To the Editors of The Crimson:
I have several questions regarding the legitimacy of Association Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality's (AALARM) blue square campaign, which was launched on October 25.
The first: Whose "traditional values" are the members of AALARM promoting? Each individual's? Mine? Almost anyone not familiar with the reactionary slant of this organization could endorse their vague list: "Stand up for faith, family, country, community..."
But I think that many of us would ascribe very different meaning to these words than those AALARM intends. I would like to ask that the organization be more specific in its invitation. We can hope that "family" refers also to gay couples, that "faith" is not limited to fundamental Christianity and that "community" includes us all, but I can't help but suspect that this campaign is nothing more than insidiously disguised bigotry.
I hope that no one else will espouse AALARM's blue squares until the organization makes clear what exactly they represent.
The second: Why do AALARM's members feel that they are above the laws of this university? There are means provided for the advertisement of AALARM's cause without their resorting to graffiti. Should we all, after their example, scrawl our sentiments across the pavement over which everyone has to walk, or cover other posters with our own? These people have decided that their voice is more important than those of other groups and must be heard above orderly free speech.
I ask AALARM to please use the forum for the exchange of ideas which the University has provided.
The third: Does AALARM, which apparently is attempting to counter the pink triangle with its blue squares, understand the genocide for which the pink triangle stands? The Nazi regime branded gays with the pink triangle in the death camps of World War II, just as it branded other minorities with similar symbols: Jews wore the yellow star; lesbians, Gypsies, and prostitutes wore the black triangle; political dissidents wore the red triangle, etc.
This system of marking gays and other individuals was meant to direct the hatred of society toward them as well as induce self-hatred. The Nazis brutally murdered marginalized people just because of who they were. These crimes cannot be allowed to recur.
Today the pink triangle has been reclaimed in the remembrance of those who died in the Holocaust. It represents group identity for gays in the continuing struggle for our rights, and for others it is a symbol of pride in, and support of, a diverse society. When worn today, the pink triangle speaks, "Lest it happen again." This symbol should not be a threat to anyone, but a reminder of the horrible history of intolerance and an inspiration not to be silent in the face of oppression. The protection of the rights of one group is the protection of the rights of all groups.
I ask the members of AALARM: Of whose oppression does the blue square speak? I propose that the blue square is a dangerous symbol. It holds the potential to incite violence against minorities, and especially against gays. It too easily can be read as a symbol for the supporters of a hateful hegemony who, fearing disempowerment, would have all members of society be like themselves, even if by force.
I also question AALARM's timing of their blue squares. I can only think that they have targeted the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Gay Studies Conference this weekend for special persecution. I want to note that the Conference will host some of the original wearers of the pink triangle in concentration camps. How should they react to AALARM's mockery of the symbol of their suffering?
AALARM must clarify the meaning of their blue squares. If the blue squares are symbols of hatred, standing against good will, law, reason and tolerance, why doesn't AALARM just use a swastika? Charles Flatt '92 Co-chair, BGLSA On behalf of the Officers of BGLSA