Letters to the editor

Listen for new voices

The dominating themes of the 1960s were the Vietnam War and Civil Rights. It would be a historic gain for civilization if, as a result of that time, we are less willing to go to war in 2002. And the Civil Rights struggle brought the possibility that – for the first time in this nation’s life – government by the consent of the governed could be a reality.

Much that happened in the 1960s brings these possibilities into doubt – but not extinction. For a mess of oil, the first war against Iraq in 1991 betrayed the first possibility, and militarism was invigorated, but it can be stopped. We have become a truer democracy than ever before. Whether the democracy (consent of the governed) we have become can or will bridle the militarism and plutocracy – always latent in America but never before as strong as today – is the question on which the future hangs.

But the world, and the United States most of all, will be foolish if it misjudges the depth of discontent with present-day distributions of power and wealth. Always remember that there is an inescapable link between domestic and international policy, that the greatest enemies of social justice – militarism and poverty – are inextricably interwoven.

Protests can be, and often are, crude, rough and mistaken in focus. They don’t arise from nothing, anymore than did the turbulence of the 1960s. Although we don’t have the spirit and voice of Martin Luther King Jr. to teach that lesson to us, all would do well to read at least one of his speeches, and I don’t mean the over-used “I Have A Dream” speech.

Rather, read the Easter Sermon he delivered at Riverside Church in New York City in 1967 when he publicly came out against the Vietnam War and made the link between militarism and poverty.

Better yet, listen for new voices. It might surprise you. There might be some on this campus – new voices to make a difference in changing the ugly and fearsome shape of the world that seems right now in the grip of militarists and plutocrats. Listen.

Charles Bussey

History professor

Gazebo is all flash

I’ve racked my brain over what happened to the gazebo money for awhile this semester, and I’ve yet to find an answer to a very simple question.

“Why do we need a gazebo?”

SGA has funded many projects that have had a direct benefit for students, such as covered shuttle stops, but this seems to be all flash and no substance.

Has SGA become so vain that they’re willing to waste our money on something that no one really needs just so they can have a plaque on it?

Why not use that money to start a new scholarship? Why not donate that money to a charity?

After watching my fees be repeatedly raised to renovate an arena that I couldn’t care less about, this gazebo hits a sore spot. All I want to know is “Why?”

Christopher Cooper

Greensburg junior