Letters to the Editor 2/19

Don’t focus solely on commercialism

The column about the “anti-Valentine’s Day” supporters was both humorous and entertaining.

I’m one of those people who looks at holidays in a more in-depth and historic way. For example, I don’t celebrate Christmas because most Westerners do but because I am a Christian and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I don’t just present people with green and red packages, but I also go to church. I know it’s not the birth of Santa.

I feel the same way with Valentine’s Day. I have spent most of my life’s Valentine’s Days as a single person, and it really did not matter because I have friends. Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers but also for those who like giving love. Historically, it was a pagan ritual turned religious.

Pope Gelasius chose St. Valentine to represent this holiday, as opposed to the pagan god Luperus, and it eventually turned into a more romantic holiday. I do not believe that Hallmark cards were around during the early times of Valentine’s Day and, if they were, then I might be convinced that commercialism is the reason why this holiday is around.

So, the quote from Xiaoxin Lu that the “primary motive behind Valentine’s is money” sounded ludicrous to me. I have nothing against her cause but, of course, the quote was not factual.

I agree with Higgins that Valentine’s Day is not just for couples. I’ve always enjoyed the company and love I get from my friends and that’s something to celebrate.

If you hate Valentine’s Day because you don’t believe in the existence of love in any way, shape or form, then you have a pretty logical reason. No one can blame commercialism for the existence of this holiday. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Ben Joyce Belen is a sophomore majoring in civil engineering.

U.N. should not dictate U.S. action

This is in response to the column written by Alex Zesch Tues. Feb. 11.

Since when does the Constitution of the United States say we are to be governed by, or that our national security depends on, the United Nations?

The United Nations has produced several resolutions and placed sanctions against Iraq but, as of yet, has not enforced them. The United Nations is a paper tiger and is beginning to become a non-player in matters that count.

On the matter of the United States dropping atomic bombs on Japan, you have really shown your ignorance here. Japan attacked America and started a war. On all the islands we fought the Japanese, they fought to the last man. Their belief system had them willing to die for the emperor.

We faced a decision of either invading the main islands of Japan or dropping the bomb. It was estimated that to invade would cost the United States more than a million casualties and the Japanese several million.

We had to drop two bombs because the Japanese refused to surrender after the first one. In light of this information, what was the better decision?

My father survived three years of fighting in the Pacific as a Marine and was slated to be part of the invasion of Japan. His chance of survival was less than one percent. Think of all the people who would have suffered.

Saddam Hussein needs to be dealt with now, before he is capable of doing more than he has in the past. He has gassed his own people, and his army did terrible things to the Kuwaiti people. Wake up, Zesch, time is wasting.

Gary Stanley is a senior majoring in secondary education.

Crime classification is situational

I am writing in response to Friday’s letter to the editor regarding the University Police’s judgment on the MLK vandalism issue written by Justin Keen. Keen contends that UP is aware of the laws and definitions of hate crimes, and he supports their decision to classify the vandalism of the MLK statue as just criminal mischief.

Just because Florida statute says this and that, doesn’t necessarily mean it applies to USF. If the same incident were to happen at Ebenezer Baptist Church and MLK museum in Atlanta, it would have been classified as a hate crime, furthermore, if this were to happen at a mosque in Tampa Bay, it also would have been classified as a hate crime.

This incident happened on USF campus, and that is why they are taking the incident lightly, which upsets me. Of course, UP is going to agree with the Florida statutes that Keen has put forth; classifying the incident as a hate crime would result in bad publicity surrounding the school, which UP is trying to avoid. Any criminal can change his or her motives if faced with charges. The bottom line is the person who did this specifically sought out the MLK statue and vandalized it. He or she could have vandalized anything around the Marshall Center and that would have clearly been criminal mischief.

Why would the MLK statue be a target otherwise? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rallied for peace and equality. Someone who is committing a hate crime would be against those beliefs. So how can this incident not be classified as a hate crime?

As a USF student, I am disgusted with UP’s actions and the argument that Keen has tried to put forth. Perhaps Keen and the UP should get together and contact the staff at the MLK museum in Atlanta to inquire whether vandalism at their establishment is classified as a hate crime or merely criminal mischief.

Shani Jefferson is a graduate student in the school of mass communications.