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ACT-UP Comment Deserves Scorn



To the Editors of The Crimson:

I greatly resent the way you portrayed the suggestion by a member of the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP) that Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) should be assassinated. This murderous threat appeared on the front page of your October 29 edition, and was treated as a "denunciation," not as the despicable kind of hatred and ill-considered fanatical statement that it is.

I assert that were such a threat posed by Senator Helms against an ACT-UP member, it would have been reported in a manner far more damaging to the issuer of such garbage than your portrayal of the ACT-UP meeting was damning to that group.

Many people oppose Senator Helms because of his alleged advocation of censorship. ACT-UP's murderous threat advocates the ultimate form of censorship, one practiced by Stalin, Hitler and enemies of the people throughout history in order to supress the free expression of views different from their own.

Whether or not the members of ACT-UP find Senator Helms' political stands objectionable, there can be no justification for the advocacy of murder as a means of silencing Mr. Helms or his supporters. ACT-UP claims to be concerned with protecting life (through increased AIDS research), but it is plain that they are only interested in protecting the lives of people whose morals (or lack of same) agree with theirs.

ACT-UP presumably uses as a justification for this death sentence the role that Senator Helms has had (in their minds) in increasing the likelihood that homosexuals can die from AIDS. But in this, also, they are mistaken. The risk to the lives of homosexuals from AIDS arises not from Helms, but from the fact that they choose to engage in sodomy, which greatly increases their chance of getting AIDS through sexual contact. Punishing Helms by death would not bring their loved ones back, but it certainly would lead to the cessation of this radical organization's further expressing its reckless opinions. Michael P. Cole '94

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