I am a freshman at Georgia Southern University, and I am writing regarding the recent activities which are centered around Jennine Capo Crucet’s novel Make Your Home among Strangers. There have been many articles written about some students burning Jennine’s book after a speech she made on campus. I have read many of them and there seems to be a focus on the burning of the books and what such an act signifies. I have also heard about recent protest made by students demanding more diversity. No matter what an individual believes about the events that have transpired thus far, one thing can be acknowledged. We can recognize that since Jennine Crucet came on campus there has been a stir of emotions from many different viewpoints. This stir of emotions has caused a division in our student body. The discussion about inequality is good, but the division among the students is bad. I think that the division among the student body would not be as large if the situation which transpired had been accurately described. Most of the people that are being interviewed regarding the situation where not even at the lecture. Therefore, people cannot even begin to understand why those students might have burned those books. All most people see is that Georgia Southern students burned some lady’s book because they did not agree with her ideas. What I am about to say is the viewpoint of someone who was at the lecture and actually sitting in class with people who were directly affected by what she said.
I am a white male who has grown up in a small community. I went to a private school my whole life which had a good environment that taught us how to treat one another. I attended the speech that Jennine Capo Crucet gave. I went to that speech expecting just another boring lecture which we would all leave sleepy and glad that it was over. Little did I know this would be the talk of the campus for weeks to follow. Jennine Crucet made very generalized comments towards white people. She claimed that all white people are privileged whether they know it or not. She claimed that the white color had a direct correlation to the success that we had throughout school and life. Jennine might be correct in saying that some white people are privileged, but she made a great error when she included ALL white people. I currently have more foreign teachers than I do white, and by her reasoning regarding success in college I am at a disadvantage, and I am white. I say those things to say that it was not necessarily what she said that made people upset, but it was how she said it. Most of the things she said could not apply to every single person at the college, but she threw those generalizations on everyone. I am a white male, and I was raised to love and respect everyone I encounter as Christ loves every one of us. Therefore, her generalization about white people is most likely what had many people on edge. Which then started a dispute because some of the white people misrepresented themselves when they became offended by her statements. I believe that no matter what your view on her speech is. The speech is what we should be talking about. Those students burning the books was inappropriate, but it was freedom of speech since it was their property. Instead of talking about the burning of the books our campus needs to discuss the speech itself. We need to use the contents of her speech to bring healing not drive us apart. The only way for that to happen is if we hear what was actually said not what was said by people from the outside looking in who happen to have a readily available opinion. I think that we are all different in some way, and therefore we are going to be treated differently, but instead of claiming that as a disadvantage lets own up to it. Let’s accept that while we were all made differently we were also made equally. As a university let's change that headline form “students burn author's book “ to “Georgia Southern the school that promotes diversity in understanding that everyone is different and accepts that”
I wrote you this because I wanted you to hear another side of the story. A side of the story that has not been published in most articles. My side of the story looks at what happened and understands that there is a lot to be learned from what happened. Both sides of the division made mistakes. Both sides said and did things that they should not have. This means that it is not one groups fault more than the other. Let us take this event and turn it into something good, not something that needs to be turned into a witch hunt.