Editor’s Note: Teddy Harris’ most recent column appeared online and argued that interracial marriage is not worth the effort.

Interracial dating is worth the trouble

Dear Editor:

As an undergraduate, I agreed with the theory Teddy Harris put forth in his April 29 column. It would be unfair to my family and unfair to future children. As a black woman at a white university, I expected to have no attraction to white guys. And I didn’t. For about two years.

After that, I began to get used to white people. I began to think they could be normal, and that you could talk to them. And I was attracted to a few.

I do agree with him that you can choose who you date. You can refuse to date someone you’re attracted to because he has attributes you dislike (and I have). I also agree that racism is alive and well in America, in both obvious and hidden forms.

But I disagree that interracial relationships are not worth the trouble. I date people because I like them and they make me laugh and I feel comfortable around them. This has happened with blacks, whites and Hispanics. I have learned from every person I dated and every person I’ve loved. These are experiences I wouldn’t want to have missed.

Most racial problems in my relationships have come from other black people. Most white people who hang out with black people are fairly liberal, and black people have more to lose. A lot of black people think when you date a white person, you’re rejecting black people. Of course not. But I leave my options open.

I am not naive enough to think that interracial relationships aren’t harder. But it does mean that when it works, you must really have the right person. For that, I’ll take the chance.

Athena Forrest

Library and information science graduate student

Photo in newspaper misrepresents events

Dear Editor:

As you have undoubtedly been made aware, the photograph accompanying the article “Kent Prepares for Parties” on April 28 was an exceedingly poor choice. In fact, it is an abhorrent choice. The same goes for the second photograph. While this article about the rites of spring may have been well-intended, it has now been compromised by these misrepresentations.

You have chosen the picture of an individual arrested in — what was intended to be — a peaceful anti-war protest that occurred on May 4, 2003. Except for the coincidence of time, this anti-war protest had nothing at all to do with the pre-finals drunken and malicious “party” behavior of a few students across town in Spring 2003.

The Stater owes the anti-war community (and their average reader for that matter) a retraction and an apology for this misrepresentation.

In addition to the inappropriate photographs, I find the some of the comments of Chief of Police Peach published in the article to be troublesome.

Peach claims that the extra police staffing responding to the end of the semester parties “prevents the department from doing more proactive things throughout the community.” Indeed, the police should have a proactive approach to the community and any obstacle to that outcome is unfortunate. However, the analysis by Peach is no less than hypocritical.

Think about the many thousands of dollars of our public resources that were squandered due to the police riot that occurred on May 4, 2003, on Main Street: the sheer number of police present, the helicopter, the police attack dogs and the array of lethal armaments. All of this was not put out on the street to “serve and protect” the citizens of Kent. Instead, all of this was on the street to engorge the egos of the police and to intimidate the citizens of Kent, in particular to physically threaten those individuals who had the courage to attempt to express their constitutional rights. Following May 4, 2003, how many additional thousands of dollars of our public resources were subsequently squandered pursuing the bogus arrests that occurred that day? Almost everyone arrested that day was later exonerated in the courts. And after all is said and done, here we have the Chief of Police pontificating about how others should behave. Go figure.

Did we learn anything at all from May 4, 2003 (or for that matter May 4, 1970?). We’ll never even have the chance to learn anything if the facts are not presented. Maybe the Stater can do a little (accurate) investigative reporting and set things straight.

Robert J. Twieg

Chemistry professor

An apology is in order for student in the photo used improperly

Dear Editor:

It was with great dismay that I read the front-page article in your edition of Thursday, April 28, 2005, entitled “Kent Prepares for Parties,” accompanied by what I felt was an inappropriate photograph of a protester being arrested by police who, on May 4, 2003, was peacefully exercising his First Amendment right to free speech in a protest against the war in Iraq, and was arrested for so doing on the Kent State campus. As a participant in that protest, a proud 1979 Kent State alumnus and a lifelong Kent resident, I feel that the use of this photograph to accompany the story was highly inappropriate and out of context to the content of the story, and I feel that the editorial staff of this newspaper did a poor job in not retracting the photograph prior to publication of the story as a bad choice.

I would expect students of journalism at Kent State to do a far better and more professional job when it comes to such things as you all prepare to go out into the real world and try to find jobs at newspapers, magazines and other journalistic endeavors. I think that perhaps if I were an editor who saw this story and the accompanying photograph as part of a resumé for consideration for a position, I would be inclined to question the context of the photo, given the story regarding student parties at year’s end and the response of the city of Kent and of Kent State to such things. As one who has been both an anti-war protester and a manager of a student rental in Kent, I can tell you as a 20+ year resident of an apartment in a student rental that most of the parties here on my street and in my building on University Drive have been nothing but peaceful, including one that I felt was illegally invaded by SWAT teams several years ago that resulted in an unfortunate riot that should never have happened in the first place.

It seems to me that as an ever-increasing paranoia grips our country, that responses to anything that could be construed as out-of-the-ordinary have been excessive, including student parties. While I find broken beer bottles, squashed beer cans and the ever-present trash in front and back lawns on University Drive to be abhorrent and a major source of frustration, I am ever impressed with my neighbor’s attempts to keep their parties at a dull roar in order to prevent problems with other residential neighbors. It’s just unfortunate that the Daily Kent Stater decided to run a completely inappropriate photograph to illustrate something so out-of-context as to be exacerbating of some ill will between “town and gown” that has existed since May of 1970. I would hope that in the future, that the Daily Kent Stater will adhere to more professional standards when deciding what photographs ought to accompany what stories. I would also hope that this newspaper would issue an apology to the individual illustrated being arrested in the photograph, as I understand that the charges against him were later dropped. It’s the least that this newspaper could do to set the record straight and to assure that in the future such things do not happen again.

Sally Burnell

Kent resident

Placing photo with article is ‘ignorant’

Dear Editor:

In regards to the Stater article “Kent prepares for parties” which ran Thursday, I would like to express my utter disgust at the Stater. Alongside an article about meaningless drunken mobs that assault police officers and are assaulted by police, there appears a picture of a peaceful, sober protester arrested in an anti-war protest May 4, 2003. Why would the Stater include this picture?

The person depicted in the picture was arrested for participating in a peaceful march and was later found innocent of any charges. What possible correlation is there between this picture and an article about drunken mobs throwing beer bottles? Would you print a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. alongside an article about soccer riots? The Stater should immediately apologize for making this slanderous association about the person depicted in the photo and the events of May 4, 2003.

Instead of making ignorant associations, maybe the Stater could actually run an informed article about the events of May 4, 2003, and what has happened since? You can start by talking about the case of the person you smeared.

Nathan Solinsky

Senior conflict management major

‘Stater’ chose to run photo ‘simply for effect’

Dear Editor:

I read with interest Lindsay Wargo’s misleading article in Thursday’s Stater about how the Kent police are preparing for the infamous end-of-year, riotous beer parties in Kent near May 4. I am curious as to why the Stater chose to include in this article a picture of Troy Gregorino being wrestled to the ground by riot police during the May 4, 2003, peace march. Since Troy’s arrest had absolutely nothing to do with any wild parties or drinking, I can only assume that the editors chose to run this photo simply for effect.

This is extremely inappropriate. Dear Editor, look back into your own archives and recall the article you published a year ago about how Gregorino’s conviction of “disorderly conduct” was overturned on appeal. Troy was peacefully protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq when he was picked off by paranoid riot police and charged with disorderly conduct. His arrest was unnecessary, and thankfully, judges on the 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals agreed and overturned his conviction. Gregorino’s arrest is a symbolic tribute to the history of activism in Kent and should never have been included in an article about senseless partying.

It is not surprising that most young students today do not see the significance of May 4, but only as a weekend of wild, drunken gatherings, when you mislead them with inaccurate or incomplete information. Shame on you, Kent Stater.

Sue Russ

Kent State alumnus and Akron resident

 Student is disgusted with newspaper’s choice to run photograph

Dear Editor:

I am writing in regards to the article “Kent prepares for parties,” in Thursday’s Stater. I would like to voice my disgust in the choices of the staff of the Daily Kent Stater to include pictures of the peaceful protest against the war in Iraq on May 4, 2003.

I see no relevance of the anti-war protest in 2003 to the parties that take place at the end of the spring semester every year. I am sure that there are plenty of pictures from parties that have gotten out of hand over the years in the Stater’s archives that would be infinitely better suited to accompany this article.

Andrew Nelsen

Junior integrated social studies education major

 Opinions on the national/international arenas

Nomination of Bolton to U.N. must be blocked

Dear Editor:

The nomination of John Bolton as ambassador of the United States to the United Nations must be blocked. Mr. Bolton is a well-known ideological watchdog for the Bush Administration. Mr. Bolton is an outspoken critic of the United Nations and other vital international organizations. Mr. Bolton’s reputation speaks for itself; during his time in the State Department, he intimidated intelligence analysts, bullied subordinates and inflated and politicized intelligence assessments concerning efforts to obtain WMD. by nations such as Iraq, Syria and Cuba. If nominated, John Bolton will be a detriment and an embarrassment to the United States. Our very own Sen. Voinovich is on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, responsible for Bolton’s nomination. In recent days, Sen. Voinovich expressed his reservations against voting for Mr. Bolton’s nomination to the post of U.N. ambassador. Just one more vote can block Bolton’s nomination. I urge all of you to call or e-mail Sen. Voinovich, before the May 12, 2005, vote.

To e-mail the Senator, go to, voinovich.senate.gov/contact/ or call him at (202) 224-3353.

Martin Oleksy

Senior political science major

 Responding to the Forum Page

 Forget Wal-Mart, what about the employees of Kent State University?

Dear Editor:

Whether you realize it or not, part of your April 26 editorial rant against Wal-Mart bears major significance right here on the Kent State campus. Let’s break it down. As I see it, your piece establishes three main reasons for opposing the evil Wal-Mart:

1. Lack of a living wage and benefits for many of its employees.

2. Wal-Mart’s “incredibly low prices,” which could cause fellow industry giant Giant Eagle to feel a pinch, possibly forcing them to reduce some of their own prices.

3. Disorganized shelves and cluttered aisles, thus offending the esthetic sensibilities of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.

Frankly, I believe that Nos. 2 and 3 were just fluff in order to make the article as wide as the headline. Or not. You’re entitled to your opinions, and I will defend your right to assert them. Besides, what is critically important to me and my fellow employees here at Kent State is how strongly the editorial board feels about reason No. 1; the need for a living wage for working families. And, more to the point, what do you plan to do about it?

I presume that you actually care about issue No. 1, since your editorial hammers home an unreferenced Washington Post article, taking rather broad allegorical swipes at Wal-Mart’s pay scale and bemoaning the fact that many of its employees make less than 10 bucks an hour. And on that count, you are absolutely correct: the rate of pay sucks. But, while you are railing away at Wal-Mart, please consider this as well; since just about every Kent State employee that you are going to see on any given day has been working here without a contract for the past several months, maybe you guys should aim your righteous indignation a little closer to home.

Why? As just one example, the man or woman who mops the floors and cleans the toilets here at Kent State is called a custodial worker, and he or she pulls down a whopping $8.44 per hour. More than a few of them were doing these same jobs when your parents were students here, but today’s $17,555.20 annual earnings still puts them well below the Department of Health and Human Services’ poverty threshold of $19,350 for a family of four. Many other worker classifications here pay the same or similar lousy wages, which by the way, are often substantially less than other state universities pay for similar positions. (Please note that these figures are public knowledge; you can access our wage scales on the Kent State Web site and poverty thresholds can be obtained on the HHS Web site. Wages for other state universities can be found on their Web sites as well. These are not allegations, these are facts.)

In addition, the university is trying to reduce our medical benefits, which will certainly lead to the same unacceptable hard choice scenarios that you describe in your Wal-Mart piece. So, if you really care about living wages, then why don’t you pitch in and support AFSCME in its negotiations for a fair and equitable contract for its members?

I apologize if any of this comes across as condescending, but the truth is the world we live in doesn’t get changed by merely bitching about intangibles or by leaving Kerry stickers on cars six months after the election has come and gone. Things get changed by people getting off their asses and working for fairness and justice right in their own backyards; by changing the changeable. So, how about stepping up to the plate, Stater. Get the facts and get involved, and encourage the student body to do the same. We certainly would be grateful for your considerable help and influence, and you would be doing genuine good for your fellow man.

Gary R. Cunningham

Senior environmental technology major

 Writer who debated education speaks again

Dear Editor:

I’m glad to finally see some lively debate, but perhaps I was a little hasty in my condemnation of the education department. Not all teachers are worthless; a lot of them are very good. And the educational system is probably the most important department of our society. But it’s messed up. And just because you have taken courses in France, or spent a hundred thousand dollars on tests and conferences isn’t going to change that.

First off, who decided that you can’t teach without a degree in education? Professors don’t have education degrees and only two or three of my school teachers even compare to professors. Doesn’t it make more sense that you should be some kind of participant in the field you want to instruct? Don’t you want to learn from someone who knows what they’re talking about? A teacher shouldn’t need a teacher’s edition textbook to teach, he or she should already know the answers! The way it is now, we’re learning from a third-hand source. And that just doesn’t seem right, does it?

The education degree should be a minor; your major should be the subject you want to teach. I want to know my physics teacher actually studied physics! And another thing: The education minor should have some kind of training in adolescent sociology, or psychology, or something along those lines. It seems to me that a lot of our teachers couldn’t stand kids or understand their behaviors. That isn’t helping anyone! Teachers need better training in identifying the different behaviors of kids; some are slow, others are just bored, others can’t get anyone to tell them why they need to know this crap. People all learn and act different, and a lot of teachers don’t care. Well, they should! (Just as a side note; to respond to one of the passive-aggressive jabs at my intelligence, I scored in the top 95 percent on my ACT, so maybe I don’t care about “correct grammar” that no one ever uses in real life, but I’m not stupid!)

Now, I don’t want to say that the whole problem with our education system is just the teachers, so I’m going to give a couple views that the politicians can pick up on — if they like!

Paying for schools with local property taxes is probably the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of! This is economic segregation (and racial segregation by proxy) at its finest. Of course rich neighborhoods are going to have better schools than poor ones, and that’s wrong! That’s not equality! School funding should be paid for with state taxes, be doled out equally and get more funding altogether. Genius comes from all people, of all stations and all races (Whether you like it, or not!).

The last thing I want to say is that our schools should not be a daycare (like they are). School shouldn’t be a place we put our kids to keep them off the streets and out of the workplace. Education is about bettering oneself and the world. There’s no reason kids should be forced to be in school all day, every day — other than that you want to keep them somewhere while you’re at work. You should go for a class or two each day, and then go home. Most people will learn better like that anyway, there’s less for them to have to remember and more for them to be interested in remembering. Lack of interest is one of the biggest problems I had seen in school, and we can fix that by allowing kids to focus their studies instead of forcing them to learn everything!

In conclusion, we have a problem with education in this country and a significant factor of it is the way we train educators. I don’t care how much money you spent, or to how many cities you have been to – that still doesn’t make you a good teacher. You may be the best teacher in the land, but that’s not because of your degree or your dedication, it’s because of your passion!

Adam E. Zandarski

History major