18 September 2009

Mail Call

The Battalion usually publishes one or two "Mail Calls" a day, which are just opinions written by whoever wants to submit them. Usually, they are inane, like some guy bitching about people standing on the MSC grass, even though it's under construction, and not a memorial for the moment. Or like today, which was some guy also bitching, but about how he wasn't allowed to make a ruckus and be irritating in a campus dining hall.

The two printed yesterday were comically paired. The first was a student complaining about the "race card:"
From Zachary Hockaday, senior mechanical engineering major

I knew it wouldn't be long until the issue of race was brought up. It seems to me that the liberal media, liberal democrats and former president Carter, assume the criticism and protests of the President are race-based. So many people ignore that it is about the president policies. Come on Ags, don't fall for the race card. Protesters at his speech on Oct. 16 will exercise their First Amendment right to peacably assemble and "petition the Government for a redress of grievances" in regard to the president's policies. And just because it is not supposed to be a political speech does not mean that his liberal agenda won't bleed through. It is getting close to mid-term elections and for a politician, every stage is a political stage.
Let's start at the beginning. Race is being brought up because many people who are protesting Obama are racist. Take a look at some of the more aggressive posters from the recent tea parties (click for larger):

Right. These people are just worried about Obama's policies. They aren't just frothing at the mouth because they literally can't handle having a black man in the White House. And it's not just rednecks with "Robbin' for the Hood" signs that are spewing vitriol because of Obama's race; just because you're not stupid enough to say out loud that you hate Obama because he's black doesn't mean that you are criticizing him on morally pure grounds. It's no coincidence, for example, that Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" when a black man conjured up the image of trampled white Joe Wilson having to share his doctor's office with brown people. And it's no coincidence that Rush Limbaugh blames Obama for race-related crimes against whites and even those who condemn him still think violence is inherently linked to melanin levels. This is no race card; it's just racism.

Obama is coming to speak on our campus with former president George H.W. Bush to honor Bush's and other individuals' community service achievements. He's not going to petition our campus to support healthcare reform or try to eat our babies. In case we haven't forgotten, Bush is a Republican. And, barring some crazies who think community service is a socialist-communist-Democratic plot, most of us would agree that a ceremony to promote and reward service is unlikely to include anything above the banal. This protest will just make A&M look silly. Which brings us to the second Mail Call run yesterday:
From Philip Murtaugh, senior geography major

When I saw that President Obama was going to be speaking here Oct. 16, I cringed. Mind you, I wasn't cringing because I'm a conservative Republican convinced that the Democratic regime will soon destroy the world as we know it and that Barack Obama is the antichrist. I cringed because after we embarrassed Texas A&M in front of the nation during the primary last year, I simply don't trust us. I'd love to think that the whole student body will handle themselves accordingly. I'd love to think that people won't find a way to show up at Obama's speech wearing their "BTHO Obama" shirts.

We've been presented with an amazing opportunity- a chance to host the president of the United States. Texas A&M, I challenge you to prove my cynicism wrong.
By the way, if you're wondering what he means by A&M being embarrassed in front of the nation last year, he means this. (You can see some pictures here.) And frankly, I share this writer's opinion. We can see from the first letter that there will be a protest (and it will likely not be small). And, judging from past events, A&M is not always capable of doing things tastefully. I guess I'll get to see the douchebaggery up close and personal on the 16th.