Sharon, Tear Down That Wall!
US Out of Iraq and Everywhere Else!
Nikki Craft's Letter Exchange about Rachael Corrie
The University of Maryland Student Newspaper has mocked the tragic murder of American student Rachel Corrie who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while protecting the home of a Palestinian Doctor from destruction, the cartoon also falsely claims that Rachel gave her life protecting "a gang of terrorists." Please take a minute and send an e-mail [see addresses below] to University of Maryland Officials and ask them to take action against the editors that approved the cartoon. Also demand they apologize to the family of the slain student. Be polite, yet firm:, Office of the President, University of Maryland. Phone: 301.405.5803
life is worth less than water.
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 15:07:10 -0500
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Nikki Craft
Subject: your stoopid cartoonStoopid to face oppressors against all odds without rocks and guns to fight back? That's what many Palestinians have come to believe as well. Unfortunately in a world with such a horrible imbalance in resources and justice (and such fascists as the man who murdered Rachael Corrie with the bull dozer) you, and all those Palestinians, just might be correct.
True it would have been a fairer fight if Rachel had a bomb strapped to her belt, or a gun under her shirt; must be what you think; or are you saying that it would have been better for Rachel Corrie to just shut up so she wouldn't be ridiculed even after her death by a stoopid little school newspaper like yours?
In this violent, war-mongering country committed, nonviolent activists are being shut-up (in the name of protecting democracy [smirk]); they are scorned and vilified for employing non-violent means of protest. So nice to know whose side you folks are on and to see how your campus discourages brave people with conviction to face all odds to fight against injustice. Better that U of M revels about frat parties and getting drunk instead, which is, of course, the real and true definition of what stupid is.
People who care about real justice--and we exclude from this category _all_ those who enjoy this cartoon--know that tactics and strategies present difficult choices. Maybe someday you can have the same opportunity to face such a violent, fascist oppressor and decide for yourselves the best, most practical and most workable tactic to choose. It's never easy to know what to do, but the bravery comes with the process and what an amazing and awesome spirit is Rachel Corrie and how much she outshines still those who trash her now.
Israel needs to stop bulldozing people's homes; they need to tear down that wall. I admire Rachel Corrie so much for the courageous, rational and non-aggressive choice that she made. I morn her death and abhor what Israel has done with our tax dollars. In Rachel Corrie's name let's work to cut funding to Israel (and the U.S. military) so they won't have all that money for all those bull dozers (and MOAB's) while the poor and powerless die and are silenced.
U.S. Out of the Middle East!
No Status Quo
Dear Ms. Craft,
Thank you for your message. I read your letter and wanted to respond to a couple of things:
First of all, I want to make clear to you as I have several others that The Diamondback is an independent, student-run newspaper. The University has no editorial control over the publication.
I am chairman of the Maryland Media Inc., Board of Directors, which oversees the fudiciary responsibilities of the corporation and picks the editors of the four student publications. But the board, by policy, has no control over the editorial content of the newspapers.
Jay Parsons, the editor of The Diamondback, is the final authority on the editorial issues of the newspaper. He determines who works for him.
Secondly, I wanted to say that I appreciate your passion, which is why I wanted to respond to you. It is refreshing see people with such a heart, regardless of what their stance.
Because of my position and the stance I must take as chair of the board, I will not get into my opinion about the cartoon. But suffice it to say that the students proudly, and rightfully, wave the banner of editorial freedom. This week, with the tremendous response the cartoon has generated, I believe the students have learned more than any classroom will ever teach about what that freedom means and the consequences that can result from it, both positive and negative.
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 12:25:14 -0600
Hi Ivan, if I may,
Thanks for your reply to my email and for acknowledging my writing and feelings and for saying so in the way that you did. That is meaningful to me. Even so I hope you will understand that cannot deter me from what I need to say to you.
I understand your concerns/stance and I do believe in this instance they are misplaced. These students/editors perceptions about free expression that were expressed with this cartoon are so shallow and so obtuse that their immediate impulse is to feel [and provide trivialization and justification for, in public space] that a woman deserved to die for expressing hers. This hypocrisy should not be allowed to stand and I hope that you will muster enough creativity in yourself to figure out how to initiate some actual justice out of this situation.
Here's one suggestion for a way you can be consistent to your beliefs and begin to make amends for the actions of those in your immediate responsibility. If you have the money/capability/resources etc--and truly care about free speech--then I urge you to consider giving voice to a large portion of the letters you have received on this topic, either on a website or special edition newspaper separate from the campus rag. I also urge you, as head of a media conglomerate, to begin a committed campaign to educate your campuses and community about the lives and circumstances of those that the US and Israel are aggressing against.
That Ivan would be actual free expression and a bit of an antidote to the wrong that has been committed against a dead [read absolutely silenced] woman and her family, friends and allies; not to mention a category of the poorest, most oppressed, most silenced and downtrodden, most harassed/terrorized people in the whole damn world.
To leave this be, with an administrative
hands off policy, is no big success for the University
of Maryland or for true free expression either. And
to not give full
don't mean a
few censored/edited letters in the editors section,
makes any fantasy about free expression even more
shallow and stupid
a concept than
what they are [hopefully were] able to comprehend
and express with the publication of this stupid
and malicious cartoon.