Is A War Worth Fighting
both an Oberlin alumnus and a self-supporting citizen of the real
world, I have been saddened to read various accounts about the recent
short-sighted anti-war demonstration in Tappan Square.
From 1986 to 1990 I supported various protests about on- and off-campus
matters, including U.S. involvement in the Middle East. I wore a
red ribbon at graduation, and in 91 I marched with the protesters
down Broadway in New York City the night Desert Shield
became Desert Storm.
Oberlin is still a fun little vaccuum. My 24 best friends and I
spent last May caravaning from NYC to the sleepy little hamlet to
celebrate our 10-year reunion. It is still a haven for kids who
like to dress and act like theyre not from highly privileged
backgrounds. (Actually, I have never met anyone from lower tax brackets
who would be caught dead looking or acting like that, but I digress).
Its fun to hiss at non-P.C. dialogue at the movies. Its
fun to mold a world view out of the Starfleet Prime Directive and
some Donovan songs, with a little contact improv thrown in for good
measure. But, please, children, save the fake war protests for fake
Anyone who has not recently visited Lower Manhattan, which, by the
way, is on week three of spouting plumes of smoke, should think
twice about spewing Vietnam-era rhetoric at a time like this. We
are not in a distant and ambiguous political skirmish this time.
We cannot coccoon ourselves in Albert Schweitzer holier-than-thou
let us benevolently and
peacefully counsel peoples of otherness around the world platitudes
after what has just happened. Save the paternalistic upper-middle-class
arrogance for the expensive tie-dyed armchair.