To the Editor:
A substantial number of very caring white professors signed a statement supporting President Dye's letter lambasting lustily Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmicheal). Not a single black professor signed the statement even though all of us deplore violence and repudiate words suggesting that the only good Zionist is a dead Zionist. The president was quick to point out just how civil and dignified the demonstrations were against Ture, who is viewed by so many as being anti-Semitic. Ture's words hurt a lot of Jews and others. President Dye must continue to receive thunderous cheers for her prompt, decisive and humane leadership in stressing the need for peace, consolation and understanding.
I myself did not sign the statement because there were other parts of her letter that troubled me much less than they perhaps bothered the signatories. For example, I was not outraged by Ture's criticism of Africans, Europeans, etc. I was not stunned because Ture repeatedly saw himself not as an anti-Semitic, but as anti-Zionist. His attack of capitalism was not devastating to me. If we all first abjure violence and condemn it as loudly and rapidly as President Dye, I would hope that these positions embraced by Ture might be thoroughly debated by experts and others on our campus. When Ture is stripped of the hurtful and inflammatory words, it may then be possible to analyze critically the substantive questions provoked by his life's works and labors.
Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 124, Number 21; April 19, 1996
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