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Letters to the Editor 11/17
Published 11/17/2011
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Defense of Cain allegations lacks compelling evidence


I am writing in response to William Stetson's Nov. 14 editorial on Herman Cain. I find it interesting that Stetson claims that the allegations against Cain are "about politics, on both sides," then proceeds to defend Cain.

Outrageously, Stetson wrote, "Bill Clinton admitted to sexually harassing Monica Lewinsky while in office." This is emphatically not true. Clinton admitted to having sexual relations with Lewinsky, but neither he nor she ever suggested that there was any sexual harassment involved.

Further, Stetson claims that because one of Cain's accusers later filed another, non-sexual complaint at another workplace, there was "an odor about her allegations against Cain." Apparently he believes it is so unlikely that a woman would be mistreated in two separate workplaces that we can safely disregard anything she says. I hope I am not alone in finding that incredibly offensive.

Finally, there is the claim that the "most concrete evidence available" in the Cain allegations is private investigator T.J. Ward's Layered Voice Analysis (LVA), performed on Cain and accuser Sharon Bialek. Ward, who was hired by Cain's attorneys and is not exactly neutral on the matter, found Cain to be truthful and Bialek to be lying. However, independent studies have shown LVA to be no more accurate than random guessing.

In the end, it comes down to Cain's word versus his accusers. If Stetson chooses to believe Cain, that is certainly his decision, but pretending that it is based on anything more substantial that pure partisanship is absurd.

Cara Davis
junior, mathematics

Youth for Western Civilization celebrates excessive privilege


While it is easy for political progressives and moderates on campus to scoff at the antics of the Youth for Western Civilization, it is important for us to recognize this group as an example of the vitriol that is a systemic problem in today's political discourse.

Those who are privileged in our society – namely white, straight, middle-class males – sometimes frame social justice issues as "us versus them" competitions for recognition that not only erode constructive discussion of controversial topics, but also erase the reality of institutionalized oppression that has plagued minority groups in our country since its inception. What organizations such as YWC fail to realize is that the whole of Western history has been one giant straight, white male pride parade.

It is beyond time that other perspectives be allowed to emerge and share in the governance of our nation as well as in the shaping of our culture.

Nikkole Hughes
junior, natural resource sciences

Deceptive details form basis for Straight Pride movement


I feel that the Youth for Western Civilization's "Straight Pride" event on Monday espoused facts that were incorrect and verged on intentionally deceptive. If straight people were being bullied until they committed suicide, getting kicked out of their homes and families, losing or being denied jobs and housing or harassed by police because of their sexual orientation, then I would say "straight pride all the way." But since when was that an issue? Since when did straight people ever have to come out as straight? Or struggle to be granted human rights?

The YWC's actions erase the real aim and history of gay pride, as well as the real struggles of LGBT people, both past and present. They tried to exploit public skepticism of political correctness by obscuring what these movements are about. Also, they got their dates wrong. Gay Pride Month is in June, not October. I am unsure as to what their aim was if they could not be bothered to do the research to support their position. 

Kelley O'Brien
senior, women's studies

Heterosexuality pride furthers societal divisions and inequality


After reading your front page article from 11/15 titled, "YWC Celebrates Straight Pride," I found myself frustrated and confused at why we are still pretending that there are “two sides” to issues of heterosexism and homophobia. The members of YWC are entitled to their opinions, but I believe that "Straight Pride" is taking it too far, and that there are never "two sides" to such a campaign.

When we walk through our student union building, we do not need to be sent the messages that YWC supports. I do not need it rubbed in my face that straight folks are given more privileges in this society than non-straight - I already see that fact in action every day. The article stated that YWC was present to "make fun of political correctness." To me, they could have accomplished this goal in a way that would not carry over into something threatening. A shirt that makes fun of political correctness carries its message past the YWC table; a shirt that flaunts straight privilege becomes something else. 

It seems to me that a university that has made its mission during the last few years to recruit a more diverse student body would not support campaigns that marginalize those very same diverse people. Part of my choice to attend WSU was that “Cougar Family” feeling and the university’s promises of commitment to diversity and equality. YWC’s message is divisive; it originates from a place of fear and privilege and counters everything our institution stands for.

Sarah Welliver
senior, anthropology

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