Dear Napolitano: Act By Your Words
Dear Janet Napolitano,
I hope this finds you well. I hope you understand that the only reason I’m writing to you this way is that while you continually claim how much you want to hear from us — the students — you actually don’t provide a way for us to be heard.
Ms. Napolitano, I have so many questions that I would like you to answer, but because you made your meeting at UC Irvine so secret and protected by private bodyguards that I could not express my concerns to you in person, I will instead just lay them out here.
Ms. Napolitano, when you were writing your publicity-taunting email about the warm reception you got at each of the UC campuses, did you remember the screams of “Napolitano Has To Go” that was shaking the entire Donald Bren Hall here at UCI? Did you think about all of those students who were being policed by more than 20 cops from UCI and UCPD, some of whom were dressed in street clothes so that they wouldn’t be recognized? Did you think about the hundreds of students whose classes were canceled because you had the police shut the entire building down, along with all the classes in it? When you were talking about the “frank, substantial, and quite useful talks” that you had with students, did you ever think about the students who were pushing their way in to have their voices heard?
Ms. Napolitano, when you were writing the airbrushed and mis-glorified email, did you ever think about the more than 1.5 million families that have been deported under your provision as the secretary of Homeland Security? Ms. Napolitano, we, the students, have many, many concerns that we want to share with you, but it seems like the more we try to do so, the more you try to resist us.
The more we try to address the unjust contracts of the workers, the more you pressure them with harsher work conditions and longer working hours.
It seems to me that the more we try to address the issues of police brutality, the more your office has become inclined to reinforce the police power on our campuses. For instance, UC Irvine has increased the number of police officers by six. Napolitano, it worries me that while we are collectively calling out the lack of transparency within your administration, you choose to meet with only two students from UCI who would know the location of your meeting in only about 20 minutes before it took place.
So no, Napolitano, your emails are not going to change my perception about you, nor will they affect my view on any of the problematic things you have done. Your deceiving emails will not mislead me into thinking that you actually care for me or other students. Napolitano, next time you send one of your ridiculous emails ending with “Very Truly Yours,” please remember to exclude me from the list of recipients, because I will not be fooled by your words.
I have been paying attention to your actions, and so far, your actions have represented what is problematic within our UC system. Napolitano, from your actions mismatched with your airbrushed words, I have come upon a conclusion: you don’t represent me, you don’t represent my beliefs, and you’re truly not mine as you claimed in your emails.
Truly Not Yours,
Parshan Khosravi Kermani
Parshan Khosravi Kermani is a second-year biological sciences major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.