Obsidian should cover all minorities

On the surface, as a white American, I may not look like someone who has any right to criticize the content of the Obsidian. However, as a fairly regular reader, I have some pretty strong feelings on the issue.

First of all, I understand that the Obsidian is not written for the white heterosexual male population. It is a special interest newspaper that is here to “reflect and serve the minority community,” according to assistant editor Bridgette Thomas. I would argue that the Obsidian does not accomplish this at all, not in the least.

The first example that comes to my mind is the “Most Eligible” column that has run in the last two editions of the paper. The first one featured Bowling Green’s Most Eligible Bachelors, with the second, and most recent, one featuring the Most Eligible Bachelorettes. These men and women that were picked are in no way a complete representation of the minority community here at Bowling Green. First of all, they all appear to be heterosexual, based on the information that they provide concerning what kind of date they are looking for. Secondly, the only religious views/organizations mentioned by the participants are Christian.

I understand that it is not really possible to have a true representation of the entire community, but I don’t even see any effort to include people other than African American heterosexual students. How is that representing the Asian American student population? What about the Latino/Latina population or the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students? How about the religious minorities of Jewish, Muslim or Pagan students?

In the most recent edition of the paper, there is an article titled “Racism is Not a Figment of the African American Imagination” by Bridgette Thomas. This article raises some great issues about the current environment of racism here in Bowling Green. I would agree wholeheartedly that there are some horribly racist students at this university, and that no example of racism is purely in the imagination of the victim. Once again, though, there are no other issues of prejudice raised in the article, aside from the view of an African American student. This university is not only full of racism, but it is full of sexism, heterosexism and homophobia, as well as intolerance towards other groups. As a news article, and not an opinion column, it is the responsibility of the reporter to search out other examples than simply his or her own experiences.

Everyday I see examples of prejudice on this campus and in the Bowling Green community in general. I can’t count the number of times I have heard someone say, “That’s so gay!” or direct “Faggot!” toward someone under their breath. Weight prejudice is common in University Health Services and students in interracial relationships are glared at while they walk around campus. I have found that, many times, students will assume that I am Christian, not even leaving room for other religious options. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think that these issues are any more valuable or important than the examples brought up by Thomas in her article. That is actually my point. I think these experiences of other minority students are just as valuable as the experiences of African Americans in Bowling Green. So, why aren’t their stories included anywhere in the Obsidian?

I am not trying to attack the editors or writers for the Obsidian; in fact, I think that they are probably doing the best that they can do with limited writers and other staff. However, I think that there is some definite room for improvement in this publication. In past years I can remember seeing Obsidian reporters at all kinds of events and organizational meetings, including those sponsored by LSU and Vision. This year, however, I can’t recall seeing anyone from the Obsidian at any of Vision’s events or meetings. I think that these issues are not only the responsibility of the current Obsidian staff members. All members of this community, especially those that consider themselves members of the minority community, should be taking it upon themselves to do something about this.