Townsend Showed Sensitivity to Jews
To the Editors of The Crimson:
We are writing to congratulate Jacinda Townsend for removing the swastika from the window of her Cabot House residence. Hers was an eloquent statement of sensitivity to the concerns and the hurt of the Jewish community. How sad that those who continue to display the Confederate flag have been unwilling to match her display of moral integrity.
We are outraged by the continued presence of Confederate flags in Kirkland and Cabot Houses. The flag is symbolic of a disgraceful and profoundly ugly chapter in American history, the era of slavery.
The institution of slavery was a diabolical attempt to rob an entire race of people of its humanity, to turn human dignity into saleable chattel. Those who defend the flag as a symbol of Southern pride and hospitality miss completely the pain and offense it causes to so many. Certainly members of the Harvard community should know better.
Let us not deceive ourselves into viewing the issue as a "Black problem." Confederate flags, swastikas and all other hate symbols are an embarrassment and a blight on the face of our entire community. Slavery was not merely the oppression of Blacks; it was a systematic attempt at the degradation of humanity.
It is thus the responsibility of the community as a whole not to remain silent, but rather to protest loudly and in unity: under no circumstances will we tolerate symbols of malice and oppression.
One final note. We should not be asking legal questions, but ethical ones. We should consider not whether the university should force the flags down, but rather how the Harvard community can persuade the students to lower them. We ask the students displaying the Confederate flags to come to their senses, reconsider their decisions and bring down for good these shameful and unfortunate symbols.
Pluralist at Harvard is a fact. But is pluralism? Ron A. Fein '94 Shai A. Held '94 James M. Harmon '93 Stephen W. Howe '93 Harvard/Radcliffe Democrats