December 7th, 2011

In her letter, "Remarkable Grads," Joan Henry Plumb '51 finds it "very distasteful" that an article in a prior issue mentioned that the presidents of Brown and of the United States are African American (Mail Room, September/October). I completely understand, on the one hand, where she is coming from. Her letter clearly rejects racial bigotry and expresses a desire to live in a country that rejects it as well.

But noting milestones that demonstrate our progress toward achieving that goal—our country's electing its first black president or our alma mater appointing its first black president—is worth doing because it helps encourage more progress. Noticing race is not the same as being racist. I look forward to the day in the future when Brown and the United States have had so many black presidents, and presidents of every color, gender, religious belief, and sexual orientation that it really won't make any sense to mention it.

Ian Reifowitz '93
New York City


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November/December 2011