Lively debate

I first of all congratulate you and your staff for making your Letters to the Editor section so journalistically successful. When I came to NIU from Nepal a little over two years ago, I thought the campus life here at NIU was pretty dull intellectually—no hot debates going on in the shades of trees during the summer, nor groups trying to iron out some issue in true earnest at various places in the student center during the winter.

This dullness disappointed me, and I was not surprised at Dinesh D’Souza’s phrase “hotbed of rest” for NIU.

Now, after two years, I find this campus full of life. Is it because of my belated awareness of the Letters to the Editor section in your paper?

To tell you the truth, I hardly read anything in your paper in full except for this section. In fact, I seem to have developed an obsession for what covers the full spectrum, from the far right to the far left (let us not talk about the editorial ideology in an overt fashion for now).

Among the hot issues that have gained space in your paper lately, the Holocaust controversy is the latest and pales all other issues in significance. Now the question arises, should you have given space to the notorious ad for money?

Of course, to bring a very painful memory back to notice is extremely disgusting and angering to those who are the bearers and have pushed the memory in their subconscious in order to get on with life; but we should not forget that that memory is an unforgettable lesson for humankind itself.

I personally think, therefore, that you have done a good job and deserve congratulations because this archetypal racism and the mega-atrocity done to the whole race on the basis of nothing but race must remain in the active memory of every generation of young men and women who come to college for “education.”

But unfortunately not all who come to college take history as their major, and many don’t even care about such issues. It is at such a moment that ads like these reveal the secrets brewing in the minds of many, for the materials that are freshly brewing in the mind of the young or contaminating them must be brought to the open before our even knowing them.

It is always easier to fight in the wide open than in ambush.

Needless to say, I disagree with many who denounce your editorial act in this regard. Let those who care wield their pen and equal the spirit of the ad by condemning it in a fashion that today’s generation may know the stakes involved.

Pramod K. Mishra

Graduate Student