The Oberlin Review

Film Screening Commemorates Indigenous Women

Jean Foggo Simon

February 9, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: The Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee will sponsor the movie For the Next 7 Generations at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Oberlin Public Library. It takes viewers on the journey of 13 indigenous grandmothers as they travel around the globe to promote world peace and share their indigenous ways of healing. Coming from all four corners of the world, these 13 wise elders, shamans, and medicine women first came together in 2004 at a historic gathering. Moved by their concern for our planet, they decided to form an alliance: the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. Facing a world in crisis, they share with us their visions of healing and a call for change now, before it’s too late...

Peek Ignores Indigenous History

Will Grannan-Rubenstein

February 9, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I was dismayed to read a specific sentence in one of Booker C. Peek’s letters about the developing legal confrontation between the College and Gibson’s Bakery (“Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court,” Nov. 17, 2017). The offending line was tangential to Peek’s main argument, part of a brief overview of the College’s history. The line reads: “The founders of the College settled in a wilderness in the 19th century, a site where there were no humans at all.” While it may seem like a minor quibble, I find it deeply disturbing that a professor emeritus of Africana Studies, a scholar who has studied and taught about issues of American white supremacy, would fail to perceive the rich ...

“Crisis” Language Used to Justify Extraordinary Measures

Jade Schiff

February 9, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: A familiar refrain echoes across the country: institutions of higher education are wracked by “budget crises.” Oberlin, we are told over and over, is no exception. Our troubles are now receiving widespread attention. Inside Higher Ed, a major publication that considers the state of higher education in the U.S., recently published an article about our “budget crunch.” Certainly, many institutions of higher education, including Oberlin, are struggling. But this talk of “budget crises” is neither neutral nor innocent. Administrators and (in the case of public institutions) state officials often talk and act as if they are objective circumstances in which we find ourselves and about which we must scrat...

Accusations of Treason Threaten Democracy

Booker C Peek

February 9, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Donald Trump is our president, and we should all root for him to succeed in doing what is best for all Americans — even though on the very day of 2009 that former President Obama was sworn in as America’s first black president, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, expressed publicly that he was rooting for Obama to fail. He is our president because he was duly elected, though Hillary Clinton received far more of the popular — not electoral — vote than he. Surely, there can be a good debate over which is the better way to choose our president. Regardless, Trump is our president, and we want him to be successful, especially in making America greater than ever for all Americans. Tru...

Matambo’s Mentorship Lacked Boundaries

Emily Clarke

February 9, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I’m writing to share my experiences with Bernard Matambo, in the hope that making it public will continue to open up space for the kind of reflection and change that Sarah Cheshire called for. Bernard shaped my time at Oberlin and my values and stances as a writer. He was my advisor and someone I thought of as a mentor, but looking back, the dynamic doesn’t seem like mentorship. I was trying very hard to be a close friend rather than a student, and he did nothing to discourage and much to encourage those efforts. At the time, I felt a powerful kind of approval from feeling “worth” the phone calls, long one-on-one meetings at coffee shops and restaurants (never his office), and late-night con...

Faculty Salaries at Oberlin College

Chris Howell and Kirk Ormand

December 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: Below is an email sent July 17, 2017 to Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan by College Professors Chris Howell and Kirk Ormand. The Review is publishing it in full, with minor changes to style. Dear Mr. Canavan: Thank you for your communication this spring, in which you explained Oberlin’s current financial crisis and the board’s decision to freeze salaries next year. While we recognize the seriousness of our current situation, we find it inadequate and depressing that neither the board nor the administration has the leadership or imagination to address this crisis in any way other than by eliminating raises for faculty and staff. Allow us to review a bit of recent history. At its June...

Word Choice Vital in Discussions of Misconduct

Lilah Drafts-Johnson, College Senior

December 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: As an avid reader of the Review, I was concerned by last week’s headline for the Dec. 1 story covering former Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Bernard Matambo’s resignation. It was not the first page headline, “Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” but the second page headline, which read, “Creative Writing Department Loses Tenure Track Professor” that troubled me. While this headline is factual, I feel it deliberately capitalizes on a fear that is deeply felt by many students and faculty about the futures of various majors and departments: that we are losing tenure-track professors at an alarming rate, and that under the current financial climate, these positions wil...

Journalism Must Acknowledge Hate

Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, OC ’15

December 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: College junior Kameron Dunbar recently wrote an impassioned criticism of disproportionate whiteness within media publications, which he argues leads to “uncontested platforms” promoting whitewashed perspectives (“Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity”, The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017.) In reference to The New York Times article “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” he writes, “It allows the bias of sectarianism and segregation to freely enter the American subconscious without opposition, priming us to respond to these irrational and abhorrent ideologies not with alarm, but with dereliction and indifference.” While I fully support greater diversification of loca...

Students, Community Must Collaborate Against NEXUS Pipeline

John D. Elder, OC ’53; Vice President, Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy

December 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: A big “thank you” to the Review’s Production Editor Eliza Guinn for last Friday’s front page story “Court Rules Against Construction in Ohio City, Gives Oberlin Hope” (The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017) about the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that has blocked the construction of the NEXUS pipeline through Green, Ohio. As her article points out, Oberlin has also filed a case against NEXUS and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to keep NEXUS from threatening the safety of Oberlinians. Though this fact was not included in the article, a local grassroots organization, Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy, drafted the Community Bill of Rights and Obligations Ordinance in 2...

Perspective Important in Gibson’s Case

Kevin Adler, OC ’84

December 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I’m writing to disagree with almost everything in Booker C. Peek’s recent opinion column, “Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court” (The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017). I laughed at Peek’s opening comment that the lawsuit “has the potential to be earth-shattering.” Really? Let’s maintain some perspective here. This is a tempest in a teapot, a tiny incident at a small college. Potentially earth-shattering would be President Trump’s brinksmanship with North Korea, or the increasing severity of tropical storms fueled by global climate change. Those are earth-shattering issues that Oberlin and its students should be addressing. Peek also writes about the damage of a financial settlement. Ma...

Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

December 1, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: As the founding fathers of Oberlin College and Arthur Tappan, whose name Tappan Square bears because of his much-needed financial support of the College, would have wanted, Oberlin remains America’s most luminous beacon for a more just, peaceful, and humane world. As much as the Founding Fathers of our nation will always have our admiration, they showed a serious human weakness in their subjugation of women and willingness to enslave Blacks. As women throughout America need us all to step up to fight against sexism, so do Blacks need all Americans to help us fight against racism. But the middle-aged white men who feel hurt and abandoned — a disproportionate number of whom commit suicide — also need our f...

Public Exhibit, Program Celebrates ASFC Centennial

David Finke, OC ’63

December 1, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: A multi-part public banner exhibit and program celebrating the centennial of the American Friends Service Committee will be held in the Community Room of the Oberlin Public Library throughout the day of Wednesday, Dec. 6. It is part of a year-long observance of the 1917 founding of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization including people of various faiths and backgrounds that is committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. The group received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. Their work is “based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.” A set of large banners entitled “Waging Peace: 100 Yea...

Established 1874.