Iraqi-Hatin’ Asses

A couple Wednesdays ago, 49 hours after Mr. Bush issued his final ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, close to 100 Guilford Students and community members lined up on the corner of Friendly and New Garden with candles and concern to show their misgivings about the impending war. At the same time, about 10 other students (in about four different vehicles) circled the block screaming and waving flags in a very Toby Keith display of patriotism and support for the war. I was going to let it go – but then I saw an ass.
During what was to be the final showdown between the anti- and pro- war demonstrators, a very diplomatic exchange occurred. Five gentlemen in a truck were stopped at a light about to turn left onto Friendly Ave.
“They’re killing Americans over there,” they screamed. “Go home!”
The hippies flashed peace signs. “We love you,” they cried.
“We don’t love you!” The light turned green and the truck sped off. In one final and fleeing act of aggression, a guy in the bed of the truck pulled down his pants and mooned us.
This exchange is ridiculous for a number of reasons.
The pro-war and often conservative faction on this campus wants to be taken seriously. It wants fair and equal access to Guilford’s methods of representation. It wants its side to be considered. Well then, I say to them, step up to the plate and show us you can handle that responsibility.
If you have a point to make, I support giving you the opportunity to express it. You are college-educated men. For the sake of your beliefs and the beliefs of the people you act on behalf of, act like it.
Come to demonstrations prepared to articulate and argue your point intelligently. In classes, I’ve heard some logical sounding (if unconvincing) reasons why one would and should support the United States’ war against Iraq. Congregate and consolidate those reasons. Argue them respectfully and I promise you, you will be taken seriously.
On a campus as polarized as Guilford’s, a very “us against them” sentiment erupts. For example, pro-war flag-wavers lump all anti-war people into one Phish-lovin’ category. If some flag-wavers see one Phish-lover doing something stupid, it affects their opinion of the whole anti-war scene.
It goes the other way too. If one flag-waver moons some protesters, the protesters begin to discredit the entire pro-war scene. I’m not saying this is fair, but it’s what happens. Therefore, everyone should be conscious of the negative consequences their actions could have for people of similar political beliefs. Soon you will have to function in a larger community that doesn’t understand the nuances of grunts and ass-flashing. Thinking is hard. Start practicing.