The Oberlin Review

Trump Aspires to Greatness

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Professor of Africana Studies

December 9, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: President-elect Donald Trump wants to be a transformational president, honored just like Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln. But because of his ego, he wants to be elevated above them, to occupy the pantheon of greatness envied by all gods. In his first month as President-elect, he might have done a little more to unite the country. His march toward eternal greatness could have already begun had he first spoken to the nation with an undiluted message of unity, comfort and specific reassurances to those who felt most threatened and unsafe, followed by any number of rallies in stadiums to which all were invited, especially those who did not vote for him — not rallies designed for him to thank...

Anti-Semitism Debates Distract Campus from Larger Problems

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

April 29, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Donald Trump once triumphantly shouted that nuclear destruction is the world’s greatest threat, not Obama’s ecological challenges. Both are right, especially if we add wars, diseases, etc. to the list of humankind’s enemies crying out to be in our crosshairs for solutions. President Krislov is right in touting the power of a liberal arts education as one of the most effective tools to solve most problems. No college’s DNA is richer than Oberlin’s as the marketplace for the critical and robust examination and analysis of ideas, thoughts and viewpoints. We are all united in abstractly condemning racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry with all the intellectual rigor possible because each is so toxi...

College Must Examine Karega Case without Bias

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

April 23, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editor: Oberlin College faculty members meet this Monday to address the issues of anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry on campus. At least to some extent, Professor Joy Karega’s posts on the internet that have been deemed anti-Semitic, not just anti-Zionist, with calls coming from many quarters for her swift dismissal, may have been one of the sparks for this gathering. I have not met Professor Karega, I have not spoken to her or to anyone else about the matter, I have not read her actual posts, but I have read statements attributed to her. My prayer is that there will be as much a rush for fairness as for judgment, for both are essential if even a scintilla of the truth is to be found. Additionally, whe...

In Wake of Anti-Semitism Debate, Oberlin Must Remain Inclusive

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

April 15, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Oberlin College is the institution that pioneered education for women and blacks in the 19th century and deserves to be forever renowned for those early footprints of justice. But it is a college today that seeks to deepen and broaden those footprints by its feats of translating into action its ideals about social justice, fairness and freedom for all. With many admitted high school students and their families visiting us this weekend to get a closer look at what we represent, let’s remind them and ourselves that when we hear and read that others have been hurt — emotionally pained by either anti-Semitism, racism or bigotry — that we express our sorrow and extend our hands and hearts to the...

We Must Support Institutions, Prosecute Wrongdoers

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

February 26, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Brave and selfless women and men volunteer to serve in our armed services to support America by being willing to lay down their lives in faraway lands in defense of the United States of America. We can and should support them a lot better than we do. Similarly, women and men who volunteer to serve us at home as police officers deserve our thanks and support. These two august institutions make it possible for us all to enjoy a sufficient degree of peace and orderliness, thereby affording us the tranquility and stability to address other challenges, concerns, etc. All those in the armed services or on the police force do not always meet our minimum level of behavior all the time; indeed, some c...

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