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A Firm Foundation



To the Editors of The Crimson:

As a Third World student, I am outraged for being lumped together with the "non-minority students" in Laurence S. Grafstein's editorial "For a Firm Foundaton" Feb. 9 First, when Grafstein says that "non-minority" students have "centered on rather parochial issues" to protest, he makes the mistake of implying that Third World students have but one identity--protesters for a Third World Center. This attitude goes a long way to make actual integration of diversity very difficult. All students--gays, Blacks, Koreans, etc.--have many interests. Later in the editorial, Grafstein makes the mistake of saying whites do this or they don't do that. Grafstein writes of their clamoring for longer library hours and "the insensitivity of whites." Although I am far from a language purist, I really do feel that words such as "some," "often times" and "many" are still good words in the latest usage of the English language. The use of the phrase "majority of white students" at one point does not absolve Grafstein of guilt in the rest of the essay. In fact, it is imperative that the Crimson use these words carefully to avoid generalizations which contribute to any form or bigotry.

Secondly, as the founder of GUERRILLA and a GUERRILLA organizer, I object to the picture painted by Crimson editors of GUERRILLA after the study-in. If Grafstein had read some Crimson articles about GUERRILLA. GUERRILLA's reply to "Forlorn Echoes," GUERRILLA petitions, declaration drafts or posters or if he had made the momentous effort to talk to someone on GUERRILLA, he would know that GUERRILLA is concerned with all issues in the belief that students must seize all issues into their hands. I did not use the word "some" for a good reason. GUERRILLA is concerned with investment in South Africa, the CRR, a Third World Center and recently El Salvador etc. However, before GUERRILLA can act on these issues, discussion and consolidation of a majority student opinion in the form of a Student Assembly resolution or opinion poll must occur. GUERRILLA is founded upon the so-called radical idea of supporting democracy.

Finally, one mistruth of an example that whites center "on parochial issues" does not a case make. May I enlighten Grafstein in regard to what I know my non-minority friends are doing: 1) Some work with SASC (South Africa Solidarity Committee) and although I am a freshman, I'll bet many non-minorities were in the 1978 march of 3000 against apartheid. 2) The majority of the 60 member committee on El Salvador is non-minority. There is going to be a petition-drive, a movie on the 11th and a teach-in on the 22nd. 3) Some are working on getting Third World speakers to come here and come have already worked out Third World forums this year. 4) Some are working on the security campaign on campus--a major interest of women. 5) Many do work with Amnesty International which is concerned with human rights--a particular problem in developing countries. This is just a partial listing of what some non-minority students are doing for issues which at first glance concern minorities but in reality concern all people. Although I too bemoan the single-minded pre-professionalism of the majority of students here, the generalizations that Grafstein makes are "sad and insidious" "signs of the times" that Grafstein feels he must try to promote bickering among student activist groups. Is this just a smart but cheap way of getting people to write the Crimson? Henry C. Park '84

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