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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Katherine Kersten's Korner

Wow, big surprise. This week, we learn that Katherine Kersten poo-poos those wicked student activists from the 1960s. In other news, the sky is blue and water is wet.

Wingnuttia Level: 5 (Picking and choosing of facts ahead)

Here's the jist of it: in 1969, a number of students from the Afro-American Action Committee and the Students for a Democratic Society invaded Morrill Hall and demanded an Afro-American studies department. They engaged in pointless destruction and vandalism. University President Malcolm Moos, who coined the term "Military-industrial complex" and now has a building named after him, caved in to the demands to prevent more bloodshed.

Fast forward to today. Recently, the leaders of that takeover were honored by the University. "'We are thankful for you,' Sue Hancock of the university's Office for Multicultural and Academic Affairs told them." Kersten, of course, thinks that lauding criminals is evil, and just sets a bad example. I'm willing to bet that she's going to trash the anti-war protest that will be going on this Friday too.

Personally, I think that wanton destruction and vandalism is stupid. Taking over the University's administration building and trashing it is not very productive. But even though I really don't remember it, I have heard that the 1960s were a pretty volatile time. Race riots all over the country. College students being shot and killed by National Guard troops. It was a time of confrontation, and this confrontation at the University of Minnesota was no different.

Does that mean that all this confrontation was morally good? Maybe not. But unlike Kersten, I think that in many ways this confrontation was necessary, and as a result of this confrontation both sides are much more amenable to sitting down and figuring things out instead of being stubborn. Had students and other people not confronted power structures in the 1960s like they did, we would probably still be living in a very repressive and static society. Or in other words, the exact kind of society that Kersten likes.

Kersten's kolumns really are getting tedious. She doesn't add a whole lot to the debate; you know exactly what she is going to say before she says it. Do I add much to the debate? Hell no. But I'm just a crank with a blog, not somebody writing under the masthead of an old and venerable paper.


At 7:27 PM, April 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone destroys your house or apartment, will you thank them in 37 years?

I am wondering if my taxes actually go to pay that university bureaucrat.


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