Democracy at home

I protest the war. I support our troops. These two statements are not mutually exclusive, yet this has been lost in the heat of the debate between pro-war and anti-war parties.

When protesters decry the loss of life in this war on Iraq, one should never forget that this includes American lives as well as Iraqi lives.

However, this issue is not what compels me to put pen to paper today. In recent days, I have seen slogans painted on the walls of the tunnels, first calling for peace and later, others calling for support of our troops.

What disturbs me is those calling for troop support have also personally attacked the writers of the peace slogans, calling them drugged-up hippies and other such types. I am troubled. Since when has America stopped promoting freedom of speech?

Why, all of a sudden, can we no longer express our views without being attacked personally, as if our views and opinions are somehow the influence of drugs and should be dismissed?

This is not limited to the UR campus. Recently, anyone who criticizes the war, whether to express an anti-war sentiment or to disapprove of Bush’s war strategy, is either called ignorant or unpatriotic. It has become taboo to speak one’s mind.

It seems to me that something is wrong with this scenario. How can we go overseas and promote so-called democratic values if we are barred from practicing them at home?

Right now, I feel I must censor my views lest my integrity be attacked and I am forced to defend my soundness of mind for no apparent good reason.

So I ask you, while our troops are overseas defending American values, who exactly is defending them at home? Certainly not those practicing slander down in the tunnels.

-Marissa An Ohira

Class of 2006

Degrading damage

I am neither for nor against this war in Iraq. However, I do not understand the vandalism caused by the anti-war movement.

I work for UR Facilities on campus, and every day I hear reports about the spray-painted stop signs and buildings, the tipped over and damaged garbage cans, the chalk slogans on buildings, all of which needs to be quickly neutralized by facilities, at an expense to the student body.

Nothing is accomplished by causing damage. And why tear down signs from an opposing view?

When I hear people complain that the anti-war movement is getting minimal media coverage, but then find that the anti-war movement is taking steps to silence opposing opinion, it just degrades any impact you could have had on people like me.

-Luke Fischer

Class of 2003

Whittingham wrong

When I finished reading the letter written by Arlene Whittingham in the previous issue of the Campus Times, I literally started to laugh out loud. I mean, here is a person who wrote a letter “The Dumbing of America” while exposing to the world just how dumb she really is.

First off, her objections to Michael Moore centered around mainly her disgust at seeing an overweight Catholic take a stage in her city.

Her letter has no substance whatsoever – she doesn’t offer any comprehensive ideological differences with Moore except to paint herself as a propaganda-influenced tool.

The opinions she voiced are just mere repetitions of what has been repeated by conservatives everywhere – that people who protest are anti-American. Considering how this country was supposedly founded on the right to protest, I find this statement highly amusing.

She states that she finds Michael Moore disgusting. What I find disgusting is that someone would resort to using personal attacks on someone’s religious beliefs and their weight in order to criticize them. It strongly reminds me of the bullies and idiots that teased and made fun of me in junior high school.

Does a person’s weight and religious affiliation really have any effect on the truth of their ideas? I think not.

All this Whittingham person has done is shown herself to be a bigot of the highest order, and I am ashamed to share a country with that sort of scum.

Whether Moore is right or not is immaterial – what we must do is recognize that there are those who are bigoted fools who must not be taken seriously. Honestly, I can imagine this Whittingham marching in a parade protesting the right to vote, because people might vote against the president, which in her mind would be downright anti-American.

-Michael Newmark

Class of 2005

Riseup with Riseman

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An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.