I’m nearly 70, put myself through Cal Poly as an adult, graduating when I was 53. I accept that “blackface” was never shared in Kyler Watkins’ history classes — it never was in mine. Was Kyler ever trained about black lynchings, the Klan, that blacks weren’t treated by many hospitals, that white privilege is real?
I think Kyler is telling the truth that his motivation wasn’t consciously racial, while it was quite insensitive, crude and lacked depth. I also believe Kyler laughed and thought of dark-skinned people as he painted his face.
Cal Poly has had a diversity-insensitive climate for a long, long time. Any student who isn’t young, white and straight feels it in their gut. That needs to change quickly. We all need to be kind.
Ethel Landers, Nipomo