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Letters to the editor

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
March 2, 2000
Talk about this story

Parents must be accountable

To the editor,

I would like to address Tamara Zizzos' response to Lora Mackel's creative solution to a form of child abuse. In this laughable excuse for reasoning, Mrs. Zizzo shows her Proletariat background by asserting that government regulation of parenting is a power grab by overbearing government officials. Nothing can be further from the truth. Mrs. Zizzo needs to understand that if we are going to make a society safe for children, people must become accountable to the enlightened dictates of their government.

It is plain and obvious that the expansive power base of the government allows enlightened members of the ruling elite to show a better path in life for the population at large. Take for instance Lora Mackel's well reasoned point that parental indifference to medical care, is responsible for the death of thousands of children. Mrs. Mackel states, quite reasonably, that government dictated use of medicine is the solution. With a sharp mind and swift key Mrs. Mackel states that the objections of a few malcontents amount to nothing in comparison to the achieved gain.

Such an ideal state eludes us for now. However, soon people will know the true freedom that is to be found with submission to the state. It would be ideal to look at where our society would be, if we began the process in 1984. It was an opportunity lost. Until then, the radically independent like Mrs. Zizzo need to be re-educated why a powerful intrusive government is what she needs to save her children and herself from her own folly.

Winston Smith

World history revision senior

"Mock Spanish" not racism

To the editor,

I read with great surprise the article entitled, "Mock Spanish a form of racism, UA prof. says." Spanish is my mother tongue, and I always find it gratifying to hear Spanish words used by English speakers, even when they are not used correctly (e.g., "no problemo" is incorrect).

I must confess that I'm very surprised to hear Professor Hill say that this may be racist to Hispanic/Spanish people. So what she's saying is that using words such as "cafe," "camino," "ajo," "mesa," "parador," "sol," "fiesta," "rodeo" (all of them, by the way, Spanish words) as well as "adios," "nada," "vida loca," "hasta la vista" is offensive, even a form of racism! Well, I think it's like saying that using "spaghetti" or "cappuccino" may be offensive to the Italian community in this country! Do you know what I, as a Spanish person, find really worrying? People like professor Hill creating animosity among different ethnic, cultural, national groups and communities in this country by being paranoid. I think that people living in Tucson, and in general in all the Southwest in the United States, should be happy to share a rich history which includes Native American, Spanish/Mexican and Anglo influences, among others.


A. Alonso-Herrero

Assistant astronomer, Steward Observatory

"Police Beat" sophomoric

To the editor,

You would think that the University Police were obsessed with the word penis. You would, that is, if you buy the implication that reports in the Arizona Daily Wildcat's Police Beat column are simply the facts replicated truthfully and honestly. Hopefully, most readers can distinguish between good, hard news reporting and sensationalism in the interest of cheap thrills. The latter is the method of reporting employed in the aforementioned column.

On Feb. 4, Police Beat's lead item gives the details of a man who was picked up by the University Police for "criminal trespass," although from the information provided in the story, one would think the charge was indecent exposure. The word penis is used or referred to no less than five times within the space of a few column inches of copy. As the whole idea of Police Beat is to titillate and provoke a juvenile response in the vain of Beavis and Butthead from its primarily young, college-student readership, the manner in which it is written seems par for the course.

However, this form of pseudo-journalism, intended solely for sophomoric entertainment value and masked under the guise of legitimate news, should be saved for the pages of a socially acceptable tabloid rag, such as The National Enquirer. Such publications adhere to quite a different standard of acceptability when gauging what to print and how to print it.

In this particular instance, the man involved could be homeless, mentally ill or both. One has to think that most people reading this story would not take the time to consider these possibilities. Including his name from the police report is unnecessarily humiliating and degrading. Most likely, the image conjured up by the seemingly deliberate reconstruction of the police report is hilarious, rather than what it truly is: cruel and hurtful.

Furthermore, as a matter of journalistic ethics, while it is not illegal to print information from the public record, it is always a delicate issue when considering printing a subject's identity. This is most questionable when the crime involves extremely serious issues such as rape and spousal abuse. Although not on the level of delicacy and potential harm as those cases, in this case the "criminal" and the victim are one and the same.

Was it necessary to print this man's name? Certainly not in the context of this sort of exploitatively throwaway prose. Discretion on the part of the editor should have been exercised. After all, wouldn't the audience still have had its laugh if the individual involved remained anonymous?

Eric Pasteur

College of Law library staff

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