Volume 96, Issue 91
Friday, March 21, 2003

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All flags should fly

To the Editor:

The organizers of the Cultural Caravan have meticulously decorated the University Community Centre atrium with various flags from countless nations. An unnamed gentleman, however, showed a blatant distaste with one particular flag.

I was on the third floor of the UCC with a female friend of mine. Suddenly, a highly disgruntled student approached us and asked if we were responsible for the flag display in the atrium. We simply replied that we were not. He then walked over to the Israeli flag and firmly tucked it behind the rails so that it would not be exposed and ran like a coward downstairs to join his friends for a few hearty chuckles over his juvenile delinquency.

I rushed over to the flag to restore it to its former position. He responded by rushing back upstairs and attempting to rip off the flag from the rails permanently. This time I restored the flag in his presence. He turned to me and yelled, "You fucking support people who kill babies? This is none of your business!"

I attempted to explain to him that these flags were there not as political statements, but rather, as a celebration of multicultural diversity. The rationale didn't seem to work, as it resulted in further exchanges of profanity and aggression. Finally, he tucked the flag once more behind the rail and left.

I restored the flag one final time to its former position. I asked my friend why she didn't say anything and she said that she was afraid to tell him that she was Jewish.

At that particular time, she was fearful that her religious and cultural affiliation could lead to violence. This was perhaps the most devastating revelation from this event.

No one should ever be forced to conceal their religious and cultural beliefs because of fear. Ignorant people feed from fear and it fuels them to wreak even more hatred, which ultimately leads to war.

I cannot understand how a student can attend university in pursuit of knowledge, when it is apparent that he has a firmly closed mind.

Daniel Abichandani
Psychology II



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