Keith’s Korner: Open Letter to Greyhound Nation

By J.T. Keith

Right off the bat, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am sorry for accusing the Administration, and anyone who took offense at being called a racist. I voiced my opinion about an incident that happened to me at the New Mexico Highland football game on September 3, 2011; without giving the administration or the proper officials an opportunity to investigate the incident or take action.

The fault lies with me for not going through the proper channels. Saying that I did not know is no excuse as I stated in the last issue. I was extremely angry about what had happened to me. Weeks passed and the more time went by, the angrier I got. I was irresponsible. I wanted retribution against the people who had taunted me.

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 I went Friday to investigate what measures are set up and how to go about filing a discrimination claim if that situation arises; those officials were out to lunch. I plan to write an article on the inner workings of how to go about handling those situations should they occur. If I didn’t know, maybe other students don’t know either.

President Gamble is to be commended for his open door policy; I went to Dr. Gamble, and we talked as men, with him listening to me without passing judgment or an accusatory tone. He asked me to give him and the University a chance to investigate this incident, and if I was not satisfied with the results he would take me personally to Human Resources. Within 24 hours action and justice was accurate and swift.  Dr. Gamble said what had happened to me was wrong, and that if the correct safeguards were in place this incident would not have occurred in the first place. The President has assured me that he is actively seeking qualified African American professors to employ here at Eastern. Dr. Gamble also corrected me; we do have one African American secretary at the television station, so I retract my statement of no African American secretaries. Dr. Gamble told me in our meeting that he is on the record for diversity, and all for hiring the best possible candidate regardless of race or gender, to make ENMU, the best University possible.

To Dr. Dobson, I would like to thank you for telling me that you are sorry for what happened to me. You also told me I was wrong and that my credibility had taken a hit because of my irresponsibility for not publishing the truth. There are measures in place about discrimination, and training for Diversity and that students have as many rights if not more than Professors. Even though it was an Opinion Article, you missed the opportunity to make this an effective piece of Journalism, by making it a rant. You have an obligation to be accurate and fair, and to give both sides a fair hearing in the press. You needed to protect the Chase that was your obligation.

As to answer an e-mail, that it is not someone’s responsibility to establish programs for African Americans on campus, the person who wrote that is right. African American Affairs will be talking to the Administration, about establishing a chapter of the Black Student Union on campus as well as Black Sororities and Fraternities.

I would like to apologize to the President, student body, alumni, the town of Portales, and whoever else I may have offended by my column. I had a responsibility to The Chase to get the policies of discrimination out and how to go about registering a complaint. I apologize for making a sensitive subject come to light with something that could and should have been handled in private.

 I ask your forgiveness and look forward to earning back your trust and my credibility one article at a time. I will not write that things are ok when our performance on the athletic field does not warrant. I will continue to call it as I see it. Let that be a point of contention and not something that can be handle in private. As with families we love hard and sometimes there are misunderstandings, yet at the end of the day we’re still family and we still love.

Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding.

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