When the first op-ed came out, I was very critical:
Whatever happened to diversity? [The NYU freshman Romaissaa] Benzizoune had originally thought her roommate was like her, but then she was "this suddenly strange person." Benzizoun's college experience turned into something universities normally encourage: confrontation and dealing with diversity.The new op-ed from the roommate, K.N. Pineda, reveals that she has been glared at and heckled on campus:
Benzizoune's response was to reject her roommate and to go out and find a more homogeneous group to hang around with. And then she outed the roommate to the whole world, exposing her to contempt and hostility in The New York Times.
After gaining access through the imposed intimacy of roommateship in a university that (I'm sure) promotes diversity, she betrayed this woman — who is perhaps 18 years old — and invited hatred. She did it deliberately, with fervor, and facilitated by the most powerful newspaper in America.
And it seemed justified. Why?
I have been labeled “racist,” “sexist” and “xenophobic” on Facebook. I have been called a “white without a conscious,” a “misogynist,” a “bigot” and a “barbarian” online by people all over the country.She defends herself by telling us that her father is Hispanic and her mother was raised by an African-American stepfather. One defense when you are reviled as white is to trot out proof that you are not white or not that white. It's kind of sad to see a young woman forced into the public light and then having to reveal private facts about other people because it's so threatening to be thought of as a person of white privilege. Her grandmother's husband "died after struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism." Her father "grew up in a trailer home." Her mother "was homeless for a period of time." Do all these people now get a NYT op-ed to tell their story?
Pineda does get around to begging us to rise above racial differences:
The answer is not to further the divide by labeling and dehumanizing one another. We should fight the “us versus them” mind-set.... How can we assume we know someone based on the color of their skin, their religion, or their political choices?... The narrative should be one of inclusiveness, openness, respect and love. It is not only about making “America Great Again,” it is about making America home again.She's getting pilloried in the comments over there. From the top-rated comments:
Pleading for understanding, but where's the understanding for how support for Trump might look to others who've been victimized by Trump's brand of racism, sexual predation, financial exploitation, failure to pay taxes, etc.? While professing wonderful bromides, I find the writer a bit disingenuous.And:
People didn't call you racist because they are ignorant of your family history. They find your beliefs complacent. Trump and his followers will destroy civil liberties. The echoes of Nazi Germany are present; the anger of the right is far more violent than the anger of the left. You experienced FB harassment-- my kids' school experienced Nazi symbols on Twitter. Will you stand up, Ms. Pineda?And:
If the narrative should be one of inclusiveness, openness, respect and love -- what are you doing supporting the candidate championed avidly white supremacists? The candidate whose VP thinks that homosexuals should be subjected to electric shocks to make them "normal"?Etc. etc. This young lady cannot have her private life back.