Letters for Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2004

Tasteless joke reveals ignorance

I am writing to express my outrage regarding the joke that appeared in this paper on Wednesday, September 1 that said:

“Q: How did the family of Native Americans get a table at the crowded restaurant? A: Because they had a reservation.”

As a Native American, I am deeply offended by this racist joke.

It was not only in poor taste but reflects a state of racism that continues to exist on the campus. It further reveals an ignorance of Native issues both historically and contemporary a blatant disregard of the circumnatances that gave rise to the reservation system, mainly theft of land and the historical genocide that continues today regarding Native peoples.

As a faculty member of the Ethnic Studies Department, this increases my resolve as an educator and reinforces the need to continue the important work that my department does to alter these very types of racist remarks and ways of thinking.

Dr. Linda Pertusati

Associate Professor

Take a rational position on everything

I’d like to take a moment and respond to Daniel Riley’s article titled, “Parties should work together to reach goals”.

Riley stated that “to accept a party’s platform for what it is and disagree with none of it is wrong…this is how dictatorships are formed and regimes come to power.”

In fact, brutal regimes come to power through quite a different approach: through the back alley of moral default.

To develop no convictions and not take a stand on any issue is to invite another Adolf Hitler to power. To never act on principle and coast through life on other’s irrational whims is to welcome and deserve such disaster.

Throughout every minute of your life, ask yourself the question, “Why am I doing this?” “Why do I believe this,” or “Why do I feel this way?” If you cannot come to a rational answer in every case, not an answer like “Because I feel that it’s right” or an answer that you were told by someone else, but a rational answer backed by solid reasoning, then you’re allowing a hole to exist. Such holes are the pathways through which creatures like Hitler crawl into power.

I can’t count the number of students I meet who tell me they like to watch shows like “Newlyweds,” “The Bachelor” and other such mindless entertainment. If you fall into this category, ask yourself why; so you can put your mind on standby for few hours and escape the trouble of using the only tool (your intellect) you were given for survival?

Take some time to develop rational convictions, otherwise you’ll find yourself out of ammunition against irrationality and moral default to the strongest brute will be the only result.

John Crenshaw


Blaming Christianity is laughable

I am writing in response to Eoin Howe’s “Christianity Perpetuates World Suffering” article, published in Friday’s paper.

If Howe would be so kind, I would enjoy knowing where in the Bible is the passage, “Blessed be the racists, for the power be with Whitey!”

I would also like to know when a religion practiced by a third of the world’s population became one massive Ku Klux Klan movement.

Let’s remember that the religion is based on the faith in a man who washed the feet of the poor; Jesus Christ served the lowest of the low. The only people who objected to this? The greedy, the rich, and the selfish; those who Howe equated with the religion itself.

I am a Christian. My faith has taught me the values of saving sex for the woman I one day will marry, to treat my parents with the highest respect, and to do whatever is necessary to aid all who play a role in my life. These are not values “decent human beings” should live by in the 21st century? Then my personality must make me the scum of the earth.

To blame the world’s problems on Christianity is outright laughable. The religion has existed for a hair under two thousand years. Mankind has been on the planet for approximately 500,000 years.

Before Christianity appeared, there were wars, rapes and every other form of violence in existence. If the 2 billion Christians in the world were to disappear entirely, you’d still have those same wars, and rapes, and so on.

I would expect more from a person who plays a hand in the education of students on this campus than to make the narrow-minded assumptions found in Howe’s writing.

Joe Kaiser