Dear My Dear Author Mr. Isseroff,

I write in response to your column in last week's issue remarking on the "thoughtlessness" of the "Beyond the Bowdoin Hello" series, likening it to that which has corrupted the ideals of today's Republican Party ("Republicans and the 'Bowdoin Hello' face distortions of original meanings," February 3).

I would first like to commend all the flowery diction, but dizzying Us Your Enamored Readers with your sophisticated lexicon won't help you make that reach, Judah. Would you mind explaining to me (keeping slow on the syllables, as I'm not yet well versed in the white tongue of "tolerance"), how exactly opening a forum for earnest conversation about race consciousness "vulgarize[s] the academic excellence that Bowdoin stands for?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but by saying that the people tossing around racist, homophobic, misogynist slurs on this campus are thereby "transgressing against a respectful environment" (for which they are only individually responsible), it appears that you are implying that the speakers of these insults are outside of said environment.

This claim no doubt serves the noble—but lazy—view that this "privileged community," as you call it, epitomizes a certain set of infallibly equitable values, and the behavior of those who go against them is not accountable to all of us.

Talk of being mired in conversation sounds to me like you'd rather not have the conversation at all. And for the usual reasons, I'm afraid. (It's too troublesome; everyone at the table will risk putting his foot in his mouth; why bother blanketing everyone with that risk when all of us proper Polar Bears already know not to say "nasty" things and how to seek "counseling services" when those of us who aren't heteronormative whites are unfortunate enough to be anomalously assaulted by that non-Bowdoin bigotry.)

But I think you have to know what the conversation is before you dismiss it. The notion that "the ascendancy of identity conversations in our campus discourse is doing a disservice" assumes that there is already active and productive social discourse at Bowdoin that is hindered by all this unnecessary talk.

This may surprise you, but even though Bowdoin is a remarkable place, there are racists and rapists and homophobes on this campus (think what you will of those labels).

There was legitimate impetus to motivate chartering Safe Space, Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Violence, V-Day, Bowdoin Queer-Straight Alliance, a multicultural house, the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and an overseeing bias committee.

The general rationale behind these organizations is that, as a community, we are all responsible for productive change in this environment. The perpetrators you're offering to excommunicate (and hey, I'm all for it) are sporting a big black B on their sweaters in your government class.

If finding them and chucking them out before resuming one's own business is so easy that you could do it alone, this would be a truly thoughtless response, by ignoring the attitude that spawns bias incidents.

I agree that "identity politics" are stupid, but only insofar as a single overused term is unable to acknowledge all the realms of human identity and expression that a diverse discourse should advocate and nurture.

As an "avid politics junkie" who eagerly bashes the partisanship and hypocrisy of petty, easy (read: intellectually piddling) platforms and personas offered by ideologues on the national stage, I invite you to parse the utility of this more demanding politic. That there are horrible words being spoken to various minorities at Bowdoin means that students are not undertaking the strenuous, outside-the-classroom liberal arts education you take for granted.

I apologize for shooting off this tome if you only meant to play devil's advocate and troll on a difficult (not to mention expensive) endeavor that my respected peers and the entire Bowdoin administration devoted substantial time and effort to creating, with genuine faith in the possibility of social change that you have trivialized.

Please reassess your own "yearning" for progress before accusing others who have experienced prejudice directly and more profoundly than you of emphasizing an "empty" pedagogy that you have evaluated quite poorly.

You want substantive engagement? This is our approach to it.

Chris Fung is a member of the Class of 2012. A version of this op-ed appeared as a comment on the online edition of the Orient.