Dear Executive Editor,
Through my two years at CWRU, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the newspaper every week. However, there seems to be a lack of true correspondence regarding our school’s relationship with its neighbor, East Cleveland. Though I did not attend East Cleveland schools or even live there, my family has been involved in the East Cleveland community for my entire lifetime. In my opinion, a majority of CWRU students commonly belittle and degrade the East Cleveland community, something that is completely immoral and irrational.
This brings me to the opinion article written by Abby Armato, in which she very clearly explains her feelings regarding East Cleveland. As she writes about her inadequacy in handling money, she makes a failed attempt at humor and dishonors the East Cleveland community. She wrote, “In the beginning, there was $150 of CaseCash on my account. This money made me feel very powerful, like I could buy most of East Cleveland.” By equating the value of a community to about 25 burritos (in her terms), she effectively devalues all of the members of our East Cleveland neighbors. The opinion about East Cleveland is very common among my peers, and I guess what I am trying to point out is that it absolutely needs to stop.
As I walk to class, or even stand in the line to use gas chromatography in chemistry lab, people make it seem as though if you cross the “rape bridge” (a term that one of my peers used), then you will never live to see CWRU campus again. As if telling the horror story of going into East Cleveland wasn’t enough, most people comment on the stupidity and inferiority of this community as a whole. Not to diminish the true facts regarding East Cleveland—yes a majority of the people live below the poverty line, and yes there have been multiple widely publicized crimes—but I will never understand how CWRU students can continually disregard all of the things going well in East Cleveland, and shame the community as a whole.
I understand that this was just a line of pathetic humor, but as the campus newspaper I believe that The Observer should try and dissuade the contributing authors from furthering the stigma that East Cleveland is a desolate place that should never be spoken about unless in a demeaning manner. I don’t understand why many CWRU students find it acceptable to ‘kick the little guy when they are down.’