Barton not ignorant but unethical

As an African American student, I am in the midst of a community outraged at a man who would make such sweeping and inaccurate remarks about my people.

As a journalist, I am responding to let my community in on a little secret. Eric Barton is not an uninformed reject from the backwoods of some country town. Nor is he blindly idealistic or dwelling in the fantasy of some utopian society without racism, discrimination, and hate crimes.

Barton is a journalist.

He is an editorial fisherman, baiting students to fill the belly of his ‘Opinions Page’. Like many in the media, he is willing to compromise his integrity and the good sense God gave him to do his job. He knows the significance of organizations like the NAACP, ACLU, and LULAC. He has not forgotten about the dragging death of James Bird Jr. in Jasper Texas. I’m sure he even remembers when the Klu Klux Klan held a rally on the steps of Conroe’s City Hall just two years ago.

This is what he may not understand:

When this country celebrated the end of physical slavery, we gave birth to generations plagued with slave mentality. And the degree of this slave mentality, in which many of my people still suffer today, is as damaging as the institution of slavery itself. Therefore, slavery is not a thing of the past but alive and well, plaguing our minds with self-hatred, our bodies with neglect, and our souls with unrest.

Though Mr. Barton isn’t thinking on this level, he isn’t necessarily an ignorant man. He is simply being unethical in his approach to encourage enough debate to fill a page in a campus wide paper. With the many active and influential minority leaders on this campus, he knows how to spark enough controversy to get his job done and to keep us writing so he doesn’t have to.

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