A commentary by Larry Pinkney was published in City Pages newspaper (Minnesota), March 29, 2006, Page 4.

Larry Pinkney’s letter to the editor (image below):

Dangerous Minds

As a person of color, a former university student, and a former university instructor, I found the treatment accorded Stephen Philion as reported in City Pages (The Wanted Man, 3/15) to be deeply disturbing. I found the complaints by the two unnamed students against Stephen Philion to be baseless and simultaneously trivializing of the very course that they had enrolled to study. Moreover, all the students in that Race and Culture course were no doubt provided with syllabi, which had they perused, could have aided the two students in question to simply not take that particular course. Also it is obvious that the two students in question were apparently ill-equipped to present their arguments in class in a logical, scholarly fashion and Stephen Philion is certainly not to blame for this. It is apparent that the actions of the two unnamed students were meant to divide various groups of people of color against each other, which is not in the best interests of Hamline University or of any students, irrespective of their color or ethnicity. Finally, the actions of Hamline University’s administration against Stephen Philion were gutless and hypocritical, and by no means academically sound or professionally justified. As a person of color who knows the terrible price paid by so many people of both genders and varying ethnicities and colors to [ensure] that such courses like the one on Race and Culture could even be available to college/university students, I salute Stephen Philion. These are dangerous times indeed, when people’s very thoughts are trivialized, questioned, and attacked.

Larry Pinkney
Minneapolis

Scanned photocopy of Larry Pinkney's Letter to the Editor

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