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To the Editors of The Crimson:
In the November 18 issue of The Crimson, the editorial "Gay Bashing? No. Sensible? No Again." defends the writers of the Peninsula against allegations of bigotry. According to the editorial, the magazine may have been "offensive," but was not "hateful," since the writers of the Peninsula repeatedly deny that they hate or advocate violence against gays. To dismiss the magazine as gay-bashing, writes The Crimson, is "unfair," because the writers "make arguments--weak arguments, we think, but arguments nonetheless." We believe that, in trying to stand the middle ground, The Crimson does a grave disservice to the bi/gay/lesbian community.
If there is anyone who has been treated unfairly in this whole matter, it is bi, gay and lesbian people, against whom this clearly hurtful, clearly offensive magazine was directed. The Crimson's defense of the Peninsula against "unfair" treatment is wrong: It draws attention away from the real issue--the rights and dignity of all people regardless of sexual preference.
The Crimson implies that, if one does not openly admit to hating some minority, does not openly advocate violence against this minority and "makes arguments," then one is not a bigot.
Perhaps, then, the editors of The Crimson believe that someone who writes the following is not a bigot: "I do not hate black people. I do not favor physical attacks against black people. But I do think that black people are less intelligent than white people. After all, most do worse on standardized tests, fewer get into college, etc." Would The Crimson not agree that these are statements of bigotry, regardless of any disclaimers?
While the writers of the Peninsula say that they do not wish for violence against bi, gay or lesbian people, their magazine encourages such violence. The image of a pink triangle being shattered encourages violence. The statement that homosexuality is "bad" encourages violence. Those who would go out and commit acts of violence against gays are incited by any promulgation of anti-gay views. They are also encouraged by the suggestion that such views are within the domain of reasonable discourse.
Any statement attacking homosexuality--saying that homosexuality is bad, that gays must be bad role models, that gays cannot really love, that gays are necessarily unhappy, that no matter how gay you think you are, you are really straight--is in and of itself violent. Thirty percent of the teens who commit suicide are gay, and the makers of "arguments" against homosexuality are among those responsible for this.
In his letter from a Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King wrote that he could see "clouds of inferiority beginning to form in [his daughter's] little mental sky" as she heard that she was not as good as other people. No matter how calmly stated, "arguments" that Black people are inferior to white people have the effect of destroying human dignity and self-respect. "Arguments" that homosexuality is wrong have the same effect.
How can we believe that the writers of the Peninsula do not favor acts of violence against gays? We have just seen them commit one. By refusing to condemn the Peninsula in full, The Crimson shares in the offense against the bi/gay/lesbian community. Alejandro Reuss '92-'93 Kurt Strovink '92 Tom Garvey '92
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