Ok, it’s fairly obvious that Martin Benjamin has nothing better to do than write bitter, angry Wespeaks because his life peaked in Old Wes. He carefully reads each and every Argus, picking out ammunition for his next bout of conservative diarrhea.
Mr. Benjamin loves taking anecdotal evidence, generalizing it and then applying it to the entire student body. Yes, because one girl could not write a footnote, none of us can. Because some students had trouble in a math class, we all must be morons. Because one group got pissed off at the student body for not showing up to its anti-war rally, we’re all lazy fucks. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The man has something for everyone. He hates on women, minorities, children, poor people, professors, non-heterosexuals…and as one professor he quotes apparently said, we love squabbles.
But before you begin writing your response, I ask you to read all his Wespeaks first. He’s written quite a few in recent history. Here is a list:
- Open letter to President Bennet from Benjamin ’57 (December 1, 2006)
- Prof. Zwelling stacked the deck (October 31, 2006)
- The Argus needs to punctuate correctly (September 29, 2006)
- Response to Pfister (September 19, 2006)
- Letter to Thorpe, Carp, Guha (April 25, 2006)
- Reply to McAteer (March 7, 2006)
- Incorrect Grammar (February 28, 2006)
- Open letter to Sam Fleischner ’06 (February 24, 2006)
- Open Letter to Claire Potter (December 5, 2005)
- Diversity Training is Unnecessary (March 25, 2005)
- No Frats means no diversity (October 22, 2004)
- Letter to Goldstein (April 20, 2004)
- Is Weissman’s course caricatured, and what is the purpose of COL 289? (October 29, 1999)
- Wes alum challenges sincerity behind university’s charges of diversity (September 28, 1999)
Get the idea? I’m sure there are more, but this is all I could find.
The man has nothing better to do than respond to your wespeak. So if you’re going to write one, write a good one. Make it worth your time. You know he’s sitting at home, licking his lips, waiting for the opportunity to write another open letter to Wesleyan.
Secondly, remember that writing to a bitter old man reminding him that his ideas are racist, conservative, sexist, etc, etc, probably won’t change his mind on anything. Though his ideas are, in fact, dated, hardly on the cusp of intellectual enlightenment, and, well, conservative, he’s been thinking that the silver spoon he’s carried in his mouth since birth entitles him to think that whatever he spits out of his mouth is gospel. Take it for what that’s worth.
Thirdly, the best thing you can do in response to Benjamin is keep Wesleyan weird. Wesleyan became special in the hearts of many (albeit not to Benjamin because his heart is probably made of tin) precisely because the student body rejected the “Old” Wesleyan for the spirit of the new. Look through old yearbooks and student newspapers from the late 60’s, early 70’s onwards and you can literally see the transformation. I’m not trying to romanticize the activism or the specific time period, but you can witness a change in what students wanted their Wesleyan degree to stand for. Not the dated ideals of the past, but for the bold, progressive ideas of the future.
So if you still feel you must respond, feel free to shoot the Argus your reply. Use the handy dandy online submission form and have at it.