Scrolling Headlines:

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

Think before You Inveigh

We’re all quick to jump to conclusions. Whether we’re self-declared liberals or conservatives, registered Democrats, Republicans or Independents, we don’t hesitate to criticize the other side. When Warren Buffet wrote an op/ed piece “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” FOX News erupted into a continuous invective, labeling him a socialist.

Conservatives have dubbed President Barack Obama similarly without any basis. First of all, the stigma associated with the concept of socialism is manufactured and on top of that, these accusations are unwarranted. One could deem it to be a form of demagoguery, with the conservatives appealing to big corporations and vested interests.

For more instances of unwarranted criticism, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann provides quintessential examples. She never thinks twice about criticizing people or ideas. She doesn’t even pause to examine the evidence or lack thereof. Right after the Republican debate in Florida on Sept. 12, she insinuated that the HPV vaccine that Texas Governor Rick Perry mandated in Texas caused mental retardation. She never apologized for her heretic statement, but instead she based her claim on an audience member’s story.

Like most of the contenders for the Republican ticket, Bachmann too jumps at every opportunity to criticize Obama. Unlike her serious competitors Mitt Romney, Perry and Ron Paul, she fails to meet a standard of sensibility. When Obama recently announced that the troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year, as planned, Bachmann said “We should have demanded that Iraq repay the full cost of liberating them given their rich oil revenues.” She conveniently forgets that Iraq never requested help and that asking for oil as repayment would look grossly crass in the eyes of the Arab world. Plus, the last time repayment was forced after a conflict it didn’t work out too well (World War II). Now, if you’re a liberal, you’re likely to be at least slightly miffed by all this invidious dialogue. But how many people look at the flipside?

Perry was recently criticized for owning a hunting camp whose name purportedly contained a racial slur. Various publications condemn him for being racist because of this, but there is a glaring lack of evidence. Perry said that the rock displaying the name of the camp was painted over in 1984 and a game warden recalled seeing the unpainted rock between 1980 and 1990. Most sources say they saw it in the 1980s except one source who ‘believed’ he saw it around 2008, but that could very well be false.

While people throw around words such as ‘racist’ and hint that Perry is intolerant, his policy initiatives belie such notions. He recently executed a white supremacist convicted of an abhorrent and gruesome hate crime. You may not agree with the death penalty, but Perry does and he signed a bill that meted out stricter punishments for hate crimes. One of his more tolerant policies has come under fire within the GOP – his choice to provide in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants. Moreover, Wallace Jefferson, the first African American Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court was appointed by Perry.

All of these things point away from Perry’s supposed racism. Sure, he may be a radical conservative and a bigot in some regard, but that by no means is reason enough to jump on the criticism bandwagon. Criticism shouldn’t be gratuitously unjust; it should be warranted and proportionate.

Nikhil Rao is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at nrao@student.umass.edu

 

Comments
3 Responses to “Think before You Inveigh”
  1. Bobby says:

    Good Stuff Nikhil

  2. nikhil says:

    Thank you.

  3. shubha says:

    good one!

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