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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letter to the Editor: Conservative Response #2

Published: November 3, 2006
Section: Opinions

Mr. Rothman,

The fact that you would compare your issues of having a minority political mindset at Brandeis to hate that has been historically visited upon homosexuals is both a flawed and very telling example of the exact hypocrisy and immaturity of the Brandeis Conservatives with whom you identify. In equating your assumed feelings of discrimination with the violence and injustice that has been visited upon the larger GLBT community, you are proving both yourself and your political comrades to be ill-informed and naive to the real meaning of what it means to be an oppressed minority. Simply put, has anyone ever threatened violence to you here at Brandeis because you voted for Bush?

Unfortunately, your ignorance is not limited to equating homophobia with being a college Republican. I do not blame you for being clueless to the real inequities and injustices in the larger world, because like many at this school you and your conservative brethren suffer a lack of empathy and understanding of what it means to live on the other side of life. You believe that your status as a Conservative on this campus makes you a target to the angry masses of Brandeis liberals, waiting to annoy you with their brainwashed opinions, and while I am sorry that you feel this paranoid, I have no sympathy to the struggles of Brandeis Conservatives.

These struggles are not only greatly exaggerated, but they are also for the most part brought on through systematic and antagonistic confrontations started by the Conservatives themselves. Since the 2004 election, many Republicans on campus have carried on a well-organized campaign of harassment to those whose opinions differ from the RNC platform. These acts have ranged from incendiary posters celebrating their success in 2004 to bringing a speaker of outright hate-speech in the form of the homophobic Richard Camenker earlier this year. Meanwhile, they have held equally offensive events such as the Conservative coming out party, a showing of the racist movie Obsession, and the unsuccessful attempt to bring the demagogue Ann Coulter to campus. There was also the anti-Che Guevara t-shirt initiative (because when your party is screwing up the War on Terror, I guess it is better to look nostalgically back on the fight against communism).

What was the point of these actions? Obviously not to bring the enlightened political forum that Mr. Rothman so desperately wants, nor to convert people into the open arms of conservative thought, but rather to stir controversy and antagonize the majority of this campus (quite frankly there are more people who are apathetic politically than there are radical leftists these days). How can Brandeis conservatives really claim to desire tranquility and openness here at Brandeis when they so relish their status as the angry and antagonistic minority? I would feel sorry for their plight if they did not enjoy it to such a degree. If the Brandeis conservatives want to be taken more seriously, perhaps they should act more like William F. Buckley than Michael Savage.

I admit that there are many people whose views are not heard as much as should be here. At the same time, to characterize this campus as prejudiced based on the actions of a few individuals who annoyed you with their liberal ideology shows a complete lack of judgment. If you really want to know what it feels like to be a minority here on campus, ask the students who do not fully support the actions of Israel, ask the few black undergraduates how they are treated here, or better yet, if you are so obsessed with the idea of coming out, ask one of our gay students about their experience in high school. Until you and your community really know what it is like to have actual hate speech or violence visited upon you on a daily basis, do not assume that you have the right to be considered a victim.
Stefan Borst-Censullo 08