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Reader comment on item: Columbia University vs. America

Submitted by Justin Klein (United States), Apr 10, 2003 at 18:08

On the topic of professor De Genova gross contempt for the men and women who have bravely gone to battle to protect the freedoms our country has fostered for the past 227 years, I'd like to eliminate any possibility of a semantic problem with Lee Bollinger's defense of this man.

I understand his point about him exercising his first amendment rights at an unauthorized "teach-in", but I'd also like to take a moment to appeal to his rational senses. If this meeting were to be conducted in an unofficial fashion, removed from the university's control, then why would the professors of that university attend I'd imagine that as professors, their number one priority is to uphold the esteemed institution they represent - that being Columbia University.

Does Columbia University believe that all patriots are imperialist, white supremacists as De Genova does? As a representative of this prestigious educational institution, why wouldn't the board meet and determine that this man's clearly diluted perspective is a conflict of interest to the advancement of their purposed educational philosophy. Why not just fire this communist??? In retrospect, to do nothing about the actions this man has taken is to support him in those actions. This sets a very poor precedent for Columbia.

With something so large-scale as this unofficially sanctioned gathering of students and faculty, I'd like to think it's only natural for the university to take an active interest in what's being said at these so-called "teach-ins". You can't possibly think for one moment this instructor doesn't spew his anti-American beliefs in a classroom especially when the media isn't covering it. I don't personally believe this is an issue of first amendment rights, but one of character. Anti-American character...and it sickens me to the core of my person. Columbia is a highly respected American university, funded by American dollars, and I would hate to see its image tarnished by a man who doesn't have the slightest idea of what the words duty, honor, and country mean. I'd be willing to bet this armchair quarterback can tell you how to fix this country because of his belief that he has the keen ability to diagnose exactly what's wrong with it. Please let comrade De Genova know that if he wants to exercise his rights as an American, then do all of us a favor and exercise the greatest freedom we have, the freedom to leave.

Justin K.

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