Letter to the Editor: Satirical piece on poverty was misunderstood


The Maroon

John Valdespino

John Valdespino, Music industries senior

Dear editor,

I am sorry. My column “You cannot save the impoverished” was wrong. I don’t think it was ever up for debate that the content was wrong, but I hope that it helps to hear that I, as the author, admit that there is no truth to my words.

However, this apology should begin bringing up more questions like, “Why write something like this at all?” To that I could only respond, “to make people think.” I think that some communities found are largely ignored because we don’t think we can do anything about them. By presenting the extreme of this view, I hoped that people would begin to confront themselves about this attitude. I hoped that the last paragraph of my column would guide people to do something.

Despite encouraging people to do something through their actions rather than write letters to the editor, I succeeded more in discouraging people with my words. I had hoped that my column would not be taken as a serious plea to let the impoverished die, especially at this university. However, the satire of the column seemed overshadowed by the reader’s fear that someone may actually be that racist.

Let me just reassure Loyola that when I wrote this column, I knew that it was wrong. There are many people who have come from impoverished communities who have proven that they are not dead. These are the people who prove my words wrong and the ones who manage to succeed, despite being disadvantaged, and have existed before the column was written and will exist after. They are not unique to one race or location.

In writing this, one of my biggest regrets will be that I might have discouraged these individuals or even have made everyone forget them and their accomplishments temporarily. I did not expect for the column to produce that dramatic of an effect. I simply believed the column too absurd to be taken seriously and I was wrong.

New Orleans for a very long time has been a city of hope. Many thought that, after Katrina, New Orleans couldn’t be rebuilt, but the number of people coming back did not lessen. Many came back and even more came in to help rebuild. New Orleans, despite its hardships, is a city that is here to stay and for many, including myself, has been a city of opportunity. I hope that no one has forgotten that after what I have written.

So, please, take my apologies and seriously consider volunteering in the local community, not only here but wherever you consider settling down. The impoverished are not helpless by any means, but by reaching out you can make a big difference.


John Valdespino

Music industries senior