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Letters to the Editor

By Daily Wildcat Readers

Friday September 14, 2001

We must stop the perpetuation of terror

We cannot allow this terrorist attack to perpetuate the terror of racism and bigotry in our country and on our campus. The condemnation of an entire race, religion, nationality or color based on the actions of a few individuals is an ignorant, irrational and unacceptable response to the tragedy. Members of our UA community have become additional victims based solely on their skin color and religious or cultural affiliations (supposed or actual). The sentiments of Beyond Tolerance in regard to these events are best expressed by the words of the Arizona Region of the National Conference of Community and Justice: "We have to be careful not to participate in the very sickness that caused this. We must continue to see people as individuals, not as groups. We must speak out on behalf of the newest targets - for each time we stereotype, generalize and condemn, we let the sickness of hate breed again."

In hopes of alleviating some of the pain suffered by our fellow students, Beyond Tolerance urges anyone in need to contact authorities (UAPD or TPD) to report incidents of hate and harassment. In addition, the members of Beyond Tolerance offer their meeting time, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Student Center, to any individual in need of sharing experiences of hate they have witnessed or been victim to.

The members of Beyond Tolerance

Wildcat cartoon distasteful

I found the editorial cartoon in yesterday's Wildcat very distasteful and inappropriate. This cartoon implies that anti-Arab sentiment has become common in the U.S. I am not denying that some inappropriate and disgusting expressions of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment have occurred in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist activities. Unfortunately, it is not new or even unexpected. If one looks at any time and place in history, the same thing happens.

During World War II, Japanese-Americans were placed in American concentration camps. Probably the only reason it did not happen to German-Americans (including my relatives, who fought against Germany in World War II), is because they looked like the majority of other Americans. Instead, we should be thankful that generalized anti-ethnic-group sentiments and actions are not encouraged by our society. They are discouraged, as shown by President Likins' letter condemning threats and harassment of Islamic students.

Contrary to what is displayed by the cartoon, the far greater message is the unified approach in the U.S. and the show of support from abroad (including Muslims) in the effort to help the victims and their families. Indeed, most of the people throughout the world will stand in opposition to these extremist terrorist activities. In addition, the great majority of Americans are loyal to the U.S. regardless or their ethnic background or country of origin.

Rodney D. Adam, M.D.

Dept. of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology

America must take an eye for an eye

In the last few tragic days, thousands of Americans have perished. Yet you wouldn't know it to read the Daily Wildcat or listening to President Likins' speeches and editorials. Every Wildcat editorial and most of these articles have spent the time telling us how sorry we should feel for the Islamic community of Tucson and how we should all have tolerance in our hearts.

Well, maybe it's time that those in the UA media and those in the UA leadership condemn what has happened and condemn those responsible, and talk about how proud they are to be American. It's almost like the victims of this terrorism were those of Middle Eastern descent rather then 10,000 or more innocent Americans.

Maybe it's time we stop being afraid of our feelings and admit that we want some vengeance. That America is not going to sit around like a sleeping giant but that instead we are going to come back at these terrorists and their supporters with the same ruthlessness that they have shown to us.

Seth Frantzman

history/political science senior

We must attack all nations that harbor terrorists

The future of the United States depends on how we act in this situation. Tuesday, two pillars of our free world were destroyed - the center of free commerce (the World Trade Center) and our ability to defend that freedom (the Pentagon).

There has been much speculation about what the United States did to receive this horrible act. No matter what minor conflicts the United States has gotten into with these countries, people simply doing their jobs and pursuing their own happiness do not deserve to die. The right to trade freely among ourselves and with the rest of the world is a just and noble freedom that our country holds as one of its highest virtues. Liberty to trade freely among ourselves is what is just. It is not just our opinion or our way of doing things. It is truth. If you don't wish to take part in the capitalist world, then fine. That is your choice, and we'd respect that. Do whatever it is you want to do. That is the beauty of this world of liberty that we live in. However, one does not have the right to lash out against people for trading with one another in order to improve one another's lives. We also hold freedom to believe as you want to believe.

Under no circumstances is anyone justified in stampeding this right to one's own spiritual belief system. If everyone just has common respect for others' beliefs and human life, the world can work. These people simply cannot accept the fact that we can live in harmony among all belief systems: Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, agnostics and many more that inhabit this great country. Maniacs on a two-way radio with God seem to think that killing anyone who doesn't believe as they do is what is good for the world.

This is not right. What America needs to do is to go after all nations that support terrorists with extremist viewpoints on our country and the rest of the free world. Death tolls are estimated to be over 20,000 on Tuesday. Vietnam death tolls were 70,000 over 8 long years. We cannot stand still and let freedom and liberty be taken down. We must not be silent.

Kevin Durkin

marketing junior

We must be tolerant of political views

We are all agreed that irrational attacks against people of a certain nationality or ethnic background should not be tolerated. However, there is another danger, which looms - that of attacking those with differing political views. It came to my attention that Tuesday several young men harassed the table of a socialist student organization, which had signs questioning U.S. involvement in the Middle East. I realize that fear breeds stupidity, but these thugs, in assaulting the right to express one's political views, truly attacked what America is supposed to stand for.

In the coming days and months, some people will express views that may not be in line with our own. They may even question our government's response to Monday's attack; but we must remember that if we are to honor our country, we should honor the Constitutional rights to free speech, and tolerate the views of those whose ideas we may not share. Let's not allow hysteria to cloud our reason. Whatever your views, this is a time for us to resist marching to drums like so many mindless drones. Allow political dissenters to have their say. We may even learn something.

Daniel Benard

UA alumnus

National Anthem should be played at noon

Today at noon, I heard the clock tower playing the Arizona fight song. Until sporting events resume, I think that the tower should play our national anthem at noon. Even after sports resume, the tower should continue to play "The Star-Spangled Banner" at noon. And if you're out on the Mall at noon, stop and listen. Sing along. Take off your hat. Be proud to be an American, because no matter what your religion, race or beliefs, we are Americans. Be proud of that. And let's show the world that no act of terrorism, no matter how heinous, will ever break the American spirit. So UA administrators, put in that national anthem CD. UA students, faculty and staff, when you hear the strains of music, put your hand over your heart and sing with all your soul. God bless America.

Melissa K. Giovanni

geosciences senior

Community must hang tough

The Wildcat should be commended for its staff editorial entitled "UA students need to exercise patience, think rationally." You are so right. Students, residents, or citizens of Arab descent or Muslim religion are no more culpable in the despicable acts of these terrorists than are we Anglos of that committed by Timothy McVeigh. We are a country of immense diversity and have benefited from that diversity since our founding. Let's remember that and hang tough together.

I would like to add that, as a UA student during the early '70s Vietnam protest years, I don't recall seeing anything in the Wildcat this responsive and responsible. My congratulations to you all.

Julie Ferdon

UA alumna

America must stop the cycle of violence

I would like to respond to those who call for war. Do they really think that military retaliation will stop terrorism once and for all? Has it solved the Palestine/Israel conflict? Did our retaliatory missile strikes and bombings in the last decades prevent the tragedy on September 11?

When will we realize that the only way to stop terrorism is to stop the cycle of violence and injustice? The thousands more innocent deaths that result from our retaliation will only spread the suffering and hatred - the seeds of future terrorists and their sympathizers. Gandhi once said, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind." What if instead of distributing weapons to and shooting missiles at the world's trouble spots, we spent our billions healing the world-fighting hunger, injustice or AIDS? What if we set an example of healing, an example of reconciliation, an unprecedented gesture of peace? Who would terrorize us then? Or will we wait for terrorists to retaliate against our retaliations, maybe next time armed with chemical or nuclear weapons? At what cost will we learn this lesson?

Steven Brooks

geosciences graduate student


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