To the Editor:
In response to Friday’s letter from Scott Friedlander ’12 (“LGBTQ activists hypocritical on ROTC,” March 4), to say that LGBTQ activists are restricting freedom of choice in the same way they protest the immorality of discrimination is ridiculous. Brown is a private institution. It has no obligation to offer any services that are not federally required. This is why there is a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps debate in the first place. If some people do not want ROTC here for ideological reasons, they are not oppressing anyone’s freedom of choice by expressing these opinions.
Furthermore, arguing that “potential members of ROTC will be joining for reasons that do not include enhancing this injustice” does not mean that the argument against injustice should be removed from the discourse altogether. I doubt anyone attends Brown for the purpose of funding potentially corrupt organizations, but look to the reason we have discussions on the ethics of Corporation funding. Because we believe Brown should not sponsor things that further injustice. I don’t think anyone who wants to join ROTC is immoral, but I think that if ROTC perpetuates severe injustice, it is important to recognize that when making a choice about our campus.
Freedom of choice does not mean that Brown has a mandate to provide every possible opportunity out there for its student body, especially one that certain groups see as inherently discriminatory. However, being a person means that America has a mandate to provide equal treatment. Marriage is a civil right, while ROTC is hardly a legal right. I’m sorry, I simply don’t see any contradiction in philosophies here, and believe LGBTQ supporters are capable of both defending and attacking ROTC’s presence on campus without being inconsistent.
Yvonne Yu ’13