GReasons to be critical of Students Against War
I feel compelled to write in after reading Katie Hardgrove's Tuesday letter "In support of Students Against War." While I agree with her defense of the group regarding the recent allegations against it, there are still reasons to be critical of Students Against War.
Personally, I am avidly opposed to this war with Iraq - and the majority of the policies of the George W. Bush administration. I believe that the authorities of our nation have used arrogant rhetoric, are shortsighted and are not keeping in mind the interests of this nation as they claim to. I also respect the right of all students to say whatever they want. However, the antiwar movement has been misguided - and not just because of "a few rotten apples."
I sought membership in Students Against War last semester and attended a protest rally at Northrop Mall. When I left the rally, I decided not to join. It has nothing to do with the issue, but with the protests themselves. The meat and potatoes of the argument against war are very strong. Sadly, people take demonstrations too far. As much as I disagree with our president, I refuse to stand in a crowd and curse him. It is not only very disrespectful; it is counterproductive!
The hypocrisy is disturbing; students claim they will not lower themselves to methods of violence, yet they are very violent in their speech. It is apparent at all rallies I have seen on campus. This vulgarity and disrespect clouds the case against war.
I urge Students Against War and other antiwar organizations to be more respectful in their demonstrations. Even our president has the capacity to "respectfully disagree." I commend Students Against War's use of teach-ins. By sticking to the evidence and exerting self-control in your speech, I guarantee that your opposition will be more receptive to your message, thereby making it more effective.
Affirmative action for all
The Campus Republicans would likely be surprised by the history and implications of their actions, as feminist groups around the country have staged similar bake sales in support of affirmative action. During such events, white men are asked to pay more than white women or people of color precisely because they are paid more in the workplace.
According to the most recent statistics, accepted by the current administration, white women make only 73 cents for every dollar that a white male makes for the same job. Black women earn 65 cents to their dollar and Hispanic women earn a paltry 53 cents.
In recognition of this discrimination, groups working toward equality charge all people 53 cents for their baked good and then ask white men to contribute their extra 27 cents, 35 cents or 47 cents in order to compensate for the privilege they receive because of their race and sex.
Only when all people are allowed the same social, economic and political recognition for their work and contribution to society can the Campus Republicans then raise the issue of discrimination and inequity.
This letter is in response to the Campus Republicans' bake sale covered in Tuesday's article "Affirmative action bake sale fuels debate." The perspective I can offer is that of a young African-American Republican. Forgive me for blasphemy against my partisanship, but I thought Monday's action was repulsive.
How on Earth do these Republicans believe their actions were productive? There is no logic in such actions. By doing this, they have done nothing but offend people and marginalize themselves in one idiotic act. Such disrespectful actions do not align with the Republican Party as a whole. By no means do our opinions allow us to insult and degrade minorities. On top of this insensitivity, while at Coffman Union I witnessed those so-called Campus Republicans being quite rude to those who inquired about their intentions. I pray this was their own personal ignorance and not racism.
Basically, this was a horrible way to get a good point across. These young men wanted to convey that affirmative action in admissions policies is unethical, unconstitutional and in fact harmful to minority communities. Unfortunately, none of your points, though legitimate, came across, gentlemen.
Those of you involved with this should seriously consider trying a more sensitive and mature means to convey your points. You must understand that by your actions you are not just representing yourselves; you are representing thousands of hard-working people who want what's best for the United States. Poor form, gentlemen.
Cory Landon Washington
political science, philosophy
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