Monday, October 22, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 43



Letters to the Editor

Find another outlet

To the editor:

ShakaZulu Assegai VII's desire to sue The Daily Cougar for violating his civil rights ("Student sues Daily Cougar," News, Monday) is as offensive as it is ludicrous. First, he is misinformed as to what his rights, and everyone's in the United States, are. The U.S. Constitution guarantees us the right to free speech, no matter how offensive or ill-received this speech may be.

However, it does not say that citizens must listen to what offends them, nor does it say that any institution such as UH (via The Daily Cougar in this case) must support his opinion. If he feels that he needs to voice his views more to the UH community, there are plenty of other outlets available. UH has contributed enough paper space.

Next, the fact that he feels compelled to sue the Cougar for $11 million is just plain silly. If he wants people to respect and listen to his views, let me warn him now that suing a small college newspaper for $11 million is not going to increase his fan base, nor his legitimacy.

In his previous letter to the editor, Assegai voiced his demand for American reparations to African-Americans because somehow a heinous era of the past has oppressed him personally.

Regardless of his motivation, these demands for money only make his arguments seem trite and ill-conceived. It couldn't possibly be that his views and letters are unnecessarily inflammatory and racist; it must be some mischievous plot of The Daily Cougar...

Even without any facts, The Daily Cougar seems to me, and most students I suppose, to be made up of a rather diverse group of people, with many ethnic groups, majors and ages represented. How is it then that the Cougar is violating anyone's civil rights? Any company can refuse to hire somebody for being disagreeable, unhelpful and unproductive.

Which brings me to my last point. I feel that The Daily Cougar has already done enough to support Assegai's personal vendetta. It has every right, and every reason, to turn down his letters and application. I agree with Editor in Chief Nikie Johnson that Assegai's arguments have already been conveyed enough by the Cougar, and I support the decision to not hire him as a columnist, where his views would undoubtedly be nothing more than daily ranting and discourse on the same subject.

The Daily Cougar is an outlet for student voices, not a pulpit for a single delusional and offensive cause. I am positive the courts will see it the same way.

Hanskarl Borck
senior, chemical engineering

To the editor:

I find it somewhat ironic that a student suing The Daily Cougar for discrimination finds it so easy to discriminate with comments like "no gays, homosexuals or lesbians would be allowed to join the Africans Coming Home Foundation..."

Perhaps ShakaZulu Assegai VII should look at his grammatical and syntax errors as evidence of Johnson's decision not to hire him as a staff opinion writer.

David Edmonson
senior, political science

Support Israel

As a patriotic citizen and student at UH, I am concerned about the pressure put upon out government to force Israel into surrendering land to the Palestine Liberation Organization. Under the guise of a bilateral peace agreement between Israel and the PLO, this administration is being coerced into forcing Israel to give up valuable strategic assets. Such a plan would endanger U.S. interests in the Middle East, imperil a trusted ally and put U.S. troops in harm's way.

The following reasons show why we should support Israel and why it would be a mistake to force our ally into compromising situations.

Israel is a democracy.

Israel is a military superpower eager to be out ally. It is a stable nuclear power in the volatile Middle East where the United States has both military and economic interests.

Both countries emulate pluralistic ideals into social law such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, etc.

Both Israel and the United States share a common "pioneer spirit." The founding citizens of both countries left their native homelands in order to make a home where they could be free from persecution.

Since the 1920s, the largest and most secure Jewish community in the world has existed in the United States.

The United States has a deeply rooted Judeo-Christian heritage and history. The United States is predominately Christian and Israel is overwhelmingly Jewish. We are brothers in this respect.

Under Israeli rule, the Biblical Holy Land (the birthplace of the world's three predominant religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam) will remain safe and freely accessible. History has shown that all have not enjoyed this freedom and protection when the Arabs have control of the Holy Land.

Both the United States and Israel have played vital parts in the shaping of each other's country. Many people know the United States led the way in recognizing Israel as a country in 1948 and has since given it large amounts of financial, political and military aid.

But few realize those of Israel have helped the United States in many of the same ways. The first Jews to arrive in North America established a colony before the United States was even born (1654). And Haym Solomon, a wealthy Jewish man, gave most of his fortune to help fund a large part of the Revolutionary War and to bail out new government out of debt after the war was over. Without this man there would be no United States as we know it.

On Sept. 11, Israel mourned with the United States while the PLO rejoiced.

How ironic it is that our country, which has had a history and long-standing policy of not negotiating with terrorist groups, would consider forcing one of its only allies into giving up a large percentage of land to a terrorist group such as the PLO. This is especially strange since the fruit of terrorism has recently hit home in such a horrendous way.

How can we be "at war" with terrorism and terrorists and at the same time consider betraying our friends to them? Israel is one of our only true allies in this perverse world, and we cannot afford to lose her. It is in our nation's best interest to lend our support to Israel, and not to force our ally to compromise its national integrity.

D. Taylor Lee
senior, economics

Letters Policy

Letters to the editor are welcome from all members of the UH community and should focus on issues, not personalities. Letters must be typed and must include the author's name, telephone number and affiliation with the University. Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, language and space. Letters may be delivered in person to Room 151, Communication; e-mailed to; or faxed to (713) 743-5384.

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