I will see what happens. If I am called into the office, I will explain, as briefly as possible, why it is a violation of my civil rights. I will explain, briefly, that I consider it to have the smackings of a conflict of interest for the college. I will offer to discuss it with higher ups. But I will not negotiate this one. If it affects my grade adversely, I will protest. I did the assignment. I did not let them mail the letter. If I want it mailed, I will do so myself, at the urging of my own conscience, which is, in my opinion, the only reason that people should be politically active.
I have a number of reasons that I am taking this stand. Mostly though, I am doing it because of this: (a snippet from a column) "Cara is in Korea, at Daegu University. She was gathered up, along with all the other students and bused to an ‘event’. It turns out that this was a government/university backed propaganda event. Korea and Japan have disputed the ownership of Dokdo Island, which the Japanese refer to as Takeshima Island. The college president got up to speak, citing a long list of ‘proof’ of Korean ownership. Then a Korean student dressed in a kimono which had been cut immodestly short, and tottered around the stage as students laughed. Japan was being portrayed as a prostitute. Some students gave speeches that they had been paid for. Patriotic tee-shirts were offered to all students. “Dokdo is Korea Land!” The students were whipped into a frenzy of patriotism and that chant rang throughout the stadium, again and again. Cara sat in the midst of the international students watching all of this, and was horrified. The culture of Japan was mocked repeatedly during the 5 ½ hour event and at one point, it was suggested that Japan’s tsunami and earthquakes were divine retribution. “Dokdo is Korea Land!” Students with their Dokdo tee-shirts went through the crowd stirring up the chant once more.
The foreign students sat stunned at this display. Some of the Japanese students cried. Muhammed started it. He began to chant: “Dokdo is Pakastani land!” Defiantly, Cara joined with him. “Dokdo is America land!” The other foreign students joined in to support the Japanese students. Dokdo became Africa land, and India land. Dokdo became everyone’s land.
Their behavior was not missed. The president of Daegu University stood behind them listening.
But Cara wasn’t finished. The incident was discussed on facebook. The university wished to speak to the angry American students. Cara refused to go. Another student who did go said that the university explained: “People who make this very bad. They away now but probably be punished when they come back.” He asked why the president had no power to control the behavior of his own staff. The college official sadly shook his head at the bad behavior of everyone else. Jim was not impressed.
I listened as Cara vented her outrage on the phone. I was proud of her courage and told her so. She was glad that she lived in a country where something like that could not happen, where a person was free to believe how they wanted to believe. I agreed with her out loud, but privately I found myself wondering if this is even true anymore." (end of snippet)
My daughter does live in a country where something like this cannot happen. This is America.
LATE EDIT: Oooh. Today went so very not well at all. I'm a little shocked at just how badly it went, and I'm discouraged.