But you don’t have to be rude about it.
Douglas J. Feith has taken a “teaching position at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown”. Mr. Feith is a former Pentagon official who has been accused of promoting the war in Iraq using faulty evidence.
I’m not going to make a judgement on Mr. Feith’s past or whether or not he should be a teacher. It isn’t for me to say, I’m not on the faculty at Georgetown, nor am I a student. (Apparently, Mr. Feith “was hired without a faculty vote.” The NY times article mentions that when Madeleine Albright, Anthony Lake and George Tenet joined the faculty, no one protested. But, the article did not say whether or not they were hired without a faculty vote.)
Anyway, my point is this statement:
“I’m not going to shake hands with the guy if he’s introduced to me,” said Mark N. Lance, a philosophy professor who teaches nonviolence in the program on Justice and Peace and who organized the protest. “And if he asks why, I’ll say because in my view you’re a war criminal and you have no place on this campus.”
Now, that’s just rude. You’ve made your point by protesting his appointment to the faculty and that’s enough. Since when did we decide that it is okay to be rude to someone in this country. It happens on the right side of the fence and the left side of the fence with an astounding frequency. There is no reason to be rude to someone because you disagree with their politics.
Case in point, I disagree with President Bush on a lot of matters — ooh, big surprise there! Anyway, if I was offered an opportunity to go to the White House and have dinner with him — I WOULD NOT TURN IT DOWN. (So, if you’re reading this, Mr. President, I’m free next Friday night.) It would be the polite thing to do.
I knew a guy who’s friend was in the military. When Clinton visited the military base on which his friend was stationed, his friend flipped Clinton the bird and received punishment for it. The guy I knew said how unfair that was.
I don’t think so.
I would think any serviceperson who flipped Bush the bird would receive the same punishment. It shouldn’t be done. If you don’t like the President, hold a protest banner, but at least be polite.
So, Mr. Lance, please shake hands and then sit down and rationally, politely discuss the reasons why you don’t want Mr. Feith to be on the faculty. Then, try to find some common ground.
And, don’t forget to say please and thank you.