After reading Ivan Perez’s column, (“Harsh Politics Harbor Sexism, Racism and Homophobia,” Daily Nexus, May 15, 2002), I feel that it is now time for UCSB administration to set aside some time each day for “naptime.” It is obvious that Perez and his like are cranky individuals who need to be better rested (and educated) before they brave the cruel world.
My proposal for “naptime” aside, there are several other more disturbing points Perez made that should not go without contention. Perez is guilty of a new trend in American universities that has been dubbed “PC McCarthyism.” The name stems from the behavior in Left Wing groups and sympathizers to be hypersensitive, race-baiters who whine and complain about any contesting opinion regarding politics and racial matters, then attempt to squelch free speech. While most attempts to censor speech used to come from the far right, today it comes from the left.
At the University of South Carolina, left-leaning administrators are seeking to create a speech code as to not offend anyone. At UC Berkeley a class appeared in the fall catalog that advised “conservative” students to seek other classes. And even at UCSB, Eneri Rodriguez, our external vice president for statewide affairs, decreed the College Republicans’ American Heroes lecture series as “hate-speech.” Could she think of nothing intellectual to say, or are fancy politically correct buzzwords all she has in her arsenal? What “PC McCarythites” seem to not understand is that you do not have a right not to be offended! In fact, it is impossible in a free society that honors free speech.
So when Perez writes in his opinion that, “racism, homophobia, greed and hate are still alive and well,” I would happen to agree with him. However, I would point my finger at him and his comrades. After all, who are the ones who make race the central issues to everything? Who are the ones that feel college admissions and jobs should be based on race rather than talent? Certainly not “right-wingers, College Republicans, Gauchoholics.” We do not believe in ethnocentrism; we believe in equality. Additionally, Perez’s disclaimer that opened his column was truly pathetic. It was akin to beginning this column by saying that I wasn’t going to spend the whole column calling Perez a big baby, only to do it throughout.
The fact remains that Perez has appointed himself judge, jury and executioner by insinuating that College Republicans and Gauchoholics were responsible for the damage done to Eneri Rodriguez’s and Ana Rizo’s offices. He offers no proof and runs his mouth continuously at the expense of the reader’s ears.
Personally, I’m glad the A.S. Initiative didn’t pass. It keeps money out of the pockets of the irresponsible types who caused the budget crunch. And Perez is right – it won’t affect the College Republicans because we’re a near self-sufficient group. Translation: We don’t see UCSB students as The Bank of College Republicans where we can go make a withdrawal each time we need money. We have more respect for the wallets of students and want to see a smaller student government that works on student issues, not writing meaningless position papers announcing boycotts.
My advice to UCSB students is to be careful of types like Perez. He and his colleagues are so convinced of the validity of their arguments, they are willing to do anything to silence opposition. By stating your beliefs you may too be called racist and homophobic but nevermind. The good news is that “PC-McCarythites” will spend the rest of their days hanging around universities trying to mold the United States into a proletariat revolution, while the rest of us go out into the world to make something of our lives.
Jeff Farrah is the chairman of the College Republicans at UCSB and a junior political science major.