UCI Admin Hides Racism Behind ‘Tolerance’
This commentary was written jointly by Students for Peace and Justice, the Muslim Student Union and the Worker Student Alliance.
The ‘Stand Together for Tolerance’ event put on by the UC Irvine administration serves to expose the purpose of the use of the term ‘tolerance.’ While organizations on campus suffer injustices, are denied free speech, harassed and restricted from expression, these actions are tolerated. While immigrant labor is outsourced in order to avert the campus’s responsibilities to ensure its employees’ fair pay, benefits and overall humane treatment, their employment situation is tolerated. While speakers are brought on campus to blare out racist epithets and anti-Islamic rhetoric, their prejudice is tolerated. The term tolerance is exposed as a term that only signifies turning the other cheek.
The exclamation of tolerance by the UCI administration and the coercive recruitment of students for this event only serve to profess that the organizers would rather support ignorance of these injustices and mask their existence on our campus than address their roots. The event serves to disguise the actual situation on campus under the banner of tolerance, attempting to exude an idea of accepting differences rather than challenging the inequality that is degrading our campus or combating the racism that is breaking apart the student body. In reality, this event is only a fictitious mask, a tool of propaganda, for the true political and economic injustices occurring on and off campus.
What is the true significance of tolerance but to allow injustice to occur? Tolerance is a tool to control the population through blind acceptance. Support of tolerance only serves to allow exploitation of workers and students. How can we address the true roots of racism and inequality if we can only tolerate each other? How can tolerance be used as an effective tool to combat racism and inequality when it only requires the acceptance of the prejudiced, and does not provide support for the oppressed or the pursuit of justice for the victimized?
The e-mail sent by Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez expresses pride about our campus for its putative open forum for discussion and freedom of expression, only one week after the Muslim Student Union faced some of the most restrictive and biased policy regulations over what was essentially a political expos