2002-02-23 / Editorial/Opinion

Remember The Constitution?

Remember The Constitution?

The attack on the World Trade Center has ushered in the "War On Terrorism". The attack has also managed to spark controversy and debate amongst Americans with regard to patriotism and a document known as The Constitution. When appearing at a benefit shortly after the September 11 incident, Richard Gere, a well-known and respected actor, and follower of the Dali Lama, spoke out against the atrocities of war and noted that it would only bring more death and destruction in the world. The audience booed him mercilessly for more than two minutes after his comments. The concertgoers forgot about the "freedom of speech" provision in the Constitution, and it was a national embarrassment witnessed by millions around the country on a number of cable stations. Similarly, we have published letters regarding political and religious subject matter over the years, and many from the community were deeply offended by them. We opted to print them because we believe that all voices within the community have a right to be heard. Not printing them, because of our personal beliefs or the fear of negative feedback from the community, is tantamount to censorship. There is no doubt that curtailing the threat of terrorism, and maintaining a sense of patriotism, is extremely important, but we must also remember that we were born with rights that most countries do not allow. Speaking out against the war, political upheaval or human rights issues, is one of those rights. To sneer and ridicule those who take such positions is not only detrimental to the country and our existence, but to this landmark document as well.

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