To the Editor:

Meghan Clyne’s column last Wednesday (“Face the facts, we’re an empire: but is that such a bad thing?,” 2/19) absolutely enraged me, as I’ll admit her column usually does. The kind of destructive, self-righteous ignorance Clyne demonstrates in her last piece is intolerable.

The notion that American imperialism has a tradition of “selflessness” is absurd and flat-out inaccurate. Imperialism and colonialism are inextricably intertwined with violence and genocide.

Clyne asks “Is it really so bad that Spanish imperialism ended human sacrifices in Latin America?” Well gee, no! Let’s just conveniently forget that the Spanish exterminated ninety-five percent of the indigenous people of Latin America in Mexico alone. You’re right, Meghan — a civilization founded on racist brutality, stolen land, racist genocide, and slavery is clearly more humane.

The ideology of manifest destiny that Clyne illustrates in her article is dangerous. Clyne’s blind cheerleading for imperialist governments is the kind of sentiment that has led to disaster in the past.

Laura Hess ’06

February 21, 2003