The staff editorial titled “G.E., I Wonder,” (Daily Nexus, Nov. 18, 2002) shouldn’t have been written. Your focus is wrong, and it was amusing to see the author think it was fair and accurate in its research and claims. You highlight that opponents of the proposed changes miss the bigger point, when in fact you missed the biggest point of them all. We did not come together solely to protest against some G.E. requirement. We actually agree with your concerns for a high quality education. Our actions against the G.E. issue are just part of this “bigger picture” you say we lack. Any decent person would wonder why UCSB students had planned such a hateful act at San Nicolas Hall. It is important to know that they would take the time to get hard boiled eggs, peel off the shell and egg whites just so they could make the objects yellow, and start yelling “Chink” while throwing them all over the Asian-American interest floor. You belittle our efforts by stating that “all these students are wasting their breath screaming over some perceived injustice.”

You focus on how “lame and flimsy” our argument is, without taking the time to ask us about all the actions we want to take against a university and a society that continues to ignore the hate and misunderstanding that builds up between people of different backgrounds. Our coalition understands the lack of awareness that exists in your paper. It is very well known among many student groups that you continue to print unfair and inaccurate articles highlighting the struggles of many underrepresented groups.

The proposed changes do indeed “reek of a bigger issue at hand.” We currently live in a very dangerous dichotomy in race relations for America. People of our generation were born into a society where racism is illegal. And yet at the very same time, diversity is not stressed in the society we live in. Because of it, people feel more comfortable hanging out with people of the same background. We tend to laugh at certain racist jokes around some people, and then shut up at others. We lock our doors in ghettos. We feel uncomfortable with people of different skin color. We say subtle racist comments without getting in trouble. This kind of relationship cannot continue. We are comfortable with it. And if we continue to be comfortable with it, it will one day explode and make the ’92 uprisings look like shit.

Even the author of this article shows this: “someone with racist beliefs will more likely ignore the material presented in an ethnic studies course.” The author then moves on to focus on the failure of the G.E. system. I agree with this failure of the system, however, what strikes me is the fact that the focus on realizing the problems of racism could so easily be shifted to something as stupid as a G.E. It’s obvious the bigger picture was right under the author’s nose and that person didn’t even see it. If this person was really interested in understanding the race problem that exists in such a place like UCSB, why didn’t the article criticize the coalition in its effectiveness of bringing out awareness to the UCSB community? Why didn’t the article further highlight links between G.E. requirements and racially motivated attacks? Why was is it so easy for us to assume that a racist person would ignore the stuff in an ethnic studies course, and not look into it deeper? Or the most damning evidence of them all, that our University system does indeed recognize a race problem on our campuses, but feels it is more important to graduate people on time for financial reasons. It saddens me that the very media itself, the very voice to our community would stand as an obstacle to the very goals that such a diverse group of human beings are trying to attain. You must be fair and accurate in your reporting, or else the very words you publish become meaningless.

Roland Navarro is a senior Asian American studies major.