Some condemnations, and one level-headed reflection.
Disrespectful event, coverage
The College Republicans at Texas, the University Democrats and Texans for Israel believe that The Project for the New American Citizen's demonstration as well as The Daily Texan's choice to give such extensive coverage to a fringe conspiracy theory group was disrespectful to the over 3,000 lives lost on Sept. 11 and was entirely reprehensible. The College Republicans at Texas, the University Democrats and Texans for Israel denounce the organization's timing and hope that in the future, the project will show more tact and respect to their fellow Americans.
The three groups also strongly disagree with the organization's evidence. Conspiracy theories have existed throughout American history and these organizations agree that the project's theory will be discredited like its predecessors. The College Republicans at Texas, the University Democrats and Texans for Israel all respect the Project for the New American Citizen's right to protest and demonstrate on our campus, but we ask that they be more cognizant of the emotions of others in the future.
College Republicans PR director
September 13, 2006
No time for loonies
I have no time for Christopher Reid's ignorant dribble and no patience with his and his group's offensive lunatic fringe conspiracy theories. We all remember where we were on Sept. 11. We all remember seeing the attacks with our own eyes. Numerous investigations have been done detailing the structural failures of the towers. We know people who have lost family members in the attack. We've heard the phone calls to 911 and seen the grieving families.
Yet these sick people come up with these conspiracy theories for reasons I can't comprehend. Maybe they simply hate this nation or our government so much that they'll say or think anything to legitimize that intense hatred. That, or they're simply crazy. A hypothesis that seems to be supported by the - count them - 17 e-mail responses I got from Mr. Reid between 5:09 p.m. and 5:23 p.m. on Tuesday, all daring me to debate him. I refused to give him that satisfaction.
Either way, the Sept. 11 deniers arguments are not just weak, they're stupid. As I was protesting these buffoons on the West Mall, I was treated to many of their arguments, including, "Did you know that no skyscraper has collapsed due to fire before Sept. 11 and none have collapsed due to fire since." Yeah, and Sept. 11 happens to be the only day in my recollection that jetliners loaded with fuel have smashed into one either.
There are numerous studies and Web sites out there refuting the claims. A quick search turned up a few:
These people due not deserve the satisfaction of legitimate debate. Their arguments are ridiculous, and they choose to protest in a way that is extremely upsetting to people who were there on Sept. 11 and are grounded in reality.
These people truly are this generation's Holocaust deniers.
Young Conservatives of Texas
Economics and government sophomore
September 14, 2006
Dignity in discourse
I may be late to this discussion, but I feel that there is something missing: In the discourse following the Sept. 11 protests of last week, there was not one relevant comment made. Every one of the letters published in the Firing Line dealt strictly with the format or timing of this event. No one ever thought to make any sort of counter-claim. The facts and data of the debate were completely ignored in preference of focusing strictly on style.
I am reticent to accept that the U.S. government would perpetrate such a heinous act against its citizens, but I am infuriated that public discourse cannot be tolerated or even attempted. Campus groups have asserted that, though the Constitution permits such congregations, their speech ought to be dismissed without even a cursory examination. To treat an opposing viewpoint, which threatens an accepted construction of events, as inherently foolish or lunatic is medieval and harmful to culture as a whole.
We have been given the keys to a society which might bring out the best in humanity. We are faced with an event that has radically upset our view of the world. Yet, we treat both with disregard and never think to honor one another with the dignity and respect we would ask for ourselves.
September 18, 2006