I would like to respond to Geri Rosales, who alleged in her column on Nov. 13 that "a girl with a dye job gone wrong and a few too many Twinkies" said that she didn't understand why we needed the different cultural awareness months. I would like to take the time to straighten out a few facts.
Firstly, this person who Ms. Rosales needlessly insults did not make the comment attributed to her. It was a girl with a bad haircut who probably needs to eat a few more Twinkies. Me.
Secondly, the comment was taken out of context. The point of discussion between myself, another student and the girl with the "dye job gone wrong" was summed up quite nicely by something she actually said. "We should be learning about respecting these cultures all year long, not just in those months." I am guessing Ms. Rosales did not hear that last statement. If she had, she may have viewed the conversation in a more positive light.
Thirdly, I too, am majoring in Japanese. I do not study this because it is "cool," as these fads come and go. Having lived in Yokohama and Sasebo for three years. I study the language, culture and religions because I have a deep and abiding interest in them, a love for the country itself, and a respect for the people that goes beyond any transitory "coolness."
Finally, in our Asian Studies class, we discussed that some people cannot tell the difference between the multiple ethnicities from Asia, even though it may be extremely obvious to others. To start yelling at someone because he cannot see the differences is quite rude. The fact that he asked indicates, to me at least, that he was interested in finding something out. He was willing to be educated and was yelled at. From the account presented, it appears Ms. Rosales never told him her ethnicity. After all, it "doesn't hurt to learn new things," as she said herself.
Correct attributions and context are a necessity in the professional world of journalism.
Sarah Christine Perry