For those of us that have been at Harvard sometime during the last four years, we are well aware of the bigoted ranting of one Ms. Lucy Caldwell. For the record, "Lucy M. Caldwell, '09, a Crimson editorial writer, lives in Adams House. Her column appears on alternate Wednesdays." Unfortunately, I believe that The Crimson has once again forgotten to include the word "bigoted" in front of "column."
Two weeks ago, Ms. Caldwell wrote a horrific article entitled "Misguided Activism", which chided "gay activists" for protesting the Proposition 8 electoral results. Her article, which can be read here, prompted me to send in the following Letter to the Editor. As of today, it has not been published.
I am disappointed to read Lucy M. Caldwell’s poorly-researched and poorly-reasoned column from Wednesday, November 19, 2008. Ms. Caldwell makes the allegation that “gay Americans are not being denied rights” and that “the push for same-sex marriage is a rally for additional rights.” Perhaps Ms. Caldwell should be reminded that the same argument was once used to justify state bans on interracial marriage. The reasoning was that African-Americans were not being denied rights because African-Americans could not marry Caucasians, just as Caucasians could not marry African-Americans. Thus, the argument claimed, there was no discrimination based upon race. The United States Supreme Court rejected this (clearly racist) logic in 1967 and ruled that state bans on interracial marriage violated the federal Constitution in Loving v. Virginia, even despite the fact that the general public overwhelmingly opposed interracial marriage, as evidenced by a Gallup poll in 1968 which found that 73% of respondents disapproved of marriage between “whites” and “non-whites.” I seriously doubt that Ms. Caldwell would suggest that such a foundational case in the civil rights movement was actually caused by “unchecked judicial activism.” When the general population or the legislature votes to eliminate the rights of a protected class, it is the responsibility of the courts to intervene and uphold the principle of Equal Protection under the law. The “popular democratic processes” Ms. Caldwell lauds should never be used to enshrine abject discrimination into a constitution, whether state or federal. Even the “much-beloved” Barack Obama, who publicly expressed his opposition to Proposition 8, agrees with that.
And yet, despite her inane rantings, once again Ms. Caldwell is back. This time, she writes about "Lessons from Mumbai."
In the article, she claims: "Islam has come to possess more extremist members than any other modern religion." Yes, you read it right, Islam has more extremists than any other modern religion. Wait until you read what she cites to prove it.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
She begins her final paragraph with the following conclusion: "If there existed any doubts that radical Islam poses one of the biggest threats to our time, let the horrifying news from Mumbai erase those. This is a threat far greater than the damage wrought by a dissatisfactory Bush administration or by domestic disagreements."
Perhaps, however, Ms. Caldwell should open a newspaper. If you calculated "biggest threat" based upon number of deaths, then I believe "heart disease" still ranks by far and away as the "biggest threat to our time." Perhaps Ms. Caldwell should follow the liberals in advocating for improved health care rather than retaliatory attacks against entire religions because of a few crazy people. And while I do not know whether Ms. Caldwell is religious, I am sure that there are a few crazy and dangerous people in whatever religion she might be. Perhaps she should be taking a stand to control them, but alas, I have been unable to locate said Crimson editorial to date. Nor do I think I need to respond to her Bush administration claim other than to say that the damage wrought by a "dissatisfactory Bush administration" is not limited to "domestic disagreements", but rather includes the tens or maybe even hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian lives lost in Iraq due to our misguided American invasion. Yes Ms. Caldwell, President Bush just may be the "biggest threat to our time." What do you have to say to that?
In short, Ms. Caldwell should probably abstain from writing her columns. When she is not insulting the LGBTQ community or Muslims, she often can be seen claiming that poor people are dumb.
Sadly, I wish I could say that The Crimson should have higher standards for publication. Instead, it appears they don't know how to use a dictionary! (See this article, in which they write: "There is no question that this will diminish our quality of life and dim students’ prospects in the near future. But that is what a recession does. We cannot expect others to pay the penultimate price without shouldering part of the weight ourselves." Someone should kindly inform the Crimson staff that "penultimate" means "second to last".)