Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Twisting the facts
Once again, Katherine Kersten plays fast and loose with the facts -- this time, in her Dec. 13 column regarding the University of Minnesota Law School and military recruiting ("Has U Law School taken up a cause of shaky merit?").
Contrary to any impression Kersten might give, no student at the law school has ever been denied the opportunity to meet with a military recruiter on campus. Rather, the central issue is whether the U.S. military should be exempted from the same rules of fairness that apply to every employer seeking to meet students and use law school facilities.
If any other employer, whether private or public, wished to interview and hire only white or Christian law students, it would not be allowed to do so in the law school building.
However, under the Solomon Amendment, the U.S. military can demand the opportunity to interview on campus, even though its policies would prevent its representatives from ever hiring a single gay or lesbian student.
With the Solomon Amendment, Congress wields its spending power to bribe access for the military and holds the principle of nondiscrimination hostage to its tremendous financial leverage over this nation's universities. This exercise in coercion should shock and concern anyone, let alone someone who purports to consider herself a conservative.
However, this doesn't seem to faze Kersten one bit and lays bare the true intention behind her column, which is to ignore reality and pander to prejudice. Kersten may fantasize that, by opposing the Solomon Amendment, the law school faculty was motivated by some historical antipathy to the military and desire to suppress discussion.
However, through her provocative rhetoric and willful ignorance of the facts, it is Kersten who undermines the principle of equality that should underpin how our government deals with every member of society. And there is nothing conservative about that.
STEVEN MARCHESE, MINNEAPOLIS; DIRECTOR, CAREER AND
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CENTER,
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA LAW SCHOOL
No room for dissent
According to Katherine Kersten, if you receive federal funding you are not allowed to oppose the policies of the federal government. Interesting contention but un-American to its core.
JOHN M. ALLEN, MINNEAPOLIS
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