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Tolerance Not Issue


By Thomas B. Cotton

Today the staff uses two incidents to make sweeping statements and to draw specious conclusions about the Harvard community.

I feel that the graffiti at Dunster House and the email at the Kennedy School were wrong because of the message they convey. Unfortunately, I can't make this argument to the authors because they are cowardly thugs who hide behind a veil of anonymity. I hope that the Harvard University Police Department is successful in immediately bringing the perpetrators to justice for their vandalism and for using the e-mail system to harass and intimidate others.

I do not feel, as the staff apparently does, however, that these incidents represent a "latent" or "deepseated" homophobic sentiment on campus. Any candid person will admit that, of all their problems, a lack of tolerance is not high on the list for Harvard students.

To take these incidents and infer the existence of broader campus sentiment is foolish. It only proves that, once again, democratic intellectuals love abstractions and generalities, just like Alexis de Tocqueville said they would over a hundred years ago in Democracy in America.

Spare me the diversity seminars and the consciousness-raising seminars. Just take care of the criminals.

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