USF’s thoughts on Tuesday’s attacks (9/14)

Muslim Americans not to blame for Tuesday attacks

?We should hold all Muslims responsible ? in America and abroad.?

I heard that, or some variation of it, from so many people Wednesday. Why is it that we should hold all Muslim Americans responsible? Is it their fault? Is it their religion?s fault?

Perhaps it is the fault of some extremist Muslims who find that attacking American targets is succinct with their beliefs. Yes, their beliefs ? not the beliefs of all Muslims.

Those who feel that all Muslims are to blame for the acts of some extremist Muslims should ask themselves the following questions: Are you Christian? If so, should we hold you personally responsible for the deaths of over 6 million Jews? Because, after all, one Christian is just the same as another, right? On a smaller, yet equally horrendous scale, should we hold all Christians responsible for the bombing in Oklahoma? Because, after all, one Christian is just the same as another.

Time and time again, we find ourselves pointing a finger at a group of people. Maybe our focus should zoom in on the hand that is doing the blaming to realize that there are four other fingers pointing right back at us.

Wouldn?t the people pointing fingers just feel absolutely ridiculous if they found out it wasn?t Muslims who perpetrated the attacks? Just food for thought.

Jim Choquette is a freshman majoring in psychology.

Oracle made poor choice to include photo

I am devastated by the poor choice in picture that the Oracle chose to put in its paper Wednesday morning. I refer to the photo of a man falling to his death, which is, I think, not an appropriate way to express the horror of Tuesday?s tragedy.

If The Oracle is trying to move people, this was done in poor taste. To show a man in the final and most terrifying moments of his life is particularly heartless. If you want to make a statement, show the faces of the deceased in life, not in death ? and not in a photo that sensationalizes the agony of that poor soul.

Emily Pettinga is a USF student.

A poem reflecting the tragedy?s emotions


So many innocent people died all because a few men lied.
They got on the planes with evil intentions
and America saw acts too sad to mention.
Now Americans, with tears on their face
must turn to one another for warm embrace.
We must stand tall, but stand together
and we will make it through the rough weather.
America must go on and be strong but all our thoughts must remain with those who are gone
We must remember each and every life
that was taken from us with great strife.
Although these people are gone
through us their personalities, passions and dreams will live on.

Tomi Steinruck is a sophomore.

Appalled by full-page photo spread

I was appalled at the full-page picture spread in Wednesday?s edition of The Oracle. The pictures that other news outlets have shown were okay, even though they, too, were shocking. What floored me was the full-length picture of a man falling to his death. Who made this editorial decision? Did it occur to anyone that perhaps there would be students or faculty who had either family members or friends in New York? Did it occur to anyone that those students or faculty could perhaps recognize this person? I am absolutely disgusted by this choice.

You should truly be ashamed of yourselves. Was this an attempt to get the most graphic pictures to appear professional? If so, you failed. It made The Oracle look like nothing more than a trash tabloid out for the most spectacular and most shocking pictures and stories. I have lost all respect for The Oracle and will no longer read it.

Tracie Barrett is a senior majoring in mass communications.

Photos accomplished only shock value

My father worked in the World Trade Center for over 25 years and just retired last year. During those years I met many of his co-workers. It?s hard enough looking at the building go down, I shouldn?t have to open your newspaper to see a human being plummeting to his death. I just graduated from USF last year with a degree in mass communications, so I?m familiar with photojournalism.

The fact that you can publish a picture like that and think of yourselves as journalists disgusts me. Just because it?s an AP picture doesn?t make it appropriate. You should stay in school a couple more years and learn the difference between newsworthy photographs and ones merely used for shock value.

Kimberly Mayer is a USFalumnus.

Offer victims and families hope, prayer

It was an ordinary day in New York City: Workers made their way to their offices, tourists visited the tall monuments and city dwellers made their way through downtown Manhattan. Then, in an instant, Sept. 11, 2001, became a day no one will ever forget. A day that will forever be known as ?911.?

At 8:45 a.m., the North Tower of the World Trade Center was hit by a plane and caught on fire immediately. About 18 minutes later, just enough time for the cameras to show up, a second plane purposely flew into the South Tower, exploding immediately on impact, setting the second tower on fire. Exactly one hour after the first impact on the WTC, a third plane flew into the Pentagon. Suddenly, this was no longer a terrorist attack on the WTC. It became an ?attack on America.?

As the world around me started to crash, one thought kept going through my mind: Is my uncle OK? I knew that my Uncle Barry worked in the WTC sometimes and did not know whether he was there when it was hit and then collapsed.

When I woke up Wednesday morning, I found out he was there. After the first plane crashed, he called his wife, my Aunt Judy, and told her he was OK. No one has heard anything from or about him since.

My story is not uncommon. Thousands of people around the world are experiencing mixed thoughts and emotions as they wait to hear from or about their family and friends.

Waiting is not easy. On one hand, you are hoping and praying your loved one will be OK. On the other, you are continuing to hear stories about the numerous bodies being found as the death count rises. Holding onto good thoughts is difficult. You keep thinking ?What if?? But ?what if?? is too much to bear. So you just keep on going about your day, praying and hoping as you continue to work, drive, go to school, eat, write or report the ongoing developing stories about this tragic event.

The event has been called ?the second Pearl Harbor,? but it has also been considered worse than Pearl Harbor because of the number of victims and because most of the victims are civilians.

There are many questions going through the minds of Americans, as well as others around the world, other than just worrying about loved ones: Who attacked us? How and when will we find them and punish them? Is this the start of another war? Along with many other questions that may not have any answers.

All we can do is continue to watch, listen and read the news. All we can do is pray for the victims and their families. All we can do is wait and see. And that is the hardest thing of all to do.

Andrea Buginsky is a USF student.

Distraught by photo in Oracle

I, along with several classmates, was distraught by the picture of the man falling to his death in Wednesday?s Oracle. I am almost positive editor in chief Kevin Graham took the media ethics course and discussed, with the instructor, tasteful ways to make your point using photos placed in The Oracle.

You could have chosen a more suitable picture than the one you chose or perhaps you should have shown the shot at a distance.

Many of us watched the devastating actions over and over again and did not need to have in print, a picture such as this. I hope the next time you decide on a picture to place in the newspaper, it is done in better taste.

Terri Medina is a senior majoring in mass communications.