Pierson College master should be commended for speaking out

To the Editor:

I strongly disagree with the opinion piece by Kristina Mois, “Nazi symbols no more than harsh reminders” (2/26), regarding the recent appearance of a swastika on Old Campus. In this article, it is claimed “we should not assume that the author or wearer of a historically evil symbol endorses that evil,” and that the swastika may have been intended simply to remind the Yale community of the atrocities done by the Nazi regime. It is utterly unfathomable that this was the case. Whoever placed this symbol on our campus was certainly aware of the impact it would have on people and the manner in which it would be interpreted by the community. A person wishing to remind others of an act that he or she sees as evil would not choose a manner of expression that would be interpreted as an endorsement of the very act being condemned.

While there may be “no such thing as a right to not be offended” in the legal or constitutional sense, there is a certain basic human dignity belonging to all people that ought to be respected. To knowingly display a symbol that would be seen as an endorsement of the cold-blooded murder of millions of people who committed no crime other than merely existing is a serious abuse of this dignity. Whether it is anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, homophobia or any other type of hateful behavior, it is fitting and proper for the community to declare that this sort of incident directly contradicts the values for which it stands. This is exactly what Pierson College Master Goldblatt has called for, and he deserves to be commended.

David Golub

Feb. 26

The writer is a sophomore in Ezra Stiles College.

Comments

  • Uniformity

    You mean for posting an email in response to the appearance of grafitti "containing a crude racial epithet along a wall outside the York Street entrance to Pierson College on" a Tuesday morning in October of last year. Or his posting an email in response to the Women's Center "situation."
    He was right to send an email about the swastikas, an utterly deeply unacceptable act, but I wish that one who makes an appeal and expects the empathy OF others would be the first to provide such sympathy TO others.
    I think Master G is great, I think many alumni love Master G -- I just hope he more uniformly vocal.