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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Student Distraught by Bigoted Comments Made in Online Forums

Author: [no author name found]

I have only read the forum twice in my life. The first time I was so offended, I cried. Slip on a veil of anonymity and it's shocking where people will go, from the objectification of women through top ten lists to jokes about rape to racism and public attacks on specific, named individuals. It shames me to know I go to a school where some of my peers think like this.
We go through our days here immersed in intellect and political correctness. The fact that underneath this lies sexism, racism, classism, and other prejudices, makes me sick. I walk around campus and I think to myself, "Who are these masked Midd-kids? Which ones are the rapists; which ones are the bigots? Which of these elite Midd genuises goes back to his/her room and attacks the very personhood of nameless and named individuals through the anonymity of a computer?"
Who is it that says these threatening and demeaning words so that I and many others must walk around feeling not only objectified and judged, but wary and untrustworthy? You're ruining it for the rest of us. You're ruining it for those of us who believe that regardless of gender, race, class and sexuality, we're all in this together. We are all here because we're brilliant, ambitious, and devoted human beings of the world.
So if anyone doesn't belong here, it's the Midd-kids posting these sexist, racist, classist, homophobic, prejudiced and threatening words on this anonymous forum. Anonymity is a dangerous thing; it allows hatred to foster unchallenged. Well, I'm challenging the Middlebury community now. Open your eyes, look around. Listen to those voices that are being judged and silenced. We may learn something more valuable than can ever be found in books or taught in a classroom.

Gillian Wood is a Senior from Washington