Photo credit: Yale Daily News
We are tardy, but we hope we are not too late. Over the past week, the Yale community has grappled with race, and what it means to be a student of color here, in a way that has been long in the making. As our classmates have written eloquently, here in particular, but also across hundreds of Facebook statuses, blog posts, and op-eds, it is a waste of this moment to characterize it as a debate solely about an email or what one fraternity brother allegedly said. The Politic recognizes that this moment is not a debate. It is a time for our community to confront a fact: students and teachers of color do not receive the respect they deserve on this campus. Some of us know this from personal experience. And, beyond that, all of us know it from listening. Over the past week, women of color at Yale have told the university, and the world, their stories—of marginalization, of alienation, of exhaustion caused by the university and those who populate it. These women certainly do not seek our validation, nor do they need it. We know that our praise means little. But in writing this message, we do express it, along with our solidarity.
The Politic also recognizes that, as a publication on this campus, we have a responsibility to use our platform to promote open and productive discourse. Over the past week, we have failed in this responsibility. Nine days have passed since this conversation on race began. We have asked ourselves whether this message comes too late—but we believe the answer is no. Yale’s students of color have been engaged in this struggle for decades. It will not be over after a week, or a month, or a year. The conversation must continue and we—all of us—must keep paying attention, keep talking, no matter how exhausting it may be. So, we write in solidarity now and also pledge to better cover this conversation on race going forward. We also would like to express, explicitly, that The Politic is an inclusive space for Yalies of all backgrounds. We welcome pitches and submissions on this moment at Yale, and in particular, where the university administration and the student body must go from here. Email us at ThePolitic@yale.edu.
Finally, while our opinions as editors and staff differ on the exact outlines of what the Yale administration should do next, we express our support for some changes that any and every Yale student should support: Yale should investigate the events of October 30 and make its findings publicly available. Yale should hire more faculty of color. Yale should increase funding and staffing for its departments of African-American Studies, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, and Latin American Studies. Yale should expand its offerings in Asian-American studies. Yale should promote a more inclusive climate in its Greek life organizations. Yale should expand all of its mental health offerings and specifically emphasize new resources for people of color on campus. These are simple steps. There are more difficult conversations that must occur, not just now, but far into the future. The Politic pledges to be part of them.