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No excuse for intolerance

By Patrick Leach
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 9, 2000
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To the editor,

I remember writing a lettor to the editor of this paper last August. At that time, a cartoon that I deemed at the very least distasteful, and more along the lines of disgraceful appeared in the Wildcat. The cartoon depicted a couple of "homos" getting blown away in a drive-by shooting. I was praised by some, but criticized by many for the inflammatory tone of my letter, which was to only bring attention.

Most can probably see now that a drive-by shooting is not too far removed from a run-by stabbing. I refer to the recent stabbing of a gay UA student outside of a 4th Avenue coffee house. More than anything else, I see this as an illustration of the hate that still runs through the veins of some, but more as an example of the continuing moral and behavioral decay of our American society that we have all watched occur throughout our lifetimes.

As many preach "family values" and "morality" to we the general public, their brothers, sisters and children are running about town stabbing, shooting and beating up those who are different from them. I don't even speak of tolerance here. No matter how much one disagrees with the appearance or behavior or lifestyle of another, one does not stab, pistol whip or set fire to them.

This basic respect for life is, and has been, rapidly eroding. All that I know is that I have to put up a conscious battle against the prejudices displayed by my own relatives, so don't teach them to your kids, or friends. Also remember that no one is immune to these incidents. That stabbed student did absolutely nothing to provoke an attack of any kind.

And neither do I or, I'm sure, do you; so you or I might be the next recipient of someone else's "anger."

Patrick Leach

Graduate Student, College of Agriculture

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