Regarding Elizabeth Owuor's April 19 Opinion piece, "Racial graffiti on the dorm door": Ms. Owuor's article should serve as an important wake-up call that racism in America - even at a "liberal hub" such as Emerson College - is not dead yet, and that it's up to each of us to stay alert not only to scrawlers on dorm doors, but to our own sleepy, complacent minds lulled by daydreams of the colorblind society we don't live in.
That said, I'd like to point out the blind spot in Owuor's - and, I guess, Emerson College's - commitment to tolerance and equality. Emerson, according to Owuor, is apparently "so tolerant that only Republicans need to be in the closet."
Hmmm.... Now I'm the kind of liberal Democrat who would probably blend in well at Emerson. And yet I can't help wondering how those poor closeted Republicans (all two of them?) must feel.
Shame on us "liberals" who claim the academy as our own moral high ground. If bridging the racial divide in this country requires a scapegoat-Republican-bogeyman in the closet, we need to rethink stuff.
A tolerant world has no room for closets.
Sarah Greenleaf Whittier
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Regarding Fred Singer's acceptance speech (" 'Flat Earth Award' nominee's challenge to Chicken Littles, April 22) for the Flat Earth Award, designed by Middlebury College students ("How students in one class tackled global warming," April 12):
If the students at Middlebury College are wrong and we follow their lead, we run the risk of cleaning the environment and moving in the direction of sustainable economic development. If Dr. Singer is wrong and the climate accelerates its propagation of unusual weather events, the societal impacts, environmental consequences, and planet-wide economic changes will result in destabilization of our children's lives.
Singer's flip response is indicative of his depth of understanding and concern on the subject of global warming. The award seems fitting.
Dillon Beach, Calif.
Thank you for publishing the April 18 article "An American activist who dared to help Iraqi victims" about humanitarian aid worker Marla Ruzicka.
How sad that someone with this much compassion toward others, and especially innocent victims, would be taken while trying to reach out to others. She must have truly been a beautiful person, and a wonderful ambassador for the United States. We surely need more people like her to project a positive image of our country. God help us, and bless Marla for her efforts.
Marla Ruzicka, portrayed gracefully in the recent Monitor article, is now one of my heroes. I respect her compassionate actions on behalf of forgotten war victims, her selfless disregard of the dangers she faced daily, and her humble deflection of praise from herself to others.
She reminds me of such legendary figures as Amos, Jesus, Paul, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John Bunyan, and Martin Luther, all of whom Martin Luther King Jr. refers to as extremists for justice, truth, goodness, and love in his famous "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."
From now on, when I feel "a breeze blowing through, so tranquil, so clean," I will think of Marla and her marvelous mission of mercy for the people of Iraq.
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