The Oberlin Review

Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

December 1, 2017

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

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...

Oberlin Prepares Students for Real World

Donn Ginoza, OC ’74; At-Large Member, Alumni Leadership Council

December 1, 2017

To the Editors: Are you a newly arrived freshman or a senior about to graduate without a clear plan for Year One after college? If you are, or you are simply wondering if Oberlin was the best school for you, take it from someone who is nearing the end of his working career that nothing is more valuable for an engaged and satisfying life than an Oberlin education. When I graduated from high school, I chose Oberlin over two large public universities. I was a strong student in all subjects, but I did not have a “passion.” Luckily, it wasn’t really important to have one back then. It was a few years after Woodstock and the Vietnam War protests, and I remember a lot of students were critical of higher education not...

Students Should Engage with Indigenous History

Jean Foggo Simon, Member, Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee

November 17, 2017

To the Editors: On Aug. 21, 2017, Oberlin City Council passed a resolution declaring the second Monday in October to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the city of Oberlin. Thus, Oberlin became the first city in the state of Ohio to abolish Columbus Day. The Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee is working to continue to educate the community about all indigenous peoples, and our invitation is extended to Oberlin College. A series of events have been planned, and our next will take place on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 at 5:45 p.m. at the Oberlin Public Library. The movie, Tecumseh’s Vision, from the acclaimed PBS history series entitled We Shall Remain: America through Native Eyes will be aired. This episode tells the story of...

Warfield Represents Change Police Department Needs

Ray English, Director of Libraries Emeritus

November 10, 2017

To the Editors: I am writing regarding the Review’s Nov. 3 article “Oberlin Police Chief Hire Sparks Controversy Within Department.” Readers who did not follow the process closely might not be aware of the thought and care that went into the police chief search. This past spring, Oberlin City Manager Rob Hillard conducted five listening sessions to determine what our community desires in its police chief and police department. Listening session participants — a total of 180 people from all segments of the community — expressed a clear vision for policing that focuses on developing positive relationships between the police and Oberlin residents. A summary of the listening sessions, including details of th...

Student Debate Will Help Strengthen Personal Views

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

November 10, 2017

To the Editors: When some anti-Semitic signs appeared on campus, President Ambar announced that her administration will not automatically amplify those messages by informing the entire campus each time they appear. But she will surely do an all-campus notification if need be. I have no idea if she explained to students or the campus what her rationale was before taking this action; in any case, her position does seem to be a good one, if only because there is nothing anyone can ever do to prevent one person — perhaps not even associated with the College — from having the power to sow fear throughout the entire campus by posting hate-filled scribblings. When President Ambar visited New York City about two weeks ago, she rece...

Ohio Residents Should Consider Whaley for Governor

Aliza Weidenbaum, Oberlin Resident

November 10, 2017

To the Editors: Of all the candidates running for Ohio Governor, Nan Whaley is my favorite. I see something refreshing — presidential — in her. She brings experience as the Mayor of Dayton, moral clarity, and a spark of youth. She has a knack for facilitating help that’s both speedy and systemic. She has helped lots of homeless veterans find permanent housing, many kids get better pre-K education, thousands of people get mentors, mentors get training, and lots of new Dayton residents feel welcomed, supported, and encouraged to start businesses. When Nan Whaley sees a problem, she responds as a governor should. Nan Whaley will be in Oberlin soon — Nov. 13, the Monday following Oberlin’s local elections. Mar...

Insufficient ODR Funding Should Discourage Prospies

Liz Cooper, College Sophomore

November 3, 2017

To the Editors: More than a month has passed since Isabella Moreno resigned as the interim director of Oberlin College’s Office of Disability Resources, and we have still seen no significant structural changes planned for the critically understaffed and underfunded ODR. There is no plan to hire a sufficient, full-time staff trained in disability support and there is no plan to provide a committed, accessible safe space designated specifically to provide support for disabled people. Every Band-Aid solution presented by the administration so far has been thinly-veiled efforts to mollify student concerns without spending the money to substantially impact the office’s critical situation. As events have unfolded, it has...

Singleton Offers Expertise to City Council

Martha Ferrazza, Oberlin Resident

November 3, 2017

To the Editors: On Tuesday, Nov. 7, I will have the distinct pleasure of voting for Kelley Singleton for Oberlin City Council. I urge you to do the same — not because of Kelley’s experience in management, or because of his already outstanding service as an Oberlin Rotarian and city councilman. It won’t be because he grew up here, or even because he shares my passionate advocacy for renewable energy, Oberlin’s status as a sanctuary city, and LGBTQ rights. I’m so excited to vote for Kelley because he is full of ideas: He’s paving the way for food trucks to draw people outside on summer nights; he has sounded out local growers to plant cherry trees on a dreary corner for a blossom festival in some future spri...

Review Unintentionally Misrepresents History of Student Activism

Jeremy Poe, Double-degree Fifth-year, Student Senator 2015–2016

November 3, 2017

To the Editors: In the Oct. 27 edition of The Oberlin Review, it was implied that I began the student representatives initiative recently rejected by the board (“Trustees Reject Proposal for Student Representative,” Oct. 27, 2017). This narrative is understandable, given the time and word-count restraints on student reporters, but is unintentionally misleading. It is incorrect to credit me with initiating the pursuit of student representation at the highest level of Oberlin governance, or for coming up with the idea. Student representation was a demand developed internally by Defending Oberlin Financial Accessibility during their 2014–2015 organizing against proposed financial aid changes. In July 2015, after a tru...

Hope Paramount in Face of Danger

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

November 3, 2017

To the Editors: We on earth have our problems. The first is that in a second, comets, asteroids, or an all-out unleashing of the world’s nuclear stockpiles could wipe us all out. More slowly, it could be the effects of global warming. If none of these occurs to eliminate all life, then surely the best scientific evidence is that in a few billion years our sun will shine no more, forever extinguishing all of us humans and all other life. The first thought of this bleak picture is that we are doomed, left solely with our seeking to get as much pleasure as we possibly can out of our brief stay on this Earth — still brief even if it’s 90-plus years — without regard to whom or what we destroy. Thus, “Make America...

Firearm Restrictions Imperative to Protect Citizens

Joe Bialek, Cleveland Resident

November 3, 2017

To the Editors: The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Obviously, the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard, whereby trained military personnel are entrusted with the defense of this country against domestic enemies. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded. The only two reasons for a citizen to own a firearm are for hunting or for defense of the household from intruders. In either case, ownership of a handgun, shotgun, or rifle is more than adequate to satisfy these purposes. There is abso...

Established 1874.