Letter to the Editor: The 'U' should not have allowed the Diag exhibit

BY CRISTINA LEY

Published October 5, 2011

To the University of Michigan:

To be quite frank, I am disappointed in my college for the first time since visiting the University about seven years ago.

I, and every student at this great school, understand the importance of freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble — specifically on the Diag here at the University. This exercise of the First Amendment on the center of the University is what makes Michigan special.

However, while members of the Genocide Awareness Project cloaked themselves in their right of exercising free speech, their display was an act of hate crime — a hate crime against the families and friends of victims of the Holocaust, slavery, refugees from the genocides in Cambodia, Darfur and Rwanda.

Not only did members of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform — which brought the GAP to campus — show hate toward racial, ethnic and religious groups, they demonstrated hate toward women. Essentially, to compare the mass murders of people to abortion indicated that they view all women who are pro-choice as murderers. I am appalled that the University, one of the most open-minded places I could ever imagine, allowed the act of hate crimes to appear on campus for not just one, but two days. I can't even understand why one of the University's student organizations would think to invite such a thing to the campus.

Aside from this, a member of the center at one point actually insulted the demographic it targeted — a.k.a. students themselves — by refuting an individual student's argument with the statement, "You're a college student. You can't understand."

No one, pro-life or pro-choice, should ever condone this "project." Ever. Especially one of the most diverse universities in the world.

Sincerely,
Cristina Ley
LSA sophomore