Letters to the Editor: from print issue

Author: Readers

Affirmative Action

Ed Cohen’s article (“Admit by Numbers”) showcased Notre Dame’s endorsement of Michigan’s automatic point entitlement—one based solely upon race. But it did little to illustrate the irony of a Catholic university joining forces with contemporary, secular liberalism. This is the same socialist bedfellow that would eliminate faith-based education in this country, if not faith itself.

Notre Dame and its media avoid the broader debate for three reasons. First, the University deals poorly with conflict; it would rather be loved by all. Second, there is a seldom-spoken understanding on campus that we must pander to our faculty liberals, and even to the uninitiated undergraduates, in order to join the elite of higher education. Last, Notre Dame acknowledges the importance of its conservative following in economic terms only.

If Notre Dame’s “Catholic character” is more than a slogan, the University will respond just as assertively in support of conservative positions when the Supreme Court revisits issues such as the abortion holocaust.

Paul Witkowski, M.D., ’65
South Bend

How would Father Monk Malloy have felt in 1987 if Don Keough, chairman of the board of trustees, had appointed a minority as president because he believed it enriched the educational experience, although Monk was the most qualified? How would Coach Tyrone Willingham have felt if Athletic Director Kevin White had hired a Hispanic simply because he felt there were too few Hispanic coaches? How does a poor white male from Appalachia, fully qualified to attend Notre Dame, feel when his place is given to a black whose father is a corporate executive and has promised to make a large donation? About as bad as I felt when I was the victim of reverse discrimination several times in my corporate career.

R. Peter Price ’63
Pittsford, New York

Football tickets

How nice of Notre Dame to protect us from the big bad ticket scalpers. Your article almost makes me forget how Notre Dame extorts money from me every year in order for me to “earn the privilege” to enter the football ticket lottery. Let’s face it, the University is cracking down on scalpers not because of an altruistic streak but for purely business motives. The reality is that it is cheaper for me to buy two tickets, even at scalpers’ prices than it is for me to “donate” $100 to the annual fund and then “win” the right to purchase two tickets through the ticket office at about $50 per ticket. Notre Dame needs to eliminate scalping to help preserve the cash cow of football tickets.

Brian Potasiewicz ’85
Summit, New Jersey

Iraq and the preemptive strike

Bravo to Robert Schmuhl (“Going Our Way”) for identifying the open-ended threat to America’s moral leadership in the world presented by the ideological fundamentalists in the Bush administration. We devastated a country that had no credible connection to the events of 9/11, while allowing the very infrastructure of terror to reroot itself in Afghanistan and elsewhere. We have weakened nearly to the point of dissolution the institutions and networks of alliances built over the past 60 years at a time when they were never more important. We have transformed ourselves in two short years from being the shining city on the hill, grievously wounded by the enemies of all that is decent, to being a self-absorbed hyperpower bent solely on preserving our own security and our own way of life, regardless of the consequences to the rest of the world.

Michael Hogan’79, ’80
Cambridge, Massachusett

I do believe the United States has earned the right to be the sole judge of the legitimacy of preemptive attacks. No other country can be trusted to defend us or even assist us in our time of need. Without the United States taking the lead role in the new world order, the terrorist countries and groups will create so much havoc and misery that the horrific attacks of 9/11 could pale by comparison. We may have a one-time opportunity to stand strong and you, unwittingly, are helping to tear the fabric of our great country.

Rich Rothschild
Garden City, New York

The Bush action against Iraq with an unmoving United Nations and the safety and security of the people of the United States (and the world) in doubt was courageous. We can agree that nobody likes war, killing and bloodshed, but someone in the world must step up to protect the people against these threats. If not us, who? The United States has a right, even a duty, to militarily dismantle this particular tyranny.

Robert Armstrong ’60
Farmington Hills, Michigan

After graduating from Notre Dame I served three years in the Navy on a carrier in the Far East and as a bomb disposal officer. I have lived through World War II, the Korean War, McCarthyism and the Vietnam War, but I have never been afraid for our country’s ultimate survival as a free and economically healthy nation before now. I can only hope that our citizens can find leaders more worthy of the country’s founders’ hopes than the ones we have.

Bert L. Metzger Jr. ’55

Professor Schmuhl’s implicit defense of the wicked regime of Saddam Hussein, and his sympathy for Arab terror, is abhorrent and despicable. His evil brings shame to American scholarship and to the University. He should burn in hell for eternity for the terrorism he advocates.

Patrick Syring ’79
Arlington, Virginia