GW must not submit to complacency
As a GW alumnus, I am beyond disappointed by what I have been hearing and reading recently about my alma mater. After yet another article about racial intolerance on campus, one of my co-workers joked that GW students must think “racism is the new black.”
I was especially disheartened by Sammy Lopez’s letter to the editor (Nov. 1, p. A4) in response to the appearance of more swastikas in Mitchell Hall. In his letter, he categorized those venomous symbols of hate and violence with sophomoric whiteboard graffiti like “poop” and “boobs.” Sammy essentially condemned the hate crime victims for dwelling on the symbols and encouraged them to just clean off their whiteboards and move on. This kind of complacency vindicates the coward(s) who drew the swastikas and shows other closed-minded punks that they can get away with the same kind of terror tactics.
On a campus where students get so passionate about various causes, both domestic and international, why aren’t more people upset by these recent incidents? Rather than just excusing acts of intolerance, GW students need to come together and collectively declare that there is no place for bigotry, intimidation and hate in this university community.
Erica Taylor, Alumnus
Linking symbols that are not comparable
In response to the letter in The Hatchet entitled “Reason Against Hatred” (Nov. 1, p. 4), I am taken aback by the writer’s comparison of phallic symbols drawn on dormitory whiteboards to the recent appearance of Nazi swastikas across campus. While some may find both actions offensive, the two symbols are incomparable. What the author fails to realize in his false equivocation of the two truly incomparable symbols is the universality of the swastika and what these recent incidents on campus truly represent.
Unlike the significance of the flag of the Confederacy, or as the author notes, a phallic symbol on a dorm wall, the swastika is an unambiguous synonym for hate, racism and bigotry. For decades, the swastika has been used across the world to incite violence against Jews and non-Jews alike. Its appearance on this campus is not just an attack targeted against an individual or our large Jewish population but an attack on our entire community and the values of tolerance which we together espouse.
If the author in question thinks that the student body is, as he writes “overreacting,” than he is sadly mistaken. Historically we have learned that a lack of response to bigotry is indeed a response and oftentimes the wrong one. We have also learned from experience that it is our obligation to speak out when facing such hate-filled acts, for history will continue to repeat itself until acted upon. As political philosopher Edmund Burke noted, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.” It is our responsibility to defend our campus against bigotry in all forms, and in opposition to the author, I am proud to be a student at a university that understands this importance.
Harry Baumgarten, Sophomore
Overreacting in true D.C. fashion
Not a day goes by without people talking about how political GW is. U.S. News and World Report even calls GW the most political campus in the country. Well, it seems this hype has meant that every facet of political wackiness has emerged with this title. Now, instead of just enjoying great political speakers on campus or our award-winning student political organizations, we get to overdramatize meaningless events and throw money at them for no reason. Wow, isn’t that great? We’re just like the real Congress!
It seems in GW’s rush to be super politicos we’ve adopted even the stupidest things our politicians do. Case in point is the overdramatization of a few swastikas being drawn across campus. Instead of simply erasing these horrible images and shaking our heads at the ignorance of others, we’ve called in the FBI to investigate. Now just because the FBI is down the street doesn’t mean they need to investigate a swastika written in erasable marker on a whiteboard.
I mean, George W. Bush is only two blocks away and the Pentagon is just a stop away on the Blue Line. Should I get on the horn and see if they want to help too? I’m sure we could put together an overpriced reception for it. Personally I would like to think the FBI probably has better things to do. For one, I’d hope they’re pretty busy looking for their top-10 most wanted. Last I checked there weren’t any caves at GW for Osama bin Laden to be hiding in. I would also like to think that UPD has better things to do. Instead of dispatching officers to take pictures of immature graffiti or cracking down on jaywalking, perhaps these officers could be better used curbing the most recent assaults and robberies near campus.
This overdramatization is getting ridiculous and frankly the front page of The Hatchet is looking more and more like the front page of The Onion. In a time where a student was robbed at gunpoint, we throw our resources at a stupid symbol. One would think a full security detail would have been offered to the kid robbed at gunpoint and not the poor girl who had a swastika written on her door. Perhaps like the real politicos down the street we only like to pay attention to high- profile cases that can easily be resolved. I guess all institutions in Washington are the same.
David Creamer, Sophomore