Volume 95, Issue 26

Thursday, October 18, 2001
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Americans too busy with their God babbling?

Proposed USC student fee refund plan

Rae and Jones unfairly likened to rape apologists

Kudos to Mr. funny guy

Rae and Jones unfairly likened to rape apologists

Re: "Unacceptable responses," Oct. 11

To the Editor:

Patrick Brown makes an unfair accusation against two students, alleging that, like apologists for rape, they are "blaming the victim" by criticizing United States government policy.

Nowhere in their letters do Matt Rae or Curtis Jones make the obviously perverse claim that those who were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks were "asking for it."

Rather, these students point to connections between U.S. government policy and volatile situations in the world that breed alienation and violence. The plausibility of such connections is evident to anybody familiar with the historical record of the past century.

We should not let the enduring emotional shock of the horrendous crimes committed on Sept. 11 and our appropriate feelings of compassion for the American people make us stop inquiring into all potential contributing factors in world events.

Nor should we accept without question Bush's simplistic "with us or with the terrorists" analysis. By all accounts, those who plotted and carried out these mass murders were not inexplicably evil creatures from outer space, but dangerously misguided men whose despicable acts were politically motivated.

Their victims were innocent women and men, not the economic and foreign policies of the U.S. government to which Rae and Jones refer.

I admire these students' courage for exercising their freedom of expression on this issue in the current ideological climate. University of British Columbia professor Sunera Thobani is reportedly facing the harassment of a police investigation for expressing similar opinions (Vancouver Sun, October 10).

What is truly regrettable in this instance is professor Brown's use of an inappropriate and inflammatory analogy to advocate the silencing of legitimate expressions of dissent that he deems "unacceptable."

Jeff Tennant

Department of French

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