By Glenda B. Claborne
Education is not just a business
To the Editor:
It would be nice to simply agree with Bradford J. Senning ("University, Inc.," Feb. 5) that the UA is a business, that that is that and we should relish our classes the same way we relish our Big Mac 'cuz [sic] nothing's gonna change. But how depressing! My education and Big Mac lumped together in one juicy commodity!
I got interested in the protest against the UA-Nike contract not out of a romantic notion of taking on Big Business or a sentimental concern for Asian sweatshop laborers. Neither will I say I don't wear Nikes because of ethical reasons - I simply close my eyes at shoes over $40. What I do know is I have a choice, as a consumer of commodities in a global economy, to make sense of where I am between $100 Nike shoes (or Michael Jordan's million-dollar endorsement fee) and a Vietnamese, Indonesian, whoever, receiving $1.67 a day to make those shoes. Furthermore, I have a choice, as a student (a consumer of education), to want to know whether my education is tied to a broader sense of humanity.
Let us not contribute to the unnecessary dichotomy of profit and human rights by saying that that is reality. Our individual choices can bend that reality to a more just curve.
Glenda B. Claborne