College Republicans Behave Better Than Liberals
Letter to the Editor
Published: Friday, December 9, 2005
Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 16:01
I am going to say something I never thought I would say as a UConn student. I commend the College Republicans. Not for their viewpoints, not for their choice of a speaker, but for how they behaved on Monday night during Cindy Sheehan's talk compared to the shameful display Ann Coulter received at the hands of dissenters on Wednesday night.
This is, of course, not to say that I am impressed with Coulter at all. I find her comments, especially those spoken "in jest" about homosexuals and Muslims to be appalling and downright deplorable. But her viewpoints and statements do not grant others the permission to demean someone like Coulter through taunts, songs and name-calling. Given that the vocal group of dissenters who attended Coulter's talk promote tolerance and fight against hate speech, I am saddened that they themselves committed the same acts they so avidly fight against.
The College Republicans handled themselves much more civilly at the Cindy Sheehan speech on Monday night. Granted, some of their protest methods were underhanded and inflammatory, such as when they slandered Sheehan's character by passing out a letter critical of her actions supposedly written by her family and holding up signs stating "honk if you love peace" outside the Student Union. Once inside, however, not once did I hear them boo or direct any rude comments towards Sheehan and her speech. As much as they were against her, they knew how to respect her.
By booing and mocking Coulter, people who disagree with her only provoke her more and give her more ammunition for her next book or speech. I believe that speakers such as Coulter or Sheehan should no longer be invited to UCONN since they merely spout personal opinions and sometimes slur people's religious beliefs, orientations and values. On topics as important as American foreign policy students should have the opportunity to engage in reasoned, thoughtful discussion with experts in the field. Both of these presenters did nothing to advance our understanding of the war in Iraq. If students want to cheer for their team and boo their opponent, I suggest they attend a sports event.