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Letter to the Editor

Selmon is the best choice for the job

The first thing I saw as I read the Letters to the Editor section in theJune 7 edition of The Oracle “USF Leadership is weak because it expendsa great deal of effort to appease the black community.”

Intrigued, Iread on only to read another rant about who is getting what and why atthis great university. I had read an earlier letter from Professor BobBeasley about Lee Roy Selmon?s appointment as athletic director and likemany others, chose to say nothing for personal reasons. It was onlyafter reading Manuel Mejia?s follow-up that I decided the truth willalways be more important to me than what people think.

I refuse to play the game of scapegoating one group off of another hereat USF. The bottom line is the fate of all minority groups areirrevocably linked in America.

What I will say is that USF does not play into the “black victimization”theory as presented by Beasley, and there definitely isn?t any hiddenblack agenda that USF forces people to follow.

It would seem as if Beasley is one of the few people in athletics, whohad a problem with Selmon?s appointment, to speak up. For that he is tobe applauded. Yet, Beasley used race as a primary reasoning behindSelmon’s appointment, once again fueling the theory that AfricanAmericans can only get ahead through pity and/or handouts, not educationand qualifications. This is the same theory used to discredit the meritsof affirmative action.

He also claims Selmon should have been more loyal to former athleticdirector Paul Griffin. Well to that I would argue “Tu Quoque.” Griffinhad not exactly been loyal to the associate assistant athletic directorassigned to the initial USF Athletics? internal investigation.

Griffin?s removal was not promoted solely by the women?s basketball teaminvestigation. We should remember there are numerous lawsuits pendingbecause of dealings within the athletic department under Griffin’swatch.

I am sure those played a large factor in the decision-making. It alsocould have played a factor in his seeking employment at anotheruniversity late last year. If USF is a university on the rise, why leavesomething you haven’t finished building?

It is apparent there was trouble brewing from a while ago. Thoughtokenism still exists, when all of the facts are considered, Selmon isthe best choice for the job.

The special treatment Mejia described in his letter is definitely notapparent to members of the black community here at USF. Why is it such ahard concept for people to grasp that in America, African Americans havesucceeded because of their qualifications? It is such a hard concept tograsp because it is at the very root of the problem in race relationstoday. Racism has poisoned the minds of individuals to believe thatblacks cannot achieve anything self-sufficiently.

For many, it would seem as if African-American faculty, students andstaff are only here at the expense of some more qualified person. Theycould have never been better equipped than another individual. That isexactly the European hegemonic view that has destroyed the self-esteemof many minorities, fueled the desire of many more to achieve andprevents non-minorities from mentally giving others the benefit ofhaving achieved anything upon on their own merits.

No one gives anyone anything in this society. If anything, there aremany hard-working black officials on this campus who have achieved muchand have taken very little of the credit when the time is due. They arein some cases ignored by those in power as having made any contributionto the growth of USF. Leadership as high as the president’s office andas informative as The Oracle have reflected this very sentiment.

Although the omissions may be slight, the message that accompanies themis very clear. It is a wonder that when African Americans speak out, thegrievance is never considered valid, rather a play of sort on the pityof our counterparts. What will ever substantiate the claims and/orconcerns of African Americans?

How can Mejia claim that Latinos are being purged from the universitysystem as a result of a black agenda?

If anything, Mejia’s criticism is a misguided and inadvertent attemptto destroy the fabric of the diversity he claims to have “learned”about.

His view is clearly reflective of the need for more dialogue and work inthe areas of race and ethnicity at USF. Diversity is only actualizedwhen intolerance ceases to exist and the uncompromised truth is acceptedand used with integrity to unite everyone in the cause of humanunderstanding and growth.

– Edwin Narain is majoring in psychology.