Letters to the Editor

    Moral Issues Deserve Extensive Debate

    Dear Editor,

    I was particularly struck by a statement in the April 26 article, “”U.S. Ignores Genocide for Alliance’s Sake.”” The specific line reads: “”While Turkey’s geopolitical significance is debatable, what should not be debatable is America’s position on the issues of moral justice.””

    As a student of political science and philosophy, I have to inquire: “”Uh, really?””

    To imply that Turkey’s geopolitical significance is trivial is a rather odd assertion, one that hardly even warrants a counterargument, it is so absurd.

    To claim there is no need to debate America’s stance on “”the issues of moral justice”” is equally puzzling. Most people cannot begin to adequately define the word “”justice.”” The notion of justice, let alone moral justice, has been debated since Plato’s “”Republic”” (which you may be aware was written over 2,000 years ago). If anything, moral justice is at the very least “”debatable.””

    While the article was quite informative, I would suggest to your readers that these issues, particularly issues of moral justice, are never as clear-cut as some might claim.

    – Nathaniel Clark

    John Muir College senior

    D.O.C. Program Not as Robust as Ever

    Dear Editor,

    I am an undergraduate student currently enrolled in the Dimensions of Culture writing course at Thurgood Marshall College. After reading the recent issue of the Guardian, I felt that Michael Schudson’s commentary on the D.O.C. program unjustly portrayed the two recently dismissed TAs, Benjamin Balthaser and Scott Boehm, and the Lumumba-Zapata Coalition as overzealous, radical and disruptive. This accusation made by Schudson is both false and insulting to LZC and many Marshall College students. I am not in the coalition myself nor do I know the two dismissed D.O.C. TAs, but I can certainly recognize that both Balthaser and Boehm are extraordinary teachers, loved and respected by all their students. Unlike the D.O.C. faculty members, they are actively challenging us to critically engage with the assigned texts, and, more importantly, the course’s overarching themes of race and gender. LZC intends to enrich the D.O.C. curricula for Marshall College students and create well-informed citizens. It’s perplexing the D.O.C. administration and Marshall College provost find this so appalling.

    In a course named Dimensions of Culture, I want readings that explore critical issues of race and gender in all their abrasive rawness and striking candor. I want lectures, sections and essay prompts that teach me not only how to write, but compel me to think about my relation to a much greater framework of humankind. I do not need the babying of a paternalistic administration that believes students are too sensitive to address controversial matters. We students do not need that, nor could we ever want that.

    What I find most hilarious about Schudson’s op-ed is that he suggested, “”D.O.C. has become more respectful of students who in sections voice reasoned arguments in support of politically conservative or moderate viewpoints.”” The implication is that one advocating the goals of LZC will situate in the far left of the political spectrum. Ironically, I am one with generally very conservative viewpoints. I specifically remember defending my pro-life stance during one D.O.C. section concerning abortion, and do you know what then ensued? My class broke out into laughter after one of my peers indicted me as being the conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and a fundamentalist Christian. What Schudson seems to forget is that satisfying students’ various political inclinations is not a way to structure a course.

    Let me say that as a conservative (if that is who Schudson hopes not to offend), I do find D.O.C. discussions at times awkward and tense. But it is that awkwardness, that intangible feeling of raw active learning, that I find the most invigorating of all my experiences in D.O.C. For the D.O.C. administration and Provost Allan Havis to so uncaringly marginalize the voices of the Lumumba-Zapata Coalition and the voices of such great teachers like Balthaser and Boehm is a threat to education everywhere. In the words of LZC: Que Viva Lumumba-Zapata!

    ­- Samantha Huang

    Thurgood Marshall

    College freshman

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal