Well, most UCSB students are aware of the alleged sexual battery in the Santa Rosa Residence Hall Jan. 17, the article printed in the Daily Nexus, “On-Campus Resident Alleges Sexual Battery” (Jan. 21) and the rather disturbing column “Rape or Race Coverage?” (Jan. 22). The rape and race column claimed that there was “hype” over the incident because of the race of those involved. But was that really what the article was about or was it just attacking the validity of a woman’s claim of sexual battery?
In the rape and race column, the writers give examples of other events on campus, namely one that involved a Caucasian male and other incidents, some that occurred in Santa Rosa, that went “unnoticed.” If the point of the rape and race article was to raise awareness about the use of race in the news and to let the students know that there is something more important then the race of those involved, why did they feel that it was necessary include race in their examples?
Next, they attack the statement the woman gave police about how many men were involved. Mainly that the third man had nothing to do with the incident. The woman claimed that there were only two men in her room, this is true. They left out that there was another woman who had been assaulted by one of “three African-American males,” who had “exposed himself” to her. After the police got to Santa Rosa, there were three men outside the room according to the description by the roommate. That means there were three women that saw three men fitting the same description in the same hall. Do you honestly have to question the detainment of the third man?
But the best is still yet to come. The writers then move on to attack the validity of the woman’s entire claim because she was in an “extremely intoxicated state and asleep.” Even if the woman was intoxicated, she might still have been able to comprehend what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Clearly she did, and the men were arrested. It’s sad to think that the writers of the article believe that if you are in an intoxicated state you are unable to be awakened by two men who are touching you inappropriately.
There is something of importance in the rape or race article. Is the news media selective on what they decide to publish and release, and do stories with a racial ingredient get published more? I would like to think that no matter what race is involved in an incident, it would be reported with the same respect and interest. I honestly believe that if it was three Caucasian males, it would have been reported and the same appropriate actions would have been taken.
The “hype” of incident was about the event, the alleged battery of a woman, and not about the race of those involved. I think most people have enough intelligence not to assume a black man wearing a white T-shirt and jeans has plans to batter them. So if you’re out and you see anyone wearing anything why don’t you stop, say hi, and make a friend. Also, if you ever meet anyone that claims they were ever violated, would you ever turn around and attack the legitimacy of a horrible event that occurred or twist it into some racial issue? I didn’t think so.
The real issue is that while the rape and race column did try to provoke an interesting and controversial issue, it seemed to just attack a woman who was sexually assaulted. I wouldn’t want a tragic wound of mine to have salt poured on it. It is hard to believe that there are people out there that would want to undertake such an act as writing that article. I honestly hope there is more compassion here today.
Brian McNally is an undeclared freshman.