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Trilling Unfairly Accused of Making Racist Comments

Column by Pawan Sinha
Features Staff

From what I have read about the Cedric Jennings case, I feel that Professor of Aeronautics and Astrophysics Leon Trilling is being unfairly accused of harboring racist sentiments ["MITES Controversy Attracts National Media Attention," Oct. 25, 1994].

Given that none of the other students in the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science program this past summer accused Trilling of racism and also given the mediocre academic record of Mr. Jennings, it seems obvious that the latter's charge of racism is quite baseless and wrongly motivated.

The comic strip tries to say that the only way to account for the meaninglessness of this accusation is by assuming that Mr. Jennings does not have a comprehension of what he has charged Trilling with.

I feel that we should stand by Trilling and not let his reputation be tarnished by a random accusation. In doing so, we shall be doing a service not only to him but also to MIT at large. Bruised egos should not be allowed to determine academic standards at the Institute.

It is definitely not the intent of the strip to make any unfair generalizations. The person being satirized here is Mr. Jennings alone. There should not be any confusion in this regard given that I refer to Mr. Jennings by name.

The expectation of broadmindedness entails fairness from both sides. In the present case, one party seems to have defaulted. That is what the comic strip is about.