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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Understanding and Respect

To the Editor:

If I had the opportunity I would ask Mr. Chodes this: what would happen if we Amercians actually did think about the ramifications of our government’s policies in other countries? What might result? Increased understanding? The implication is that understanding breads inaction, passivity. I do not concur with this assumption.

Action results from understanding just as surely as it does from the impulses of rage and revenge, only it tends to look different. This is the form of action I believe Mr. Rossi was extolling us to take-to look unflinchingly at our government’s policies (that seems fair enough, doesn’t it?) and to assume responsibility for those policies (much like what I try to teach my children).

History has afforded us the luxury of seeing time and again that bigger bombs don’t bring peace-they bring more destruction. The ‘end’ comes when there isn’t enough bodies left standing and then we say one side ‘won’. The reality here, beyond even understanding what may have caused the events of September 11 (and somehow I’m not convinced it was bin Laden’s hatred of the US’s equality for women), is that “bombing Afganistan back into the Stone Age” (as has so oft been quoted) isn’t even a possibility; it’s already been done (see Tamim Ansary’s article, reprinted in The Mass Media, 9/27/01).

Interestingly, Colonel Harvey R. Greenberg, US Air Force (retired) suggested a different approach: “There will never be enough bombs, planes or commandos to root out the few thousand” responsible for the horrible tragedy in New York. What he proposes instead is that we use our planes to “drop leaflets. Lots of leaflets…(about) why America was founded…(and) how our society works…” And “… dropping off some food, medicine, and clothing wouldn’t hurt either.” (The Boston Globe, September 28, 2001).

Maybe Mr. Chodes believes calling each other names when we disagree is constructive, but I don’t see how. What the heck-let the understanding and respect begin right here at home. That surely will not undermine our democracy, but it may save it.

Elizabeth M. Ginga

CAS ’02