Dear editor:

I write this letter with a discouraged sense of trust in both the editorial staff and The Record as a whole. Last week, I wrote an article covering the African American Spring Open House that was held here at GC by Lawrence Giden and his interdisciplinary team. 

I was hesitant to write the article, as I have experienced frustration in the past about the censorship done by editorial staff at the Record, in addition to the misleading representation of particular sentiments as a result of inaccurate editorial suggestions (and, inevitably, published changes.) 

I experienced pushback from Record staff about whether or not the historically monumental event was relevant enough for publishing, and made an extra effort to ensure that the aforementioned pattern of negligence was not repeated. However, as I should have expected, I was misguided in my hopeful thinking. 

Despite my helicopter-parent-like commitment to overseeing the changes made to the article, I mistakenly fell asleep before the editorial process concluded, with written assurance from Record staff that the article was in safe hands. I take full responsibility for my own negligence in believing this, in addition to allowing the editorial staff to reframe my original writing in ways that altered what I should have outrightly refused. 

I am a Latina woman, but equally liable for my own wrongdoings and mistakes. People of color are not immune to negligence or bias. It is hard for me to imagine that an individual who is not a minority could ever possibly understand the weight of misrepresentation in the media, and was also disheartened to see that the executive editor positions for the upcoming semester has returned to its general shortage of diversity. It does not make me feel hopeful, to know that the risk of inaccurate media representation will only increase in the upcoming year. 

There is a need for diverse staff, especially Black individuals who are able to write and dictate their own lived experiences, if the Record is to do better. That is not to say that the individuals selected for the upcoming executive editorial positions are any less deserving of their future positions, but it is a relevant pattern that must be acknowledged if systemic accountability is to exist and outcomes are to change. 

As for the article on the African American Spring Open House, the most notable correction ought to be the title, which paints an entirely inaccurate representation of the event, discredits those who put their time, energy and effort into holding the event, and single-handedly skews the entire purpose of the entire article. 

The African American Spring Open House was not an event put on by Goshen College. I had hoped to highlight the efforts made by the present faculty, students and staff involved in the many happenings of the day. The African American Spring Open House was founded by Lawrence Giden and the CCE. There has been no “ongoing commitment” from Goshen College, and the event might even be considered proof of the contrary, considering the lack of attendance by GC administration. 

There is so much to say. I only hope that The Record’s staff and their readers might remember the privilege they hold in their position, and the power their words — or lack of — have. Especially when it comes to accurately representing minorities.