Wednesday, February 17, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 95

Mahmoudi on Balls

Baroski on Hatred

Staff Editorial

Editorial Cartoon

About the Cougar

Letters to the Editor

Bad taste sucks

To the editor:

I was reading through The Daily Cougar on Monday and noticed your advertisement for Daily Cougar positions. The ad reads, "Sometimes, internships suck," and is accompanied by a photo of President Clinton.

Although the pun is quite clever, I find that it is highly inappropriate. If this were an ad for another business, I don't think I'd be offended -- after all, they paid for the space. However, I don't think that this type of humor is appropriate coming from the campus paper.

As a student and staff member of UH, I would hope that the University would try to maintain the highest standards of taste and decorum in its publications. This type of slang and sexual context is in poor taste and does not reflect well on the judgment of The Daily Cougar staff or UH.

I would also hope that, as a student publication, The Daily Cougar would train its staff members in real journalism rather than pop/shock tabloid methodology.

Freedom of speech is very important to me. In fact, it offers me the chance to critique your publication with this letter. However, with that freedom comes responsibility. The responsibility of the University is to foster a sense of articulate and intelligent thinking.

Off-color humor does not belong in ad margins -- keep that in the articles and editorials, where they normally reside along with their disclaimers. Otherwise, The Daily Cougar should be placed on the shelves between Hustler and Weekly World News.

Bill Klemm
senior, music composition
staff member, Information Services

It's asinine, I say!

To the editor:

The nonsense about the word "niggardly" has, in my mind, gone too far.

One only has to take a look around to realize that we all are to blame. How does this work?

Step 1: NAACP and ACLU start to go after racial slurs. They push through affirmative action, various harassment laws and other legal/political changes in the nation. All is fine and good -- they proclaim that the policies are what they want.

Step 2: The realization occurs to some that the <I>last<P> way to gain equality is to put down others to ensure that someone of a specific gender or race gets into a school, job, etc. Basis for this: It's exactly the thing the NAACP and ACLU fought against. Yet it happens, only in reverse. Affirmative action is struck down. Rap music, promoting the "hate the white man" slogan, continues.

Step 3: Racial stereotypes re-develop based on music. Gangsta rap, glorifying its "roots" in the supposed "anger" of young blacks while feeding the fire of that anger at the same time, occurs. In public schools, young children whose skin tone is not that of their teachers', feel it is their right to ignore them.

When the children fail because they won't bother to do the work and learn, they have their parents come in and go after the "mean old racist teacher." Meanwhile, the people outside this system hear of it, hear the music of the supposed "racial group" and go on their way.

Step 4: NAACP and ACLU get mad when people begin to dismiss charges of bigotry as rhetoric with no substance. The inevitable clash -- between hypersensitive "minorities" who will jump should they see a word that even remotely resembles one they don't like, even if its roots are completely different, and the desensitized "majority" who walk around and say to themselves, "ho hum, another tizzy over imagined racial injustice" -- begins.

Thus, the word "niggardly," used as early as Chaucer (14th century England), becomes the focus of crazed debate and hysterics by a student who imagines it is an injustice when a teacher, after being asked what the word meant, decided it might be a good idea to tell the class in case there were others who might have also misunderstood.

Well, so be it. The battle rages on. Now for a movie quote, because, surprisingly, it fits. The quote is from Demolition Man: "I'll tell you what you're going to do. You get a little dirty; you, a lot clean; and somewhere in the middle, we'll figure this out."


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