The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 87.0°F | Overcast

Class of '92 ring should offend all MIT sophomores

I am writing to express my dismay at MIT students' nonreaction to Christopher Columbus' presence on the 1992 "Brass Rat." I am not a Native American, but I grew up in the Southwest, and a number of my friends are Native Americans. My Mexican background by definition contains Native American blood, and the culture of the Pueblo and Navajo peoples in New Mexico has played a large part in my development as a human being.

I am outraged that so many people on this campus seem to think that this ring design is only insulting to pure-blooded Native Americans, and that a useless apology from the 1992 Ring Committee will close the issue. There is a great deal in the Native American experience that has influenced every person in every part of this country to some degree. As a nation, we have done a remarkably horrible job of recognizing the value of the Native American heritage.

I propose that the Class of 1992 affirm that value by refusing to purchase a ring which degrades it. There remains ample time to create and issue a new ring design. MIT needs to decide whether we should permit another humiliation of a people as rich and varied as any who have ever lived. The current ring design will turn the Brass Rat into a mark of shame; the humiliation of Native Americans will affirm not the human race's history of exploration and discovery, but its history of ignorance and bigotry.

Francisco Juan Donez '91->