Letters to the Editor: Media Coverage Unfairly Stigmatizes Berkeley



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It is nice to know that someone out there in the Daily Cal is paying attention to how the students feel truly about Sept. 11 ("Berkeley and the Media," Sept. 13).

As far as I'm concerned, I don't give a damn about those ribbons, whether they were white, or red, white and blue. The last time I checked, patriotism wasn't about what ribbons you wear, but how you feel about your country. Wearing a ribbon or waving a flag isn't enough to qualify for patriotism.

As for the lefties and righties on this campus, don't you realize that there are over 30,000 students on this campus? Here is a news flash: A majority of the students don't care about politics.

What I love most about this campus is how apathetic it has become about politics. Unfortunately, the miniscule minority has managed to make it seem we still do.

Mario Factor


UC Berkeley student

Nice column on the Sept. 11 ribbon issue ("Berkeley and the Media," Sept. 13). I graduated from UC Berkeley in 1981. Kevin Deenihan is correct regarding mass student movements. Those haven't existed since the 1960s. During my entire professional career, I've had to deal with the "Berkeley radical" nonsense from my co-workers. The "radical" notion is a stereotype whipped up by right-wingers and continuously flogged by their friends in the media.

I'm not ashamed of my UC Berkeley pedigree. Deenihan has done everyone a service by pointing out that all UC Berkeley students aren't idealogues and members of a revolutionary student brigade.

Dave Lowrey


UC Berkeley alumnus

Self-Segregated Groups

As a former Californian from Walnut Creek, I was saddened to read your article on the disparate student orientations taking place at UC Berkeley ("New Students Take Part in Idiosyncratic Orientations," Sept. 13).

It seems that an institute like UC Berkeley would want to integrate as many groups as they can into a cohesive student body that still incorporates diversity of all types: religious, economic, racial, sexual, political, etc. Instead, it seems that the campus has embraced de facto self-imposed segregation by offering individually tailored orientation programs (although it seems interesting that this is only done on the ethnic level). Is segregation then only wrong if imposed by a government, but acceptable and even moral if organized at the grassroots level?

If we are trying to work toward a truly color-blind society, it seems counter-productive to cast young people into pre-determined categories based on skin color.

While I understand that African-Americans may have some cultural views that are idiosyncratic to their race, just as whites and Latinos may have similar idiosyncrasies, race is not necessarily the dominating factor. Perhaps Latinos and African-Americans from an upper-middle class background have more in common with one another than with those from a lower class economic background. Thus, by the current system's outcomes, diversity is not achieved while at the same time it fails to categorically bring about a "familiar" sense of community. In total, though, I fear that such a process that UC Berkeley now seems to employ simply further segregates young people at a time when racial issues are still prominent.

Robert Peters


Arlington, Va.

Misleading Headline

Headlines like this; what's wrong with you people ("Opponent of Pledge of Allegiance Speaks, Sings at UC Berkeley," Sept. 12)?

All it takes is about five or 10 minutes to actually understand what it is Michael Newdow is against; it is not the pledge of allegiance but Congress's 1954 addition of the words "under God" to what used to be an otherwise acceptable and secular pledge. A very big thump on the head to the idiot who came up with this unnecessarily contentious headline.

People who don't even take the time or initiative to understand the issues about which they are writing are a disgrace to journalism.

Jeff Schrepfer


Boalt Hall school of law alumnus

Futuristic Fantasies

I'm sorry to have to say this, but any computer-controlled vehicle that runs in traffic is preposterous ("Driverless Buses Make Commutes Safe, Efficient," Sept. 11). Science fiction movie scenes of computer controlled cars exist only in virtual reality; a game of pretend, an entertaining nonsense.

It's disturbing to read the researchers' claim that this concept will make communities safer. Such baloney! There are plenty of concrete methods by which communities can be made safer, but this is not one of them. This is a waste of time and money on an inappropriate technology. The "Gee wiz, space cadets," who've reached maturity, have no business maintaining this fantasy.

It reveals the researchers' mind set to read their statement: "But just going back and forth to work everyday, you don't need to have a human." Oh, really? Why don't we just send the cars with an extra household robot to our workplaces? Like, that would be, like, so cool really. Like, you know?

Art Lewellan


Portland, Ore.

Keep Tedford a Bear

As a senior who has always been in the student section through increasingly depressing times, I almost don't know how to handle the Cal football team's success. It's almost like we're too good. By that I mean I'm worried about the possible ramifications of this sudden turnaround. Namely, I worry that Jeff Tedford will jump ship the second he gets a good offer.

Just look at his story. He led Oregon to incredible success as its offensive coordinator. The next natural step was to prove he could hack it as a head coach. That question has clearly been answered.

So now the next natural step for him is to prove himself on a bigger stage just as Tyrone Willingham, former Stanford coach, is now doing at Notre Dame.

So what do we do? Cal needs to give Tedford more reasons than just money to coach in the confines of Memorial Stadium. He needs something more than money to stay. He needs to start loving Cal.

We need to make it so Tedford can't leave Cal when the next attractive offer comes. First of all, we must pack Memorial Stadium. If Tedford looks around the stadium on Saturday against Air Force and sees many an empty seat, why should he stay? Secondly, we need to start worshipping the man. Nothing makes someone more satisfied than the feeling as if they are important to others. In other words, start making those "Tedford is God" signs. Mic men: come up with a Tedford cheer.

Justin Christensen


UC Berkeley student

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