,” traditions.

Now, anyone can have privilege. I have privilege as a heterosexual, English-speaking U.S. college student. However, there is a social class that we must acknowledge. The University of Dayton is a predominantly white institution that caters to, of course, the majority. White students.

I have done my history. I know the homes were dilapidated. I know what the neighborhood was. I am well aware of the identities of the previous occupants of the neighborhood: a neighborhood I am grateful to live in now.

But the fact is, we can all agree that the houses, the neighborhood, is not a ghetto.

We all know what a ghetto is, and it is not that. We are a Marianist and Catholic institution. So why can’t we, as a community, mature and stop using this word?

I am absolutely appalled by the amount of negative feedback I have received from this “community.” But I guess I should have known better.

I was told that this is a community. No one said this is a community comprised mostly of ignorance. I see the Yik Yak posts, the tweets, the Facebook shares, the emails. I see and hear it all.

Any student body that refuses to see the harm inflicted on students by incessantly calling a neighborhood a ghetto is not a community I am proud to say I am from.

Please know that your anger is not going to silence me—only fuel me! The University of Dayton needs to finally release a statement addressing the mistreatment that occurs every day to students of color on this campus.

The University of Dayton can say something! Ben Carson said that he would never vote for a Muslim president, and he was welcomed to the Dayton Arena with open arms. The University of Dayton could have said something.

After all the hate stirred after the “Black Lives Matter” protests at UD, the University of Dayton could have said something.

I am tired of not taking more classes about my history or Muslim history or any history besides the story of pillage and plunder. I am tired of not being heard. I am tired of the discrimination that occurs on this campus being brushed under the rug.

This does not feel like a community to me. A community celebrates together and hurts together. Right now, I am hurting and I feel as if I am the only one.

This needs to change NOW. I need Dr. Dan Curran and Dr. Benson to change this. We need someone to speak for us. We need speakers for Hispanic Heritage Month. For Black History Month. We need someone to CARE for us! It is absolutely disheartening what many students of color experience on this campus—and that no one seems to care.

This needs to change! There is no point to increasing diversity without increasing the resources for the diverse student populations. I will not stop until I see this. Dr. Curran and Dr. Benson, what’s good?

If you want to submit an op-ed or write a column for Flyer News, email FlyerNewsEditor@gmail.com or Opinions Editor Steven Goodman at goodmans1@udayton.edu.