1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

bsn BSN: Thank University of Colorado Chancellor for sharing “Plantation” story

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
    Likes Received:
    University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano, while speaking at a diversity seminar with CU regents on Wednesday, made comments that may make national headlines.

    Sarah Kuta, of Boulder’s Daily Camera newspaper, was there to live-tweet the entire meeting and provided the bombshell quote from DiStefano for the world of social media to see. DiStefano, while sharing a story told to him by an African American member of the athletic department, revealed that some black athletes at CU refer to the Dal Ward Athletic Center as, “The Plantation.”

    The comments made by DiStefano are certainly controversial. Upon speaking with someone inside the athletic department, they claimed that they’d never heard that name before from a single player at Colorado. However, unless the Chancellor of the University was lying to the Board of Regents for the sake of proving a point, it’s reasonable to assume that this person within the AD simply hadn’t been privy to those conversations between players before.

    As I sit here writing this, I offer no solutions. I don’t have them. Hopefully, over time, we can find them together through conversation and critical thinking as a group. What I do offer here, is a suggestion.

    Before you get pissed off at the Chancellor for sharing this story in front of a local media member, before you get pissed at him for sharing it the day before Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles, before you get pissed off at the players who use this term and view their life as a student-athlete in this light, just breathe.

    Breathe for a brief moment and consider whether or not you see diversity at the University of Colorado as an important issue. Once you, hopefully, arrive at the conclusion that it is, thank one of the most prominent members of your university’s community for having the courage to share this story. Thank the staff member who had the courage to share it with DiStefano.

    “It just sticks with me, and I’m thinking, ‘We gotta change something.'” DiStefano said.

    Racial tension is not new to the city of Boulder or the university. It was well documented in the ESPN documentary, “The Gospel According to Mac” and has been covered reasonably well in the local press over the years. Racial tension is also, obviously, not restricted to CU and its community. While steps have been taken to work through these tensions on campus, through seminars and an increased focus towards adding diversity to the student body, there is a long road still to be traveled. If anything, that should be the main takeaway from DiStefano’s comments.

    But it won’t be, naturally. People will vilify student-athletes for how they view the university and the system within which they operate. People will call them spoiled (or, more likely, much worse) and remind them of all those student loans they chose to take out in order to attend the university, while the athletes are awarded scholarships. Their reaction will be predictably shallow and without the slightest hint of any reasoned, closely considered thinking.

    Why will this be the reaction? Because we, as a collective nation of sports fans and people, aren’t willing to be exposed to our own biases, our own privilege, and our own hypocrisy. I am as guilty of these things as anyone else.

    Try to be rational. Try to have a conversation. I know it can be hard when there will be the inevitable click-bait published nationwide about these comments, but trust me, it’ll be worth it.

    Jake Shapiro and Ryan Koenigsberg contributed to this story

    William Whelan
    Continue reading...

Share This Page