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DKE Name-Calling Unfair, Unhelpful

I was shocked and dismayed to learn that the defacement of the DKE posters [“DKE Playboy Posters Defaced With ‘KKK’ Markings,” April 12] was part of an active effort by an MIT group. DKE is absolutely right to feel incredulous at the fact that their party was compared to one of the worst hate groups in the history of the country. When I first saw the defacement, I figured it was the work of some bored wanker who was trying to be witty. The fact that it was an organized effort by members of the MIT community paints a bleak picture for the future of the country and society in general.

Racism and bigotry stem from ignorance. MIT, an institution specifically designed to stamp out ignorance, should be one of the more tolerant and rational places in the world. Instead, it is a place where parties are likened to hate crimes.

I can understand why some women might find Playboy offensive but regardless, Playboy, to my knowledge, has never lynched women and strung them up from the nearest tree. I believe neither Playboy nor DKE have burned crosses in front of houses were females live. I’m pretty sure the Playboy editors have not dressed up in white sheets and ridden across the countryside, terrorizing areas where women live, and killing men that sympathize with women. Finally, I am almost certain that Hugh Heffner is not referred to as the Grand Dragon.

Aimee Smith’s actions in this case are juvenile at the worst, and reactionary at best. Neither of these are desirable qualities in an institution which is committed to higher learning, scientific discovery, and rational discourse. Calling DKE members “Gyno-Nazis” (whatever that means) is merely an extension of playground name-calling. If indeed Smith has the best interests of the female gender as her primary concern, a better course of action might be to organize an evening of debate on the issue, or put up a poster explaining, using a concise and clear argument, why her group feels that these posters are demeaning. Dragging racism, the Third Reich, and the Ku Klux Klan into the debate merely serves to take weight away from her argument.

Furthermore, I fail to understand why DKE is being targeted by Smith’s group. It is ridiculous to intimate that one group can be responsible for the entire atmosphere or environment at MIT. According to The Tech, the group submitted their poster to Dean Rogers, who approved it. Therefore, if Smith has a problem, she should form a coherent argument and present her case to the Deans. After all, these are the people who have the power to change policy. It is unfair to blame a group that was abiding by the rules, and ridiculous to do so with childish name-calling.

Jonathan Reed ’02