Letters to the Editor

Letters: Kelly was not silenced

By
Monday, November 4, 2013

Thanks to Associate Professor of History Naoko Shibusawa P’14 for conveying her support and admiration for those who protested against New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly last Tuesday. I join her in standing in solidarity with these students and members of the Providence community. We live in a conflicted, unequal society and are at times presented with situations that can’t be adequately confronted within the customs of polite, institutionally structured debate alone. As Shibusawa says, there is a long, honorable history of disruptive protest that is part of the tradition of political democracy.

Professor of Biology Ken Miller’s ’70 P’02 claim that last Tuesday’s protest represents “a step . . . towards mob rule” strikes me as alarmist and one-sided. Kelly has not been silenced: His advocacy for a policy of intimidating racial profiling is widely known and currently being debated in the federal courts. For people who are being threatened and violated by stop-and-frisk, the time has come to combine serious debate with serious action.

 

William Keach

Professor of English

 

Topics:

3 Comments

  1. “For people who are being threatened and violated by stop-and-frisk, the time has come to combine serious debate with serious action.”

    The whole point is that the protestors and their ilk didn’t allow for serious debate whatsoever. It is disturbing to see a professor of written language to act without listening to the argument they’re opposing, but I suppose tenure makes people think crazy things.

    • I hope you’re aware that debate was never on the table. A lecture is not a debate and this is what fueled the protesters into action.

      • And certainly you are aware that there was more than 40 minutes set aside for questions and answers. Too bad you don’t support that aspect of the free exchange of ideas…you may have learned something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*