Thursday September 20, 2001
This is a personal tragedy
I have spent the last three days listening to people talk and reading comments that people have wrote on the wall outside the student union and in the Wildcat. I have to say that for the most part I am heartened by what I hear. However, many people seem to think that this is the appropriate time to talk about America's foreign policy, justification or other abstract political ideas. After spending an hour yesterday listening to one of my professors counsel how we must not react in a "negative way" or "wrap ourselves in the flag," I feel that I must speak out.
I would like to remind the staff and students of this university that for thousands of people in this country and many of us on this campus, Sept. 11 was not just a national tragedy but a personal one. We spent the day by the phone waiting for the call that said "don't worry, I'm OK." Some of us are still waiting for those calls, calls that may never come. Others of us are still living with fear, for family members digging in the debris.
I do believe that people should be able to express their opinion. However, there is a time and a place for everything and while this may be the place, it is not the time. So please, before you say or write something, stop, think, look around you, because the person next to you may be in mourning or living on nothing but hope. For some of us, Sept. 11, 2001 is a date that will be forever burned in our hearts and minds as the worst day of our lives.
Lee's column inappropriately labels corporations as heroes
This letter is in response to Jessica Lee's corporate help column. Calling Texaco and Shell heroes is woefully misguided. The feeling from your column is that I should thank the corporations. "Thank you for not screwing me over in this time of crisis!" Hardly.
Yes, they didn't price-gouge. And yes, the parent companies and suppliers did take the initiative to ask the gas stations not to gouge and the wholesale price was fixed. Does this constitute heroism? No.
Price-gouging is an illegal activity and not doing it does not make one a hero. When Texaco-Shell (or any of the other companies) begin giving free gasoline to the disaster relief effort, or actually lower prices for those in New York City to help out, then they shall be heralded as heroes, and rightly so. The same is true of Wal-Mart. Resisting the urge to cash in on collective grief does not a hero make.
computer science senior
Arab-Americans should not be targeted for hate
Exactly a week after the unconscionable terrorist attacks and the cataclysmic emotional upheaval that still grips our nation, I am left wondering whether these "crimes against humanity" have come to ebb. Or has Osama bin Laden been successful in sowing the seeds of hatred and prejudice in the minds of Americans?
This past Saturday, yet another peace-loving, hard-working American was added to the casualty list at the World Trade Center. The slaying in Mesa of 52-year-old Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh gas station owner whose only crime was that he wore a turban, sported a beard, and looked Arabic, raises serious concern. There is no distinction between the perpetrators who bought down the WTC and the people who shot Mr. Singh in cold blood: They are FACELESS COWARDS who need to be brought to justice at all costs.
An entire country, religion or people cannot be held responsible for the acts of a few fanatics! People of Arabic and South Asian descent, including Sikhs, have been subjected to harassment in the United States since the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington, which have been linked to Islamic radicals like Osama bin Laden.
Being an American Sikh myself, I would like to take this opportunity to make the important distinction between Sikhs and Arab-Americans. Sikhs are not Muslims. Sikh men keep their beards and most wear turbans, and because of their appearance have been mistaken for Muslims. Sikhs look more like bin Laden than most of the Muslims. It is unfortunate to be the targets of hate crimes because we happen to practice a religion that makes us look like the bad guy!
The last few weeks have been very emotionally challenging for many of us. It is at times like these that we need to draw from each other's strengths and stand together as one nation. Then only shall we be able to successfully fight terrorism.
Hatred amongst us shall only make us more vulnerable, and the death toll at WTC will continue to rise.
Murder will not solve our problems
There was a letter written yesterday by someone that said "Yes, I do advocate murder now and then." The writer of this letter was referring to Osama bin Laden and his entourage, who are suspected to be the masterminds behind last Tuesday's tragedy.
This comment voices the thoughts of many Americans who are upset (to say the least) because of the horrific events that have befallen their country. I am also an American and I stand behind my country 100 percent. But, I do not believe that murder and death will solve any of our problems.
Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot to death outside of a gas station. Did the loss of his life bring back any of the victims of the tragedy in New York? No, it didn't. Death does NOT solve problems.
Tolerance and compassion for the human spirit solves problems. Now is the time for all of us to show tolerance for our fellow Americans, regardless of their ethnicity or religion. This will solve a lot of the problems that we are facing in our country.
Ifat Zerin Khan
management information systems junior
America should not go to Afghanistan "with guns blazing"
This letter is in regards to yesterday's commentary by Seth Frantzman. For someone who obviously grew up reading "Soldier of Fortune," the idea of going after bin Laden and his workers by going into Afghanistan in a blaze of guns and nuclear bombs isn't going to resolve this great tragedy. We are dealing with over 5,000 people missing, presumably dead. Families are not going to be able to bury their loved ones as a whole, or even get to bury their loved ones at all. So why would we want to inflict this on another nation? That's why we are not going into Afghanistan "Rambo-style" and murdering innocent people the way these cowardly terrorists did.
So rather than to get all excited and shoot, bomb and kill innocent people in Afghanistan, the specific culprits are being looked for so that they can receive their own personal punishment. So put your shotgun back on its gun rack. American will prevail in a correct manner, not by causing another tragedy. By the way, Afghanistan is located in an area called "The Middle East," which is coincidentally in the Eastern Hemisphere, since you mentioned you didn't know where Afghanistan was.
studio arts junior
Armstrong column gross, but spirit-lifting
I was reading the Wildcat, and I came to the commentary by Zack Armstrong, "Happy Birthday to Me." I don't usually read the commentaries, but Mr. Armstrong seemed to take pride in the fact that it was his birthday, something that I feel everyone should do, so I read it.
After I read the fourth paragraph, I was disgusted by the details about his blister, yet I kept reading, and I am glad I did. In the last paragraph he wrote about the headline, and how his editor picked it, not him. He also went on to say that his editor picks "corny" headlines, but he is "not about to give up on him," and that "hope" is the reason.
Well, after losing one of my oldest friends to the tragedy on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, and my grandfather (my only living grandparent, I'd like to add), who had a heart attack this past Tuesday, I was feeling really crummy.
I would like to thank Mr. Armstrong, however corny I may be right now, for reminding me that hope is a very important thing. Hope is something everyone should have, whether it is getting an "A" on your economics exam, or that your grandfather will live through his ailment.
So, thank you Mr. Armstrong, and happy birthday to you!