To the Editor:
In response to the removal of the sign in Durfee Hall (“Hate sign removed from Durfee Hall,” 10/30), the freedom of expression of these students should not be stifled just because their view is offensive or unpopular; such tyranny of the majority has no place at an academic institution like Yale, where all sides are allowed to be represented.
But their decision to place the sign in a dormitory, which ideally should resemble the comfort and security of a home, was inconsiderate and did not accommodate for the Muslim and ethnic students who may have felt antagonized by the genocidal nature of the message.
Although intended to be a joke, the sign may have served as a bitter sign of prejudice to minorities who were forced to pass by it every day on the way to class, thereby adding an unnecessary burden of stress to their already stressful lives.
As one of my hallmates said, a more acceptable means for these students to express their opinion would be to host an open forum in which individuals could voluntarily come and discuss the American response to terrorism, even if they find that the solution really is to “Kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out.”
Or, if their aim was not to initiate political discourse but to instead amuse and entertain, these individuals could perform their farce in the privacy of their own room, which avoids broadcasting a potentially offensive message to all members of the community.
These solutions would promote free expression while not senselessly trampling on the feelings of ethnic groups, who may feel unease in this tense international climate.
Adam Click ’05
November 1, 2001
The writer is a contributing reporter for the Yale Daily News