Editor, Daily Nexus,
This is in response to Scott Englund’s letter (Daily Nexus, “Protest Signs Tell More About Liberal Delusions Than Iraqi War,” April 28, 2003). As an employee of the Women’s Center, I would like to firstly explain the signs displayed out front last Wednesday evening. If Englund had looked into the display rather than just viewing and condemning, he would have found that Wednesday was the opening night of the new Women’s Center Art Gallery exhibit for Spring Quarter, “The Art of Protest.” The Women’s Center did not make these signs, they were donated by members of the community and ranged in topics from the war in Iraq to domestic violence and rape. This was not an event held to slander the Bush administration; it was an event celebrating protest in any form.
Englund’s comment about the Women’s Center being out of touch with reality is unfounded and completely inaccurate. One of the functions of the Women’s Center is to encourage all forms of expression from all people and to question mainstream views and societal norms. One may also argue that if anyone is out of touch with reality, it is those who believe the Iraqi people really want us sliding down the banisters in their government buildings or presuming to impose on them our narrow definition of “freedom.”
Englund claims that “opposition to the war in Iraq … is more about liberal dissatisfaction than it ever was about oil or pacifism.” As a protestor myself, I would say that most of the dissatisfaction with the Bush administration came from the actions taken against a country that posed a fraction of a threat to us compared to countries like North Korea and Iran, not the other way around.
Celebrating voices of dissent is the purpose of our exhibit this quarter, and censoring any sign or expression Wednesday evening would have completely undermined our goal. I encourage Englund and all members of our UCSB community to come to the Women’s Center and take a firsthand look at the powerful exhibit in the Art Gallery this quarter, along with the many other resources, support groups, rape and violence prevention programs and educational workshops we have to offer.