An Introductory Letter from WAR

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August 24, 2012 by WAR

Over the next few days, the administration will be attempting to orient you to the Whitman campus and (to a lesser degree) the Walla Walla Valley. That is, they’ll be trying to make you comfortable. But we here at WAR don’t want to orient you or make you comfortable, cuz that’s no fun. We want to disorient you, to challenge you to think critically about this strange place called Whitman College and the frequently unacknowledged privilege that it symbolizes and perpetuates within Walla Walla and the world. We also want you to know about all the interesting stuff that’s going on here: a professor loved by his students and colleagues being denied tenure in spite of student protests, life existing outside of the Whitman bubble, young people being murdered for stealing a store owner’s belt buckles.

But, proceed at your own risk! Proper disorientation can lead to questioning of authority, distaste for existing forms of government, checking your privilege, loss of apathy, great sex, and—in extreme cases—violent or non-violent acts of revolution. WAR accepts full responsibility if you experience any of the above from reading this zine*.

All of us at WAR are seniors, and it took us years to start the process of properly disorienting ourselves, and we’ve still got a ways to go. Checking your privilege, being a good ally, and critically evaluating your activism are lifelong processes. We wrote this guide to share some resources and lessons we’ve picked up alongs the way. We’re all new to this. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or criticisms of this zine, let us know at whitmanradicals@gmail.com.

But don’t just depend on us—disorientation is a constant process. Look for constant sources and make ure to never feel too oriented in a world filled with systematic injustice, preventable suffering and wholesale destruction of environment and culture.

Love,
WAR

*Whoa, hang on, don’t go out and do something stupid and claim it’s our fault. It only counts if it’s actually revolutionary.

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