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To the Guy who wrote about the Guy with a Knife

When will we actually listen to student voices? Forecast says: not today.

Miranda Andrade-Ceja, Arts & Life Editor

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On Feb. 25, a male student displayed a knife during a race and gender studies class. Reports circulated that the incident was racially charged and students vocalized disappointment in the amount of time it took campus officials to release a statement. A moderated forum was held last Thursday to give further opportunity for students to speak on the topic. 

 

Dear ‘Dear Knife Guy’ Guy,

Okay, I get it. Everyone’s innocent until proven guilty.

That is, unless the Knife Man has had two weeks to actually respond to the developing story and make a case for himself — which, undoubtedly, would be greeted with both backlash and empathy from the student body and surrounding community.

Since that’s the case, maybe we should be looking at this a bit more critically.

So let’s take a look at what we know, shall we?

A male student “displayed” a knife to a female student during a race, class and gender class on Feb. 25. The student has, since then, been revealed by administration as an employee underneath the Cal State Long Beach Police Department. The student’s name has not been released, and information about what transpired has been extremely limited —– possibly because the student may still be walking about on campus.

The victim (who chose to remain unidentified) spoke last week at the panel-less panel in the USU Ballroom, as reported by the Daily 49er. The panel was meant to serve as an outlet for students to voice their concerns about the situation, but was abandoned by speakers responsible for facilitating the conversation. Her frustration and fear is present even through the quotes used in the Daily 49er article, and she’s made her promise to release a formal statement on her own experience.

How weird, ‘Dear Knife Guy’ Guy, that even when the victim of the incident has stepped forward to speak out (and promised a formal account of her experience, no less), your first impulse is to write a letter attempting to patronize the black students who voiced their growing concern with the current state of our university.

Why are you sorry about the “wannabe Black Panther,” as you so eloquently dub the student who donned a purple sweatshirt and bulletproof vest? Moreover, why is it that when a black student voices their concerns about highly sensitive topics such as their racial identity, they are immediately dubbed as a knock-off activist attempting to recreate the civil rights movement of the ‘60s?

Which is the story for plenty of incidents potentially charged by race or gender. There isn’t a lack of understanding on my part, I do want to hear what “Knife Guy” has to say. I think we all do. But when you dismiss students for acting upon a “lack of information” when the administration has obviously been censoring or retaining information, you lift the pressure that should be put on administration and focus it on students who are doing what students do.

Responding.

This material is sensitive, and potentially triggering (no quotes here, it’s a real thing) to countless underrepresented and exploited communities that exist on campus. When these students speak out about their experiences, negative or positive, they deserve every ounce of respect that “Dear Knife Guy” Guy offers to CSULB administration.

The fact of the matter is this: I think your apologies are total poppycock. Malarky. Hogwash. In other words: complete and utter bull.

Administration needs to be held accountable for the lack of information regarding the knife incident and to answer the many questions that students have. If they aren’t serving the students, then just what do we pay them so much money for?
Either way, don’t worry too much. I’m sure “Knife Guy” is comfortable with his current anonymity.

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