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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Column series shows condescension, prejudice toward Russians

    I felt somewhat compelled to write in regarding the “”From Russia With Love”” series of opinion pieces by Joel Childers. While in principle a great idea from the outset, the evolution of the piece has taken a turn for the worse. I would suggest that the Daily Wildcat and Mr. Childers reconsider the very nature of what they originally set out to accomplish for two different reasons.

    First, it is hard being an exchange student, something I’ve experienced firsthand. The degree of culture shock one experiences is much more than one envisions, particularly in such a unique country as Russia. The idea of a diary for later personal reflections is obviously valuable. However, publicly voicing such thoughts “”as they come”” likely is not. Using such a public outlet does not necessarily allow one to deal with their frustrations and difficulties, but externalize them to others with whom they cannot interact.

    One suggestion might be to have Mr. Childers keep an extensive diary and write a series of pieces well after his return. This would give him plenty of time to digest and reexamine his thoughts in a way to that would allow for far greater insight into the cultural differences he was fortunate enough to experience.

    Second, the negative slant of the articles is problematic. An unflattering picture is being painted of a different culture. Imagine how the attitude of the Russian people Mr. Childers interacts with would change upon reading his articles. The polarized point of view (slanted to the point of condescension) of the articles could readily cause racial prejudices/stereotypes (in Wildcat readers), something obviously one should strive to minimize. Without any direct connection to Russia, I find the notion that “”Russia is a very dirty country”” and the subsequent “”One can begin to see why drinking is the national pastime”” offensive. That is just one of many examples.

    I applaud the Daily Wildcat and Mr. Childers for the ambitious attempt to describe a country and culture through a unique perspective. Especially Russia, as most in our present generation know relatively little about it due to the lingering effects of the Cold War. However, I think the original intent has gotten far off course unfortunately and would benefit greatly from a fresh start by taking a different approach/attitude.

    Christopher Bergevin

    mathematics faculty

    Demonstration shows lack of understanding of West Bank situation

    The only success of this week’s demonstration on the UA Mall has been to mold an ugly mask of manipulative information in a pathetic attempt to deface Israel’s right to self-preservation and security.

    The truth is simple. Since the completion of the security fence’s construction, the number of terrorist attacks from the West Bank has decreased over 90 percent, and the deaths of Israelis killed by these attacks over 85 percent. This is not to mention the massive decrease in theft and vandalism or the undeniable fact that 97 percent of the “”wall”” is fence.

    Palestinians have made public their dissatisfaction with the presence of the security fence. However, as inconvenient as this wall may be for the Palestinians, its nuisance pales in comparison to the tragedy Israel faces with daily exposure to terrorism. It must also be made clear that the construction of the security fence has not only resulted in saved lives, but has also led to reductions in curfews, deployment of Israeli troops and Israeli military operations in the West Bank.

    Israel was hesitant in building this wall for more than 35 years. Hamas, Islamic militancy, and Palestinian terrorism are to blame for its construction. Maybe the establishment of this wall will promote Palestinian action against the active decadence and misrepresentation of Islam, terrorism, and the glorification of death. The truth hidden behind the wall is the reality that the terrorist and inhumane actions of the Palestinians built this security fence.

    If the Palestinians cannot stop themselves from committing acts of terrorism, then a security fence will. Every suicide bomber, terrorist attack and Israeli death was just one more brick cemented into the ground. It would have been more beneficial to the students on campus to see supporters of Palestine advertise the efforts made by different Muslim, Arab and/or Palestinian organizations to put an end to terrorism and promote peace with Israel.

    As impossible as this task may be, it is the only way they will be able to tear down the wall. In the end, a wall can be torn down but a life can never be rebuilt.

    Gil Wasserman

    theatre arts senior

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