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Open Letter to the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Media

August 11, 2009

[Note: emailed on this date.] August 11, 2009

Dear Weasels, Lackeys, Peons, and the One or Two People Who Might Actually Care:

I am writing in response to the recent announcement (8/7/09, from the office of Greg Hand) that the University of Cincinnati is phasing out the Center for Access and Transition in Fall 2010. Although I am no longer an employee of the University of Cincinnati and no longer live in the area, I still have strong cultural, friendly, and familial ties to the Greater Cincinnati Area. It also bears noticing that I am a former employee of the institution – having taught as an adjunct in the English Department (Jonathan Alexander, WPA) and in the CAT as a writing tutor.

Before I sat down to carefully type this letter, I did a little research; through your own Department of Institutional Research, I found numbers suggesting that most of the students enrolled in the CAT were African American. My own experience working in the CAT tells me that many of those students are former graduates of the Cincinnati Public School System – an underfunded, overlabored system, particularly in the downtown area. These students have to overcome serious obstacles just to get out of high school. Some of them are economic. Some of the are cultural. Some of them a familial. But they are obstacles nonetheless. Moreover, the city of Cincinnati has proven itself unable to deal with any of these issues with ANY equanimity, preferring instead to fall back on “urban revitalization” – which means turning old neighborhoods into old neighborhoods with a fresh coat of paint and pricing out the families who live there so that more affluent white folks from the suburbs will filter back into downtown. The University of Cincinnati is situated in the heart of the city; this should bring comfort to people hoping , as many do, that education is the way out of poverty. One of the things I noticed, though, as I perused the various public documents I found and those that were offered to me by friends who share my concerns is that the majority of your students are, in fact, not of African-American descent. Most of them are, in fact, “White, Non-Hispanic.” Now, I realize that you can only consider those students who apply to attend, and it is likely that a significant number of black students – for whatever reason – opt not to consider your campus. Another report, however, remarks that the number of African American students is in decline, and attributes this to a smaller CAT program, in spite of the clear improvements being made by the Center from 2005 to 2006. (UC Diversity Task Force and the President’s Report Card 2007.)

The recession has resulted in many losses across the board. Jobs are being lost. Money for important social programs is drying up. State budgets are going through catastrophic upheavals trying to spread too little butter over too much bread. We get it. It sucks to be you and having to make all these big decisions.

HOWEVER – by closing down the CAT and orphaning those students to Raymond Walters, Clermont College, and (Are you really serious?) CINCINNATI STATE – you are effectively telling a group of students who have already been shit on by apathetic weasels like yourselves that they have to lap it up and swallow even more of the same shit. Far from salvaging the educational process, you are undermining it with every mark of your little red pens.

And so, to the meat of this letter. You are all cowards, cads, curs, and liars of the worst sort. Cicadas, Japanese Beetles, algae, and kudzu serve more of an evolutionary function than you do. You are leeches and bums of the worst sort, and I hope, with every bit of vitriolic anger boiling in my bones, that you all live to see just how ridiculous and short-sighted this decision is. (Not that I think you’ll notice; that requires more insight than you’re probably capable of.) I hope your children suffer under the Draconian educational standards you espouse. Never mind that this decision rooted in institutional policy that is, by nature, bigoted (Wonder if that’s why African-American students don’t apply?? Hmm.). Never mind that the state, the city, and every neo-con bootstrap preaching bastard will applaud you for your fiscal responsibility and adherence to educational standards that presuppose a student’s economic and educational background rival a Rockafeller trustee. The decision to close the CAT is simply wrong, anti-educational, anti-democratic and STUPID. The good news, on your part, is that the public has come to expect nothing less from you than the finest quality of manure-minded thinking. People like you let the Nazis take over Germany. People like you cheered for Stalin. People like you voted for George W. Bush – and dumbasses that you are, you’re probably still proud of it. People like you should be shunned from the human race because you are clearly more Limbless Skink than Human.


 Mick Parsons



Press Release from the Office of Greg Hand


UC Diversity Task Force

UC21: The President’s Report Card to the Board of Trustees

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