Wednesday, November 13

Letters


Letters to the editorCivil faux pas

Editor:

Mahtab Darvish’s letter ("Jailbird president," Oct. 16)
unfairly

criticized York Chang. Darvish apparently believes that Chang is
unfit to

be USAC president because he was arrested due to his efforts to
demand

affirmative action.

I wonder if Darvish feels the same way about another president -
South

African President Nelson Mandela? Mandela was imprisoned for 27
years

because of his resistance to racism and apartheid. His
presidency now

represents the beginnings of democracy in a land that formerly
wallowed in

shame.

But by Darvish’s logic, Mandela should have had the "civility"
to go

along with apartheid. His grassroots efforts to raise
international

awareness of apartheid were "ridiculous." And, his willingness
to go to

jail for his cause "tarnished" his reputation.

Instead of launching personal attacks on Chang, we should
appreciate his

commitment to justice. He should be commended for using student
government

to promote access to education rather than his own career
intentions.

His efforts also help combat the divisive stereotype of Asian
Americans

as a "model minority" who are so hard-working and successful
they have no

interest in civil rights or political activism.Scott
Kurashige

Graduate Student

HistoryServe up the civility

Editor:

Mahtab Darvish, last year’s candidate for external vice
president,

criticized York Chang and the other Students First! candidates
for last

week’s pro-affirmative action rally. She states that it’s an
embarrassment

to the campus for the USAC president to be arrested for his
involvement in

this fight for justice.

I’m sure people across the state and country (including our
esteemed

regents) watching us on all the major networks were just
laughing their

heads off at UCLA, the school with the "jailbird president." I’m
sure

nobody realized that the 3,000 marchers were supporting
something important

like affirmative action.

Troublemakers like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Manong
Vera Cruz,

Abbie Hoffman, Rosa Parks, all of the Chicago Seven and even our
"founding

fathers" were just being silly challenging the status quo. "All
laws are

all good, and no one should disagree with any law," says Aaron
Ulrich,

dripping with sarcasm. Do you agree with that? Or do you realize
that

sometimes rules have to be broken?

You say militancy is not the answer. What, pray tell, is your
solution

to re-establishing affirmative action, stopping reg. fee hikes
and gaining

student power? (Assuming, of course, you care.) I’d love to hear
it; it’ll

make me feel so absurd for supporting those activist folks. It’s
pretty

simple – if we don’t stand up for ourselves, who will?

Oh, just one more thing burns me. You said, "Let us grow up and
conduct

business like every other successful person does – with
civility, integrity

and intelligence." Mahtab, you go ahead and civility us some
lower fees and

equal access.Joey Gil

Second-year

Microbiology and

Molecular Genetics

With much help from

Aaron Ulrich

Transfer Student

Linguistics

Double standard

Editor:

I’d like to turn the tables on Aaron Howard ("Simpson verdict
turns back

tide of American judicial racism," Oct. 13) and ask him, "If
O.J. were

white, would you still celebrate his acquittal? If the same
evidence had

been in existence, but the race of the defendant and victims
were reversed,

would you still have felt vindicated? In your eyes, would it
still be

"just?"

Howard is fooling himself if he thinks the Simpson verdict was
based

solely upon lack of sound evidence. After he passionately
described the

past 300 years of persecution and racism against African
Americans, how

could he be naive enough to think that the members of the
Simpson jury

ignored that history, especially after Johnnie Cochran’s
inflammatory

closing statements?

If the jury had considered the evidence thoroughly, rationally
and

without racism, it would have deliberated for more than a
half-day. Nine

months of documentation could not have been pored through over a
long lunch

break.

After the verdict was announced, the Los Angeles Times ran an
article

that quoted an African American man as saying he didn’t care
whether

Simpson was guilty or not. He believed Simpson deserved to be
released

simply because he was black.

Unfortunately, this is not a unique opinion. What scares me, Mr.
Howard,

is not that African Americans are in positions of power, but
that anyone

who holds beliefs such as this man’s may one day be deciding my
fate.

For many people, justice was served with the Simpson verdict.
But it

wasn’t justice for two murder victims or for their killer. It
was justice,

however twisted, for 300 years of discrimination and
mistreatment toward

African Americans.

Guilty or innocent, O.J. Simpson has become a bizarre symbol of
justice

for slavery and black oppression.Elaine Howell

The Anderson School at UCLA

Team building

Editor:

I would like to inform Aaron Howard, ("Simpson verdict turns
back tide

of American judicial racism," Oct. 13) and anyone in the black
community or

any community, that there are many viewpoints amongst whites -
just as in

any group of people – and many whites agreed with the jury’s
acquittal of

Simpson.

The Rodney King verdict was an outrage and resulted in
multi-ethnic

protests. I, a white male, attended rallies immediately
afterward. I was

outraged at the LAPDand their history of brutality. I am sorry
if Howard

did not notice our presence, but we were there.

The Simpson verdict is another complex dilemma. Certainly, it
has

exposed racial tensions. Certainly, racist whites wanted to
lynch Simpson

before they heard any evidence. Many whites, however, never saw
Simpson as

a black man. They just saw someone accused of murder and
believed the

prosecution’s case.

I am not blind to institutionalized racism and the injustices
that have

been thrown upon blacks, but linking all whites together is also
unfair and

inaccurate. As I have been on the side of many liberal causes
throughout my

life, trying to build bridges, to learn from all human beings, I
have

consistently faced struggles in being accepted by some
individuals of

color. These few that stereotype whites must evaluate this
attitude.

Building bridges is a team project, and we all have work to
do.

L’shana tovah. To a year of peace.Jason Seymour

Fifth-year

Political Science/English

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