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Forum, 09-23-03-letter to the editor
I write in response to the editorial entitled “BYU poorly represents spirit of BYU.” While I do not excuse the behavior of BYU students as they applauded at inappropriate times during Helen Thomas’ address, I firmly believe it was their right and duty to walk out on a speech that they found offensive.

We are often taught that if we find a movie offensive, we should leave instead of “digesting the [movie] and trying to understand the [director’s] point of view.”

I am disappointed that students automatically ignored Thomas’ views on the war in Iraq because she did raise valid concerns. However, her overbearing negativity toward conservative beliefs encouraged me to leave with my friends

If Thomas honestly didn’t realize that she was speaking to a very conservative audience, then her lack of research is a disgrace to good journalism. I am more inclined to believe that she carefully scripted the most anti-conservative speech she could. Note that she opted to shuffle notes instead of using the teleprompt, implying that she did not wish to release her speech to BYU.

What Thomas apparently didn’t realize was that at BYU, we often see things as “right or wrong, black or white.” Hence, when she tried to insult President Bush by accusing him of such things, we did applaud the president for being “the most conservative president” and for his strong moral stand. If such things are “much less than complimentary,” I hope that nobody will ever give me a compliment.

In conclusion, I would say Helen Thomas poorly represents the spirit of liberalism. She intentionally said things that would obviously not be well received by what is arguably the nation’s most conservative student body. “What this demonstrated, is that many [liberals] validate the stereotypes [BYU students] impose on [non-conservative viewpoints].”

Jo-Pete Nelson
Flagstaff, AZ

uploaded Wed September 24 2003 at 11:05 PM
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