Letters to the Editor

Re: “A first time for black coaches at the Super Bowl,” by Shemir Wiles, Jan. 25. and “Equal opinions should elicit equal responses,” by Shemir Wiles, Feb. 1.

Twice in the past two weeks, The Oracle has published columns concerning issues of race and prejudice. Both times, the same author has made some very hypocritical comments in her writing.

The first column was published on Jan. 25, in “A first time for black coaches at the Super Bowl,” which, as the title suggests, celebrated the fact that two black coaches are going to the Super Bowl for the first time. Columnist Shemir Wiles stated, “it takes blacks much more effort and determination to compete with their white counterparts.” Inversely, this means that it takes whites less effort and determination to achieve equal success, which is outrageous. If such a blanket statement is to be made, how about considering the very readers of her column – USF students – as examples.

According to Ms. Wiles, all of the college students who struggle to put themselves through school and maintain competitive grade point averages need to put in less effort and determination if they happen to be white, which is fallacious. The article closes with the statement: “The hope is that it’s not about being black, white, Hispanic or Asian, it’s about how you play the game.” It’s interesting that a writer who focuses on the race of two football coaches rather than their coaching abilities goes on to hope that it’s not about race.

The Feb. 1 column, “Equal speech shouldn’t elicit unequal responses,” is equally contradictory. She calls Isaiah Washington’s comment speculation, ignoring the fact that Washington admitted he made the comment and apologized in an Oct. 25 statement to People. Wiles then said that out of the three offensive outbursts by Mel Gibson, Michael Richards and Washington, Washington’s was “the least serious of the three.” Yet she wrote an article about “double standards.”

In each instance, a group of people was offended by someone’s use of inappropriate language – why is one less serious than the other? Wiles’ main problem is that Washington was forced into rehab while others – the white actors – went unpunished.

First, Gibson and Richards both went to rehab as well, for alcohol abuse and behavioral issues, respectively. Second, the publicized admission to go to rehab in the face of scandal is a common move by celebrities to remove blemishes from their image, and all three made that decision themselves.

Perhaps articles about racial equality and double standards shouldn’t demonstrate the same problems.

Robert Buscaino is a junior majoring in business.