Letter: Learn some history

By The Daily Illini

What once was a mindless ritual of my freshman daily schedule has, over the years, become a most disappointing aspect of my senior one. The Daily Illini is slowly losing its intellectual credibility.

Once again, Jon Monteith has written a column on Tuesday – so full of whine and devoid of any intellectual reasoning whatsoever – that it almost is entertaining, in a patronizing sort of way, of course. His response to racism is that of the lost child who wants sweet revenge while at the same time being careful not to provoke too much trouble, lest the authoritative “parents” find out. Upon analyzing his column, one realizes that he has neither a course of action nor any style of intellectual query that will lead him to one. His ignorance leads to two probable conclusions: He is not a student of history, nor is he a perennial victim of racism.

I urge Mr. Monteith to study the annals of history and learn of the successful movements to counter the racist waves of hate. Perhaps he will learn that the true heroes of the cause did just what his wise mother advised: take the higher road. To do the opposite is to fail as history teaches us, not only because of lost credibility from the initial victim’s side, but also because the guilty are not persuaded through hate – an aspect of morality that no doubt Mr. Monteith is not familiar with; if his earlier ultra-radical articles are to give any clue of the heart. The old adage sums it best: Hate begets hate. However, the power of love is enduring and lingers in the imagination; it is the only agent that has improved a once-heartless society. Dr. King understood it, as did many others; Mr. Monteith does not.

As a minority, I personally wonder if Mr. Monteith has ever experienced racism himself and not vicariously through comedians. The ones who have suffered ought to and usually do know better. My guess is that the writer in question is one of those ever-growing idealist breeds that fight for change so adamantly without ever contemplating the potential negative effects of their struggles.

Perhaps I am hard on Mr. Monteith – this I will concede. Regardless of the argument however, I am still ashamed that the DI continues to allow obviously limited writers to have their say on a forum that so many regard in a high light.

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Poor journalism is one of the greatest sins of a democratic world. Step it up, people! If you need some real writers, a group of us are but an e-mail away.

Daniel Saeedi

senior in LAS