The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 41.0°F | Light Rain

Bad Arguments Skew Good Column

Bad Arguments Skew Good Column

The guest column by Kristen K. Nummerdor ["GOP Is Not Just Problem for Queers," Apr. 28] states that "The Republican Party has been in the business of protecting the concerns of the upper class and big business for years." The article goes on to say that this logically explains their "all-out attack" on welfare mothers and immigrants. It must be noted that the Democratic Party defends its big business in the same fashion as the Republicans. The Democratic Party must also foster and protect big business, for its own good.

The pull quote of the article - "What racial demons are they manipulating in their attacks on immigration, affirmative action, and welfare?" - is ambiguous. What does this mean? It is true that minorities have cause and reason to be frustrated in American society, and to use these emotions to anger others and lure them to your way of thinking is morally wrong. I was not aware, as were many others not aware, that the "so-called logic" is that "non-white immigrants are supposedly sapping the economy." This entire statement is based on opinion and not on fact.

There was another set of points which were just ridiculous. These ridiculous claims adulterated an otherwise decent column: "Without immigrant labor, how would big agribusiness function in California and other states? How would the garment industry giants survive without their sweat shops?" Are we trying to make an argument for illegal immigrants by maintaining sweat shops? Now, obviously a reference to Proposition 187 is being made here. Proposition 187 was passed in California by a majority vote, and hence, it is law. Ask yourselves: Is it America's duty to care for illegal immigrants who have illegally entered our country's borders, in front of many people in many countries who are trying to immigrate to America through legal channels?

"Whom do these proposed anti-immigrant laws benefit?" Well, this sentence can be deceiving, for no specific reference is made to any group of laws. Hence, I will assume Nummerdor is at least talking about Proposition 187. To answer her question, we could very well say that we are helping the immigrants themselves. Unchain them from their machines in sweat shops; get them to enter America through legal channels so they can find a better job than slaving over a machine for $1.50/hour!

My final point rests on one of Nummerdor's arguments about straights having more rights than gays. I will not argue for one second that gays are denied certain things that straights are not denied. Yet I have to take issue with two sentences: "They [straights] don't tend to be shot at or beaten to death because they are straight! And who has special rights?"

No, straights don't get beaten or shot to death because they are straight. Instead, we can get beaten or shot to death because we are white, black, Asian, or Indian. In that respect, gays don't have special rights.

I would like to say that Nummerdor brought up many good arguments. She mentioned at the end of her article that everyone wants queers to stand up and speak, and yet no one wants to take them seriously. I hope that the people who read her article took some of what she said away with them.

John A. Modzelewski '98