Re: speaking out

From: Lara Beaty (
Date: Wed Feb 02 2005 - 08:23:26 PST

Further evidence of the political effort: There's an article just been
posted on Indymedia ( ) about Ward
Churchill, a professor at University of Colorado who is under attack.

Lara Beaty

On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 07:49 AM, Tony Whitson wrote:

> This is by no means just a cultural legacy. There is a concerted
> political effort underway, as celebrated in this January 14 opinion
> piece in the
> Wall Street Journal:
> On Tue, 1 Feb 2005, David Daniel Preiss Contreras wrote:
>> For what is worth, and making clear that I am a relative outsider in
>> the academic community of the USA, studying there my experience was
>> that speaking aloud about so-called political issues was judged
>> inadequate for some student colleagues around, who did not want to
>> bring this issues to their jobs or to their email inboxes. The
>> problem is, of course, that some of those so-called political issues
>> are ethical issues. Torture is wrong. Preventive wars are wrong.
>> Killing tens of civilians is wrong. Hiding the American casualties
>> from the public view is wrong. Making death and genocide relative is
>> wrong. And it is totally right to say that they are wrong. What is
>> wrong is to keep silence.
>> I remember being bitten for raising the issue of Abu Graib when
>> sending a link to the torture pics by a student who thought I was
>> taking an inadequate stand. What was my right to judge these
>> soldiers, this guy implied. I assume he was mad at the fact that I
>> was not American as well and was judging American actions. I did not
>> want to enter into a discussion about how commonly the USA judge the
>> practices of others and how I had a right to openly criticize
>> torture and how relevant it was to do that in an academic context. I
>> just asserted my right to criticize torture everywhere it happens.
>> Unfortunately, during all my years at the USA, I never heard any
>> graduate student talking aloud against the Iraqi war or against the
>> militrary practices of the government but in some local issues that
>> are politically correct. I heard them too much talking about their
>> academic work as if that work happened in a miracolous vacuum. If the
>> students don't speak out, who does? I remember that during those days
>> an email written by Zimbardo talking about students' apathy
>> circulated. I wonder how students apathy has been build and fostered
>> by the academic community. Do students feel afraid that they might
>> not get a job if they come out and talk? Or they do not feel an
>> ethical concern about what is going on? I assume that some people
>> don;t speak out by academic politeness. But, when does academic
>> politenness turn out to be ethically dangerous? David D. Preiss
>> home page:
> Tony Whitson
> UD School of Education
> NEWARK DE 19716
> _______________________________
> "those who fail to reread
> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)

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