Letters to the editor

AAUP disappoints LGBT community

Dear editor:

As a former president of the UFPA (the precursor of the Kent AAUP) and a member of the LGBT community, I am disappointed (if not appalled) by the refusal of the AAUP Council to recommend a “yes” vote on the administration’s proposed faculty contract, which would offer domestic partner benefits to both same-sex and opposite-sex unmarried couples. Adding insult to injury – insult to the whole concept of fairness – was the Council’s added refusal to allow a minority report to be mailed out with its recommendation. Shame on you, AAUP Council!

Dolores Noll

Emeritus professor of English

White’s picture of America not how everyone sees it

Dear editor:

Throughout Matthew White’s column, “Cheer up, America,” I found myself wondering, what America does Mr. White live in?

White states, “It’s past time for a conversation that highlights the justice that’s part of our adversarial legal system and the opportunity for economic success in our quasi capitalist system.” Has Mr. White not read a newspaper that wasn’t the Stater lately? In the next two years more than two million Americans will face foreclosure of their homes; and while the billionaires on Wall Street have nothing to worry about, millions of people in our country have to choose between paying for their medications or paying their electric bills that month.

White also touts the equality of the American government. Look! There are black people in the government! Women too! But what White fails to mention is the disproportionate poverty and injustice minorities face on a regular basis. Hillary Clinton may have millions of dollars in her bank account, but the average American woman makes seventy five cents to every man’s dollar. And while black people make up 12 percent of the country’s population, they also make up 42 percent of the population on death row. One does not need to look any farther than Cleveland to realize that children born into poverty do not stand a chance in White’s version of the “American Dream.” But according to White, maybe if we all just put on our happy faces and pretend everyone, regardless of class, race, sexuality or gender is on equal footing, perhaps one day it will be true!

White’s delusional sense of individuality blinds him from seeing the true nature of a capitalist system. America’s working class is overworked and underpaid, and for most, this will not change regardless of a positive outlook or a good work ethic. Instead of having a conversation about how great America is, we need to have a conversation about what we as students and workers can do to make it equal for everyone, not just for the few at the top.

Jacquelyn Bleak

Junior political science major, applied conflict management minor

Reporter shouldn’t compare fascism with socialism

Dear editor:

Equating socialism with fascism is the basis of a straw-man argument in Ted Hamilton’s column “Like fighting fire with gasoline,” meant only to confuse readers and defame socialism.

In a feeble attempt at humor, Hamilton wrote, “When socialists begin to point to capitalism as the problem for the world’s ills, I always find myself drifting away.” He could have used precious column space to define his terms. He chose not to.

Concretely, fascism is a far-right movement led by the professional class, which has been disaffected by a severe economic downturn (see Mussolini’s Italy). The downturn leads to strong national and racial identification because fascists blame minorities for their problems. Fascists lead attacks on the workers’ movement, another group they blame for economic woes. Fascism is the extreme example of why the free market is bad.

On the other hand, socialism stands for the liberation of workers from capitalist oppression. Socialists see minorities as specially-oppressed groups whose speech is limited in the class system.

Women fall into this category because their rights were suppressed before the women’s movement in the 1960s. The negative effects of oppression remain today, as seen in sexist hiring practices, depressed wages and reaction against women’s right to choose abortion.

Hamilton said socialists are fascist and that we suppress speech we don’t like. He would be right to say that the International Socialist Organization doesn’t like bigots who oppose women’s right to reproductive choice, like those who came to Risman Plaza two weeks ago. We strongly defend the right of any individual or group that opposes bigotry to protest against such groups.

Hamilton says he loses interest whenever we talk about the evils of capitalism. Socialists identify capitalism’s inherent class inequality as a fundamental source of many of the world’s ills, including women’s oppression.

Allen Hines

Junior political science major

Member of the Kent State International Socialist Organization