Khan in response to “When we’re too afraid to fight back”

Letter to the Editor

To the editor,

Does Andrew Breland [the column’s author] really have any idea on what it’s like to “be too afraid to fight back?” Has Breland looked another person in the eyes and seen pure disgust, contempt and hatred? All for something as simple as wearing the wrong shirt or acting too flamboyant or for simply existing?

I have.

That, Breland, is what it feels like to be “too afraid to fight back.” Having no options, no recourse. Just silently accepting the non-negotiated, non-consensual power play being acted upon you; a constant reminder that now is not the time. It’s never “the time.” Institutions of hegemonic power will never let it be “the time.”

So, Breland, when a resource is offered like the Bias Reporting System, I too am suspect, but unlike you, my questions are more like these:

If master’s tools cannot dismantle master’s house, how can I expect an institution like Case Western Reserve University, that has routinely failed me and many others in so many ways it’s difficult to count, be trusted to accurately represent my case and deal with it? Will the Bias Reporting System be yet another “Case-ified” institution that exists in name only, buried deep and highly inaccessible to students?

Will President Barbara R. Snyder then write a grandiose email about it before quickly burying it under the rug and then silently killing it off after two or three years of no student use, citing “it went unused therefore it’s all OK,” when really students had no idea of its existence or how to use it. Nor could they be expected to trust it, given all that has occurred so far at this institution. Do I want to use master’s tools after I never really consented to calling CWRU master? This smacks of power plays that go unsaid, way too much like reigning hetero-patriarchal institutions already are.

That, Breland, is what I would want answered related to this issue. Not puffy, abstract questions on “what happens in the corporate world” or “how should people parent their children?” Which are cleverly written tricks to distract us from over 700 words that only retread familiar derailing tactics in new ways. God forbid someone call anyone out on their biases and attempt to work through them. Better to just accept non-consensual power plays like I am always expected to do.

After all, Breland, I wouldn’t want you to be “too afraid to fight back.”

Zak Khan
Columnist for “Pup peeves”

For another student’s view on the topic, see “Osegbu in response to ‘When we’re too afraid to fight back’”