2000-12-08 Holland Sentinel Hope's an ironic site for meeting

Hope’s an ironic site for meeting
Holland Sentinel

To the Editor:

I am truly excited to hear about the upcoming summit on racism to be held at Hope College this Friday. It is apparent that some local organizations have created an opportunity for this area to take a real honest look at how racism affects the lives of many people who live here.

What I find ironic, however, is that the summit is being held at Hope College, as a former student, I have had the opportunity to become involved in many organizations and activities the college offers. It is through these and my many interactions with the college administration that I have come to realize that racism is acceptable and diversity is not necessary I the eyes of its leaders.

In my conversations with current students and staff, little has changed at Hoe since I graduated three years ago. While some residential programs and core classes have been offered, I do not believe solid measures have been taken to address the issue of racism and tolerance on a grand scale within the college community.

While much of the racism experienced at Hope is subtle or due to honest ignorance, little has ever been done to address this. In fact, nothing was done to address the overt racism some had experienced. One would think that a burning wooden cross attached to an African-American student’s door (such as the on attached to the door of a Kollen Hall resident while I was a student) would find someone facing consequences, or even a creation of some dorm diversity awareness training.

Unfortunately, no consequences were established here. I am beginning to wonder how much longer Hope can continue to sweep problems under the rug, before the rug comes toppling down upon them. I am optimistic that the Ottawa Area Summit on Racism will result in positive change for Ottawa County. I certainly hope that those who are hosting this conference will not only be in attendance, but will also take detailed notes