Editor, Daily Nexus,
This letter is in direct response to the previous letters about the diversity career fair.
Jonathan Clotworthy argued that asking individuals to boycott military tables is contradictory to an agenda of diversity (“Protesters Miss the Point of Fair With Their Demonstration,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 2). The protesters were not preventing students from talking to employers; they did not impede free movement, free speech or free association but allowed students to learn about all the opportunities present at the fair.
Second, the protesters were asking students to boycott employers who have a history of substantive discrimination. Take the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which expects individuals to conform to cultural standards that reward a small, privileged group. Additionally, the military targets low-income groups and people of color to serve in the lowest ranks. The racism is most blatant when comparing so-called “elite” and “Special Operations” units that are predominantly all white to the front lines composed disproportionately of people of color.
Additionally, Oladapo Okupe argues that engineers who are making new bombs for the U.S. military are protecting the peace by policing hotspots around the globe (“Military Gives Opportunity Through Presence at UCSB,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 2). The U.S. rarely intervenes in conflicts for humanitarian reasons. Rather, the United States has committed over 350,000 troops overseas for “power projection.” The U.S. blocked additional U.N. peacekeepers from entering Rwanda while nearly a million people were being slaughtered. The Somali intervention was pushed through by aid agencies and corporate interests who wanted to pursue “nation building” to secure transnational lines of capital. Even when the United States does intervene, like in Kosovo, they refuse to commit ground troops.
The technological innovations touted as “saving lives” and the alleged procedural strikes made by many UC grads are the real lies. In Kosovo, where the military began using Santa Barbara-based Raytheon’s precision-guided munitions, the U.S. killed the same proportion of civilians per ton of munitions as Operation Rolling Thunder in Vietnam.
The majority of the American public thinks that the war in Iraq is threatening our freedoms, not protecting them.