September 16, 2019 | 62° F

LETTER: An Open Letter to Milo Yiannopoulos from a Black Feminist


Dear Editor:

I am black. I am a feminist. This means that I fall into the category of people who are targeted by Milo Yiannopoulous's bigoted rhetoric. Although I am seriously tired of addressing flashy racists with corny hair (this is especially true in light of Trump), I will say just one thing.

When Yiannopoulous came to speak here at Rutgers the other night, he made it a point to essentially say that anyone who is afraid of hearing new ideas should not be here, and I agree.

But what Yiannopoulous fails to understand is that what he was saying is not new.

It’s not even slightly new. To claim that rape culture is not real is actually very old. To claim that feminism is dangerous is the oldest trick in the book. And to claim that "Black Lives Matter" is not a legitimate movement in 2016, is just plain tired.

Yiannopoulous is not being original and brave by invalidating the experiences of women who have been sexually harassed and/or assaulted, and we are not being "fearful" by rejecting the same old narrative that we’ve been hearing for decades now.

He will, like all the other white-privileged hateful men, go down in the books of history as doing absolutely nothing to challenge the status quo. I take offense to his speech, but not because I fall into that category that I mentioned previously. On the contrary, I am offended on the behalf of the people who actually push the boundaries and question authority. Those of us who genuinely support revolutionary thought will continue to resist the relentless stream of blind hate that Yiannopoulous and his supporters spout so effortlessly.

I was going to mention that I am utterly ashamed that Rutgers, as a self-proclaimed progressive school, allowed someone of his caliber of bigotry on campus, but I suppose I should be thankful. The fact that Yiannopoulous was able to not only speak here on campus, but also got such a big crowd of supporters, has only served to open my eyes, once again, to the harsh realities that we as a younger generation must face.

Hopefully Yiannopoulous will do a bit of reading on the history of America and patriarchal white male privilege after this letter. Probably not, I know, but one can only hope, right?

Saskia Jabalon is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in criminal justice and Africana studies.


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Saskia Jabalon

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