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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 24, 2003

Flu shot vital, even for asthma sufferers

I wanted to respectfully disagree with an opinion proffered in the Oct. 17 online article about the flu vaccine that is also referenced on the UA home page. In it, Carrie Torrington, nurse coordinator and registered nurse at Campus Health Services is quoted as saying: "The flu shot is not recommended for everyone. People with chronic problems such as asthma should not get the shot."

This information is grossly inaccurate. Patients with chronic health conditions such as asthma, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, anemia and blood disorders, immune deficiency and AIDS are those that can benefit the most from a flu vaccine. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology and the American Lung Association recommend it highly. According the American Lung Association, the flu shot is the only approved form of vaccine for people in certain high-risk groups, including those with asthma and lung disease and the elderly. As part of its education campaign, the American Lung Association is cautioning the 20.3 million people with asthma and other target groups in the U.S. to stick with the flu shot.

It is a difficult task to convince susceptible individuals to get vaccinated; more so with questionable medical advice.

Randy Horwitz,
MD, PhD fellow, Program in Integrative Medicine

Sex offender listing makes citizens safe

On Thursday, the Wildcat printed a column by Sabrina Noble arguing that we should all feel sorry for sex offenders because their names will be included in a public database. Her argument is based on the flawed idea that somehow their constitutional rights are being violated. The Constitution doesn't give you a right to be a sex offender, and it certainly doesn't give you a right to have your past kept secret from the public if the crime you committed is as horrendous as abusing children or raping others.

Sex offenders have a high recidivism rate, which means they are likely to strike again, and this fact means that, in order to safeguard ourselves, our families and our children, we need to know if they are living next door or if they are teaching our kids at school.

Sex offenders aren't branded or tattooed or forced to wear distinctive clothing; all that the state is requiring is that a database be maintained telling us if they live and work near us. If Ms. Noble thinks this doesn't make her safer, she's wrong. Would she go on a date with a sex offender? If you choose to associate with sex offenders, great! More power to you, go feel sorry for them and date them and let your kids play with them; but for all of us who feel safer not having our kids around them, the Sex Crimes Prevention Act is a meaningful law that protects us from possible abuse.

Seth Frantzman
UA alumnus

Whites are not the 'face of oppression'

I did a double take while reading Cathy Busha's Oct. 20 letter to the editor. Everything that she described as "white privilege" sounds like a description of the way people ought to treat each other in free civil society.

People of European descent are not the face of oppression. Racism is almost strictly restricted to the old and the uneducated. To claim that young people who never participated in racism are oppressors because they have never been the victims of racism is absurd, insulting and almost libelous. To claim between-the-lines or otherwise, that the protests regarding the Chávez building were a form of oppression is a disingenuous slander tactic.

The real error in such attitudes comes from the belief that some entity called "white people" exists. There is no "we," no nation or race, no shady conspiracy, that has any "domination and power" to give up. The "aces" that Busha describes must be held at all costs - they are the human dignity that has at its core the expectation to be treated legally and interpersonally as an individual.

It seems like being "white" is nothing more than being an individual and not a representative of a group. It is this recognition of individualism that any oppressed person must demand and which others must give. Good "white people" ought to end tolerance for members of the VFW hall set whose attitudes and actions run contrary to this. Their privileges have run out.

I cringe every time I see or hear "white privilege." It's an incitement to hatred, which encourages a tribe-on-tribe mentality that can only be destructive to liberty. It illegitimizes the achievements of people based on their ethnicity, and renders them easy marks for plunder by legislative proxy. It makes freedom seem more like a bludgeon than fresh air. It brings out divisiveness and spite where tolerance is needed most.

Ben Kalafut
optical sciences
graduate student

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