Letters to the Editor

By Mac Weekly Staff

Careful, it’s “Mr. Annan”

To the Editor:
IIt makes me nervous when I repeatedly notice the UN Secretary General being referred to around here as “Kofi.” When Supreme Court Chief Justice Burger visited years ago, no one would have ever thought to refer to him publicly as “Warren.” To have done so would have been to slight his high office and to risk insulting him personally. And, come to think of it, we seem to refer to only to Thomas Friedman, not to “Tom” or “Tommie.”

James B. Stewart
James Wallace Professor, History

Understanding Facebook’s “other” option

To the Editor:
Comments like Joseph Schultz made in his Feb. 17 Mac Weekly article (“Too much hatin’ from the left”) are one of the reasons I recently made the bold move of changing my Facebook status from “liberal” to “moderate” and finally to “other.” Not because his argument is so convincing that I’ve switched parties—personally I considered his evidence a little watery. Rather, I feel like labeling oneself a liberal or conservative has become a way of raising a banner in a political civil war, and Schultz reminds me why I don’t want to do that.
He isn’t off the mark when he says lefty pundits sometimes describe their opponents as “evil” (although in my opinion the term is more frequently used satirically than seriously, at least in the mainstream left), but intolerance is not a party specific trait. For every Michael Moore there’s an Ann Coulter. Liberals and conservatives are playing the same game—the poo-slinging game. At least this is the sense I’m getting from opinionated college students.
I could debate which side has more hateful people, which side is more subversive, which side is hypocritical, which is more unreasonable, but even if I somehow managed to do so without using generalizations or anecdotal evidence or skewed facts, and overwhelmed my opposition and got all the beach balls on the other side, I haven’t actually accomplished anything. More importantly I’ve wasted time I could have spent trying to get outside my box and realizing where we stand united, so that we can get back to the business of listening to and serving the American people.
Jena Enger ’07

Learn more about MPIRG’s annual V-Day activities

To the Editor:
The Feb. 17 issue included an article about the performance of “The Vagina Monologues” that took place on campus (“If your vagina could talk, what would it say?”). While the article outlined the amazing accomplishments of the V-Day movement on a national and international level, it neglected to mention the work being done here on campus.
MPIRG, the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, is the organization that brought the play to Macalester this year. In fact, MPIRG has brought the play to Twin Cities college and university campuses for the past seven years, including Macalester, the University of Minnesota, Hamline University, and the College of St. Catherine.
There are two critical reasons as to why MPIRG students at these colleges work tirelessly to organize V-Day activities each year at area campuses; 1) the play raises awareness of the problems of relationship violence and violence against women and inspires vital discussion and action on campus, and 2) the play raises much-needed money for local women’s shelters.
To date, MPIRG’s performances have raised over $100,000 for area organizations. This year, Casa De Esperanza, a St. Paul-based group that mobilizes Latinas and the Latino community to end domestic violence benefited from MPIRG’s productions.
V-Day isn’t just about ending violence against women. It’s about action and discussion here in our own communities. If you would like to learn more about MPIRG’s annual V-Day projects, check out our website, www.mpirg.org or come to a meeting—Tuesdays at 9:00pm in CC 206—and get involved!
Molly Griffard ’09