After that, Martin began to get more aggressive defending himself and by extension the Daily arguing that they were not in fact racist given that they have covered issues of diversity before and published things in favor of increasing diversity on campus not to mention articles on Whose Diversity?. I’m not sure what else went on in our conversation or even how long it went, but the last thing I remember is him wanting to ask me more questions. I agreed to do so, but only if he promised to publish my editorial in full without unnecessary alterations and that only if he allowed me to put him on speakerphone so that Khin and Bradford, two other Whose Diversity? members, and another student who happened to be in my office at the time could be witness to our conversation. Surprised to hear that there were other people with me at the time and seemingly angry at the fact that I had the gall to set my own agenda for the conversation, he declined my offer and quickly hung up.
Needless to say, this phone call left me livid. I was incredibly offended that someone from the Daily would call to question me, my thoughts, my writing, and in the end not even publish my editorial--to this date it has yet to be published. I was not aware that the Daily’s editorial staff was responsible for calling individual students who submitted work and asking them to defend their work only to belittle it later. This was an especially hurtful blow given the incredibly insulting editorial published by the Daily’s editorial staff the day after our sit in. It became clear to me that the Daily was absolutely not meant for me or students like--i.e. those who are fighting to end inequality on campus. It became clear to me that the Daily is set on deflecting any criticism of itself and its content. It became clear to me that the Daily didn’t care about my voice.
This became increasingly clear to me when I was able to have a second conversation with Martin. After some research on my phone, I was able to find Martin’s phone number, so I called him but since I was afraid he would not call back if he knew who I was, I left a voicemail with a pseudonym. When he called me back, I re-introduced myself, and I told him that I called because I wanted to be sure who he was so that I could report him and his activities to his supervisors. This time, he confidently stated his name and even spelled it out for me. He also smugly told me that he had already talked to his supervisors about our phone call and to assure them that he had not harassed me. My only reply at the time was “thank you,” but as soon as I hung up the phone, I realized how colonizing his words had been: he was telling me how I felt and what had happened and therefore completely disregarding my thoughts and feelings. To me, this was only one more indication that this newspaper is not for me, my thoughts, and my feelings. So, when I ask myself whose Daily (is it)? I know the answer all too well.
I always knew this university was not for me, and, to be honest, I was never confident in the Daily’s ability to represent marginalized voices. Yet, I always had hope. That hope is gone now. In a time and place where people of color are being silenced--through both physical and other forms of violence--it is important that we be able to speak because if we don’t our experiences will be made invisible. So, what does it say about a newspaper that refuses to let me and, by extension, all those who are marginalized do so? I could tell you the answer, but if you’ve read this far, I’m positive you--unlike the Daily--already know.