Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Xenophobia in Nebraska

I wrote the following comment today on an article that appeared at Omaha.com about Park University's women's NAIA volleyball championship. The article makes what I would consider to be snide, inappropriate comments about the international student-athletes on our volleyball team. Here is my reply to this article:

As director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University, I am disappointed with both the language and tone of your volleyball article. First, use of the term “foreign” to describe international students went out with the eight-track tape, and is now considered xenophobic. Second, the notation that your local college recruits only “high-character, homegrown individuals” implies that those who aren’t homegrown (and, being Nebraska, presumably corn-fed) are somehow lacking in character. Of course, the display case full of conference and academic all-America honors won by Park University athletes from the U.S. and abroad debunks this myth. The overall tone of the piece implies that there is something unsavory about fielding a team that includes international students. 

I would like to invite those who were “disappointed” to see Park’s international athletes down I-29 to see how these student-athletes, and the rest of our international students, have helped to make Park University a winner both on and off the court.

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