The interview published two weeks ago, (“Off the Cuff with David Arredondo, Oberlin Admissions Director to Lorain County Republican Chairman,” The Oberlin Review, Dec. 3, 2021), with Lorain County Republican Party Chairman David Arredondo represents a dangerous step to the right for the Review. It was bizarre to read statements by Arredondo like “[At Oberlin] I got exposed to political correctness, people who claim to be victims,” and “here at Oberlin, as Republicans, we were in the closet.” Not to mention, “It was also shameful to lose Vietnam … letting Third World countries push us around.” I could not believe that the interviewer did not follow up on these offensive comments and that the Review chose to publish the interview in the first place.
The interviewee displayed a deep bigotry towards marginalized communities in the U.S. and other countries as well as a complete lack of understanding of history. The Review allowed these views to be presented without any criticism or even clarification that the views were offensive.
Over the summer, Lorain County was the first stop in Donald Trump’s post-presidential rally tour. Many students and community members expressed fear over having far-right extremists so close by and reported getting harassed by Trump supporters while walking around town. The subject of the interview was a Republican National Convention delegate for Donald Trump in 2020. At no point was he questioned on his support for Trump or whether he was involved in bringing Trump to Lorain County.
The Review should apologize for allowing such views to be expressed so uncritically and should work to promote voices usually ignored by our white supremacist society. The Review should give a platform to these voices, not perspectives espousing bigotry.