Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
Reading the school's copy of its own event schedule, it seems there are a number of events focused solely on remembering the tragedy itself:http://news2.marietta.edu/node/1383Saying they are holding the Muslim American cultural events rather than paying tribute seems to misrepresent the school's actual calendar of events.
Regulating flag displays seems a bit overwrought.
To clarify, note that most events focused on the tragedy are hosted by fraternities and College Republicans, which, at least from a Hamilton perspective, are student-run organizations that school administrations rarely acknowledge or proudly associate themselves with. The Office of Diversity & Inclusion is sponsoring Arab-Muslim cultural events, and a faculty and staff lunch on Arab-Muslim tolerance is being held as well. Both of these events are more likely than not paid for by the school. Since one of Marietta College's priorities this summer was hiring its first ever VP of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion,(http://news2.marietta.edu/node/1353), it would be far fetched to conclude that these scheduled 9/11 "memorial" events aren't on some level representative of the overall college administration's perspective on political correctness and American patriotism. Greek societies are self-run and funded by members' dues. The president of Marietta's College Republicans chapter mentioned that their event was made possible because of the work of Young America's Foundation, a (c)(3) that provides resources to conservatives on college campuses.
Question: Should Americans killed overseas in terrorist attacks be commemorated by American flags, or by the flags of the countries where they were killed?
Fair point that many of the other events are being hosted by student organizations and not the administration itself. However, a Hamilton perspective must be two two-sided as I think the administration regularly associates and makes its resources available to groups on campus that are well-organized and are consistent, positive social forces. On our campus this is what makes things like 9/11 remembrance events possible.Second, I may have read too far into one of the comments but is it being suggested that by hosting events centered around Arab-Muslim tolerance, Marietta's administration is somehow representing a lesser form of patriotism?For everything that 9/11 was, I think one of the few points that can be agreed upon is the fact that for different people, that day meant many different things. For a school focused on a "global perspective" to be primarily concerned over how 9/11 changed the working definition of American or how it challenged our role in the international community makes sense. Marietta's attempts to address those questions with forums focused on Arab-Muslim-American relationships both acknowledges and addresses the ways in which 9/11 changed our country and the world. I think a strong argument can be made that one of the best ways to remember 9/11 is to keep a dialogue open.
An appropriate question Mr. L, but I think MC erred in requiring a student group to do so.
Marietta College used its resources for diversity initiatives surrounding 9/11 rather than supporting & improving student initiatives, aka the flag ceremony, remembering the tragedy of our country on that ill-fated day.Patriotism is devoted and loyal support of one's country. The administration required its students to include other flags representing all countries & nationalities that experienced some kind of loss. If they were excluded, the flag ceremony would not take place. That doesn't seem like dedication if it comes with asterisks.An argument for Marietta's temporary 9/11 photo gallery could be made, but not every student will take time out of their day to stop by the campus art gallery. The placing of American flags, like the annual event by Hamilton College Republicans & College Democrats, takes place so that the entire campus can remember & honor America's heroes & fallen. Would the campus atmosphere have that same effect if Marietta College had no flags at all? Or would it equate to Veterans Day at Hamilton when a science professor proudly displays a picture of himself in his military uniform, he asks the class why he is sharing it with them, and no one can provide an answer?At least from where I sit, Marietta College with its "global perspective" sees 9/11 as an attack on diversity & not American ideals. The World Trade Center wasn't attacked because there were people of African, Russian, or Chinese descent in there. American capitalists were in there. Capitalism is one of the undeniable characteristics of the United States. American college administrations in general should have a greater appreciation of their country, a nation whose ideals, liberties, and freedoms guarantee them the right to even hold a "global perspective".
I would agree 9/11 was an attack on American ideals.But does the term "American Ideals" not include a tolerance of diversity? For Marietta to hold these events based around tolerance suggests this is the school's primary concern over the effects of 9/11. While one might disagree on tolerance's value as an American Ideal, this disagreement is not reason to insinuate a lesser degree of patriotism.
'American Ideals' is a very broad term and it may include tolerance of diversity. I would say it also includes free speech, no taxation without representation, the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the notion that power lies in the consent of the governed, that the governed have a right to rebel if a government acts improperly, etc. As the nation remembered the 9/11 attacks this week, I didn't take that opportunity to remind those around me that 'power lies in the consent of the governed and they had the right to rebel against an improper government,' although it is an important American Ideal. To do this would have been inappropriate, for it would take away from and be irrelevant to the main point of the day, which was to remember the thousands of Americans who lost their lives. Likewise, I think it inappropriate that Marietta pushed the tolerance of diversity agenda to the fore on the only day of the year dedicated to remembering the events of 9/11.
I still fail to see the conflict between the teaching of tolerance and the remembering of 9/11. This is not a situation of one or the other. You can express a concern over diversity without disrespecting the victims of the attacks. Furthermore, as I have tried to relay, you can go as far as to honor the victims of the attack by attempting to address an issue raised on that day.Marietta is clearly dealing with one of the direct effects of the attack and seems to be doing so in a respectful manner ie educational forums. What is so inappropriate about this? Perhaps the better question might be what would you have them do instead. What would the ideal college 9/11 schedule look like?
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