Radical Right on Campus

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submitted by: Erin Knapp, member of PRIDE and Downer Feminist CouncilOn Monday, April 22, a group of anti-gay, anti-choice radicals visited our campus. They illegally entered dorms and slipped under students’ doors brochures advocating discrimination against gays in housing (because Jeffrey Dahmer was gay) and compared homosexuality to bestiality, among other accusations. Outside, the group distributed anti-choice brochures, which made an emotional appeal to students by using 100-year-old Margaret Sanger quotes to justify denying women the right to choose. These were inflammatory, emotional appeals to population they deemed susceptible to persuasion. Congratulations to the students who took a stand by debating with the protesters and not being afraid to speak their minds.

Lawrence students don’t want to be told what to think. We want to get the facts and make up our own minds. Here’s a fact: a person can be both anti-abortion and pro-choice. Here’s another: Jeffrey Dahmer was gay, but so was Abraham Lincoln. Would these protesters have denied Lincoln the White House because of his sexuality? Ultimately, we make up our own minds based on the information available to us. We can question those who offer radical perspectives, and we can tell trespassers who enter our residence halls and selectively distribute anti-gay propaganda that they must follow the laws that were designed to protect us.

If you are wondering about any of the “facts” cited on the brochures, ask questions. The brochures look professional, but just because it’s printed, doesn’t mean it must true. Groups like those rely on people not asking questions for their success. If you want to see for yourself the faces of pro-choice men and women on this campus and find out how it is that we can look at the images of fetuses in those brochures and still whole-heartedly support a woman’s right to choose, stop by a meeting of Downer Feminist Council on Wednesdays at 9:00 PM in the Diversity Center. We appreciate differences of opinion. No matter what your view of this event, we welcome your participation.

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