Archiving, Narratives, and Creation…

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The flood of responses from pro-“chiefers” since the Board
of Trustees agreed to retire the racist mascot at UIUC have
caused many to think that some sort of archive is necessary.
STOP (Students Transforming Oppression and Privilege),
a coalition of UIUC students, faculty, staff, and community
members from other allied organizations, has
decided to take up this project. STOP was also the group
that organized the forum, “Race, Power, and Privilege at
UIUC” on February 1, 2007, which was attended by thousands
of students, faculty, and staff and watched on live
broadcast by thousands more.
The STOP Coalition is committed to breaking cultures
of silence by encouraging and creating spaces where community
members engage and document issues related to
racism, power and privilege at UIUC. STOP’s plans for the
future include (but are by no means limited to) the archiving
of media coverage, the resulting online discussions,
collecting live narratives, and creating documentaries out
of past video footage while participants gain the technical
skills to produce their own independent media.
Please visit the STOP blog “Information” entry titled,
“Archives, Narratives, and Creation” for more information
about this project and how to contribute at <http://stopblog.>.
The following are just a few excerpts from preliminary
gatherings for the archive. Many are from The Daily Illini,
the UIUC “independent student newspaper,” whose Editorial
Staff has repeatedly worked to undermine STOP’s projects,
including encouraging all students not to attend the
forum. These quotes have been chosen to reflect the
extreme instances of resistance to STOP’s efforts in order to
demonstrate why many have felt the need to collect and
recognize these opinions. The comments below are a testimony
to the hostile climate on campus that must be
addressed by the university administration.
“As anticipated, Thursday’s forum. entitled ‘Racism, Power
and Privilege at UIUC’ yielded little productive dialogue
on race issues. Many opinions were voiced, but it turned
out to be mainly an extendÏed anti-Chief protest. Little
time was placed on ways to cure what truly ails the campus,
namely issues of racial insensitivity.” [Daily Illini Editorial
Board’s “Future Race Dialog Needs to be Fruitful”
published on 2/6/07; ]
”In the opinion of many (and I mean many) students on
this campus, including almost a dozen of friends I have
talked about, not only is STOP definitely not ‘decidedly
anti-racist,’ but in fact this forum has been the most openly,
blatantly racist event to plague our campus in living memory.
Chancellor Herman should feel ashamed for having not
only tolerated, but also condoned this carnival of hatred.
All you STOP agitprop minions succeeded in creating
was not pity for your pretenses and faux victimization, but
genuine disgust at the bitter demagogy of the whole
“event,” and a determination stronger than ever not to
allow our rather moderate, welcoming, tolerant campus to
be confiscated by the radical, hate-filled discourse of some
marginal, mediocre students and faculty, unhappy that
their disgruntled mediocrity is not being ‘celebrated’
according to their ‘demands.’” [Online comment posted to
the above editorial on 2/6/07 by “Rajeev”]
“As a 1974 graduate of the U of I, I have listened to this for
all of the 33 years and more since I graduated. Next to fall
will be those universities that have animal mascots, yes
PETA will get rid of the Golden Gopher, the Wildcat, the
Badger, the Wolverine and more. Texas will not have the
Long Horn, Washington State will be charged with cruelty
to animals, and the Cougar will be set free, and this will go
on and on. The Buckeye will be eliminated by those that
love the horse chestnut tree and don’t like it being just a
mascot symbol.” [Joe Weeks’ Letter to the Editor titled,
“Chief Will Start trend in Losing Mascots” published in
The Daily Illini on 2/23/07]
“There’s nothing new about the substance of the courses
offered by the Angry Studies departments [ethnic/racialized
studies, gender and/or women’s studies, LGBT studies].
That is, there never was any. Everybody knew it. Even
the President, the Chancellor, while always being ‘nice’ to
them, always greeting their ‘essential contributions,’ while
knowing they simply represented a waste of resources with
no benefit of any nature, be it material, intellectual or spiritual.
Giving money to the Angry Studies department was
a bit like making up for your sins in other areas, also a bit
like throwing a dollar (millions of dollars, in the case of
the UIUC) to the drunken homeless, in the name of some
diffuse Christian—or secular, whatever—spirit of charity.
What is new now is that the beggars claim to be choosers.
They are not happy with the many millions handed over to
them, with no reasonable expectations of ANYthing in
return. They are not happy with the dozens of courses
(ridiculously overlapping, in a carnival of manifest waste and
triumphant demagoguery) that they’re being overpaid for.
They want more self-multiplying faculty of their own
kind. (Insecure on their individual worth, they feel
‘empowered’ only when they are able to gang up on worthy
individuals.) More sinecures. More power. (They are
obsessed with ridiculously outdated, ideological theories
of power). They want to make their fantasies UIUC policy,
they want to dictate to the entire UIUC body when they
are supposed to breathe, whether they are allowed to
think, and what they are supposed to drink.
The whole charade just got updated from the former tolerated
comedy hour status to truly dangerous lunacy. A surgeon’s
knife would be needed, at this stage, to deal with the
tumor. However, given the lack of quality and courage of
the people presently in charge at UIUC (the previous Presidents
would weep bitter tears knowing the degrees of abject
servitude Mr. White voluntarily lowered himself to), I doubt
anything will be done to remind the Angry Studies lunatics
that they are not (yet) in the charge of the asylum.” [Online
comment posted to Letter to the Editor “A Holistic Look at
the ‘Chief’ Controversy” on 2/27/07 by “Econ Alum”]
“The damn left wing morons like you who absolutely
ruined the once great state. You should be ashamed of
yourself and your heritage ‘I don’t feel safe…’ [a quote from
Geneveive Tenoso’s speech to the Board of Trustees] what a
shit you are. Ruining a fine tradition. No one thinks of indians
in negative light when they see the mascot you moron,
but we do when we see idiots like you spewing your bile.
You should crawl in a hole & never show your stupid face
again.” [Email on 3/13/07 to Genevieve Tenoso from <sfulrath@> and signed,” Scott Fulrath, Ramona, CA.”]
“The Seminole Tribe—the richest of all of Indian tribes in
the United States have continually endorsed Chief Osceola
at Florida State University. It is easy for many columnists
and other third-party activists to tell me that I am offending
the feelings of Indian sympathizers by supporting the
University of Illinois and Chief Illiniwek. I want to see
some of theses pompous, arrogant, politically-correct campaigners
tell Florida State and the Seminole Nation WHY
they are wrong!
The Seminoles are a very wealthy tribe—they own several
casinos and the own all of the Hard Rock Café’s. I
guess by backing Chief Osceola and Florida State University,
the Seminoles are telling all of the Indian sympathizers
around the country to ‘GO SCREW YOURSELVES’
Political Correctness has gone way off the deep end! I
am very sorry that the University of Illinois Trustees “soldout”
to the very corrupt association known as the NCAA!”
[Email on 3/14/07 to Genevieve Tenoso from < DACerny@> and signed,” David A. Cerny”]

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