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Tattletales for an Open Society | The Nation

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Tattletales for an Open Society

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I am a PhD student and instructor of history at West Virginia University. I am writing in an effort to publicize the threat I present to the American Way.

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XXXSLTSUXXXsect; I took part in an anti-war march from the WVU student union to the Monongalea County courthouse.

XXXSLTSUXXXsect; I cautioned my students (on the Friday following September 11) to repudiate nativism, jingoism, and any notion of collective guilt particularly in regard to persons of Arab, Middle Eastern, Central Asian or any other descent, and noted that Islam is no more guilty of the crimes of September 11 than is Christianity of the Oklahoma City bombing.

XXXSLTSUXXXsect; I taught my students that American history is not (or at least not just) a story of brave and noble men and women striving for perfection in a promised land. In fact, I made a special point of slavery, the slaughter of the Indians, the subjugation of women and the struggles of the lower classes for economic and political freedom.

I realize that I am not the biggest threat faced by patriotic American heroes, but I do tend to eschew violence in all its forms and tell true stories about the history of this country. Surely that is worth something!

GREGORY L. McDONALD
West Virginia University

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I wish to submit myself for inclusion in the ACTA list. I am a homemaker, and as such, I am my children's first and best teacher. I have discussed the current "War on Terrorism" in depth with my children. I have challenged them to explain to me how the deaths of innocent people in another country will avenge our own innocent dead. I refuse to fly the flag on my house. I have explained the meaning of "jingoism" to my children. Surely I am a dangerous subversive, and guilty of eroding our national unity!

JULIA VAN DYKE
Colorado Homemaker

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I must declare myself. On January 11, 2002, I remarked openly to an employee of the federal government that as best I was able to determine, on the basis of historical knowledge and evidence, the United States did not appear to be fighting any kind of "war" at all.

AJ PLOTKE, PhD
Great War Primary Documents Archive

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I admit it, I believe in human rights, the Bill of Rights and our precious civil liberties. What's more, I believe that our society would be far better off if we taught children about their civil liberties instead of the shameless manipulation of their beings that has become the order of the day in so many classrooms. The work I have done has taught me that many educators fear teaching students about their civil rights because they think somehow that chaos would ensue if young people were well informed of the rights guaranteed to them by our Constitution. No wonder, then, that it is so easy now for rights to be limited or taken away without any sort of public outcry. In addition, creating lists such as the one created by ACTA has the effect of making people fear speaking out in protest to what's happening. The only way to defeat such actions is for every one of us--all university faculty--to stand up proudly and say "Add my name to the list, please!"

BARBARA LANDAU
Associate Professor, University of Redlands

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Although I now teach at a Canadian university, I was recently an Assistant professor of sociology and political science at Johns Hopkins University. I am still a US citizen.

I have repeatedly criticized the US war on terrorism in recent weeks, typically in front of my undergraduate lecture class, "The Sociology of State Repression." I have said on a number of occasions that global inequality breeds terrorism; that the US is also guilty of significant war crimes; and that these crimes are rarely covered in US newspapers.

I published two articles critical of US foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. In both, I argued that the effect of US-led sanctions on Iraq has been horrific, and that this is the source of much anti-US sentiment in the Arab world. I also said that US support for Israeli land colonization policies is another cause of Arab sentiment.

I plan to continue to make such statements as often as possible.

JAMES RON
Canada Research Chair in Conflict and Human Rights
Department of Sociology, McGill University

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I would like to submit my name to ACTA's prestigious list. I am an American Studies graduate student at Lehigh University studying Marxist theory and media criticism. Since 9/11 I have helped organize and participate in several teach-ins on campus. I also designed and penned flyers which were distributed all through campus denouncing the coming "War on Terror" as well as informing students and faculty to the history behind 9/11, US state-sponsored terrorism, and the war on drugs (which is crucially linked to the war on terror). Despite being mauled each day by signs and bumper stickers which denounce my politics (and denounce democracy at that!) I will still continue to speak my mind and stay true to the Marxist dialectical form of understanding. I feel the words of Antonio Gramsci are extremely pertinent to radicals and true progressives right now: "Illusion is the most tenacious weed in the collective consciousness; history teaches, yet has no pupils.

JOSH HONN
Graduate student, American Studies
Lehigh University

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I want to alert ACTA that--though they have appointed themselves to monitor faculty and alumni--there are many itinerant agitators on American campuses. I occasionally teach and lecture on college campuses and have made a number of statements in recent months about the immorality and hypocrisy of our current military aggression. In fact, I made statements about the illegitimacy of the President's election well before he started this war. I'm very likely to do this again in lectures and classes this spring. Please don't limit your organization's venue to those privileged to hold tenure or academic appointments, but keep an eye on other intellectuals, scholars, activists and artists in our communities.

SALLIE TISDALE, writer
Portland, Oregon

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