Letters to the editor

RE: Facebook fanatacism

Regarding the recent hate speech brouhaha concerning a certain U of C student of Palestinian Arab ancestry, I would address a few salient points that the Gauntlet regrettably overlooked.
Whether the odious comments — purportedly intended as “creative writing” — constituted hate speech or not, they definitely resulted from very poor judgment and a gross failure of imagination. There can be no peace between belligerent parties when one of them openly fosters, perpetuates and celebrates a culture of hatred and violence, patently evident in the poetess’s writings:
“I was born to become the next Palestinian fighter,” she boldly averrs. Palestinian Arabs have far too many “fighters” already. Why not be a Palestinian bridge-builder and peacemaker? That would be salutary and refreshing.
“In my mother’s womb I had a rock in my hand,” she continued. Alas, fetuses have no use for rocks; what they desperately need is a future, which requires peace and stability.
“I’ve sworn that every breath I take is of resistance,” the author vowed. Resistance to what? Civility? A brighter future? Resistance to these serves none and nothing.
“My body and soul are ready to fight and die,” she pledged, unhelpfully. Rather, let the fight be for peaceful coexistence. Glorifying death instead of aspiring to life is symptomatic of a deranged ideology that excessively prioritizes the next world while abjuring the truly courageous work of healing the present one.
“This land will be proud that Palestinian babies are born men and women ready to spill their blood,” she predicted. Thankfully, no land is infected with the pathological bloodlust of certain of its fanatical residents. Instead of idealizing the spilling of blood — presumably in the attempt to murder others, in this case Jews — why not envision a land whose diverse residents have finally achieved harmony and rapprochement after too many centuries of hostility?

Brandon Marlon

Re: Letter to the editor

After reading Mr. Shapiro’s letter to the editor in the Jan. 23, 2014, issue I noticed that he made a curious error. His argument in response to your editorial about Ala’a Hamdan opens with a quote from “legendary U.S. president Benjamin Franklin.” While Ben Franklin may be deemed legendary to some, he certainly wasn’t president of the United States; Franklin was a founding father and president of Pennsylvania.
One can accept this oversight until you realize that the rest of his argument about Miss Hamdan and the Palestinians is layered with misinformation. The line “Preachers, the media, and Palestinian government officials spend every waking moment hating” is a false inflammatory remark. Before penning another letter to a university-based student newspaper, I encourage Mr. Shapiro to take a moment to reflect upon another quote from Ben Franklin: “Half the truth is often a great lie.” Perhaps once we all take the time to learn and accept the truth, we may end up finding a way to “change the world.”

Chad Saunders

Disclaimer: Letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet.
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