Letter: Getting it all in

Let’s get one thing straight. Blanket statements without a context to back them up don’t offer any way to thoroughly support your argument. To say that the Black Panthers were murderers is offering up a narrow-minded view of an organization for black rights without showing the realities under which it was formed. The majority of blacks were impoverished, without the opportunity of a decent education or good job. Under those circumstances, it is understandable that a group of frustrated, impoverished blacks, losing hope in the non-violent methods, would turn to a militant organization for freedom.

It is also important to understand the whole story of the Black Panthers. They were an organization working for freedom that brought housing to homeless, jobs to unemployed, and fed 10,000 schoolchildren a day.

It is also worth mentioning that the US Government allowed the murder of countless African Americans throughout the Civil Rights Movement, and murdered members of the Black Panthers themselves.

To say a woman who represented an organization that did good for its community though such extreme resistance by the US government should not be able to speak on campus because of the militant nature of her organization is ridiculous. Not only is it claiming that only centrists should be allowed to speak on campus, but it is denying the right of free speech to a center of learning and exploration of new ideas.

Just because the Black Panthers were radical does not mean their viewpoints should not be expressed, especially in a setting where there is great value placed on questioning and forming opinions on issues in our society. A university is the last place that knowledge should be reduced to only mainstream ideas.

Chrissy Scheller

sophomore in LAS