‘Burdening the Beast’ Highlights Campus Race Issues

20140915_173743Visitors to Olin Library might find themselves greeted with a pink slip this morning that has nothing to do with the firing of librarian Pat Tully. In four Onion-style news snippets, an anonymous satirical newsletter titled “Burdening the Beast” takes jabs at different university issues surrounding race.

The first issue discussed is what is seen as the university’s half-hearted attempt to revive the African American Studies Department by hiring teachers disguised in black face. It then points out the ridiculous nature surrounding claims of reverse racism and discrimination by white students (what the newsletter calls “People of Pigment Deficiency”) and attempts by the university to acknowledge their heritage.

This newsletter seems intent on generating a campus discussion surrounding issues of race and to continue the momentum gathered last semester to prioritize the AFAM department. The wider issues of white privilege and affirmative action are also somehow more accessible when satirized in a cute pink newsletter.

‘Burdening the Beast’ does not attempt to solve the many problems of race at Wesleyan. However, it does continue a discussion about race issues at Wesleyan that have existed since before the the 1969 Fisk Takeover, when African-American students occupied Fisk Hall as a protest against the University’s refusal to cancel classes in honor of Malcolm X’s death. It will be interesting to see what comes next from the anonymous authors of this letter… I just hope it’ll be pink and scented. 

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2 thoughts on “‘Burdening the Beast’ Highlights Campus Race Issues

  1. kooksquad

    As a bi-racial student and a junior in CSS, that third point is really frustrating. The college’s curriculum is filled with DWM, there are a lot of cis-gendered dudes, and lack of socio-economic diversity is fucked up, but the kids in CSS are not pigment deficient. In my year, 15 out of 25 CSS majors are students of color. Don’t whitewash us. -Ryden

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