To the Editor:
For the students, whose minds have historically been open, and whose voices we’ve historically listened to.
I am a tired American today. Tired of hearing ‘inescapable conclusions’ and that we must ‘exact retribution.’ Tired of hearing how we can ’emerge triumphant’ by striking back in further acts of terrible violence. Tired of the anger in which we wallow, where clear-headedness might buoy us up. Tired of our unwillingness to understand the ‘why’ behind such tragedies as Tuesday’s events. How far are we willing to go in the misguided path of revenge? How many more times must we submit to hate, and thereby perpetuate violence that does not grow worse by mere coincidence?
The only inescapable conclusion after this historic tragedy is that many people will have died in vain if we respond to this injustice with violence. We cannot and must not. To do so would be to continue playing a game that we can never and will never win. To demonstrate that we are no better than the perpetrators of this horrific event, except that we are capable of far greater, more calculated swathes of destruction. We cannot guarantee our safety until we finally understand why others would lash out in this way, and help provide them an alternative to doing so in the future. If we must punish, then we must not do so with violence or without understanding. I am a tired American today, yet I will be damned before I spend my remaining energy standing ‘united’ in the solidarity of further violence. I love this country, but I do not love it enough that I am willing to hate for it.
Brian KentCornell ’95