WHEN READER RESPONSES GO HORRIBLY WRONG
This is in response to the letter in response to the opinion article about awkward glances (“Where eye contact can go wrong.horribly wrong”). I cannot agree more with the original article, nor could I disagree more with the letter published in response. First of all, I highly doubt that the author was meant to present herself as an expert in this field. I believe there is a thing called sarcasm that you clearly did not catch in many of her references. Also, you commanded her to do her research? There was no reason for her to do research on something she had multiple personal experiences with. It was an opinion article about a facet of human life that afflicted her (and many other people by the way), so obviously if she knew how she felt when a person stared at her, she would not have to do any research. I also think almost everyone recognizes these “socially inept” people except those that are, in fact, socially inept.
I may not personally know these people, but I have seen the whites of their eyes enough to know who they are and know many others, not including the author of the article, that feel the same way I do. Yes, I understand that we would not have been able to survive as a race if, in prehistoric times, this social stigma against the blank stare existed, but aside from the Geico commercials, I have not seen any cavemen recently. We have evolved, as you have pointed out, so staring someone down is no longer acceptable. There are other ways of communicating besides staring, grunting, and hitting, so that “creepy” feeling is now just that: creepy.
I recognize that there is even now something left in the glance that affects us, but if it comes from a stranger and is not accompanied by anything vocal, it’s weird, disconcerting, and (if it persists for long enough) considered stalking and is illegal. Although those “cheesy pickup lines” may not work, they at least prove that you have evolved with the rest of humanity.
A LONG WAY TO GO
Without a doubt Mr. Scott Wacholtz will be a superb columnist of any newspaper in our country. Mr. Wacholtz’s fierce harangue bashing ‘racist’ Cynthia McKinney and her father are worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. Since he abhors “irresponsible adults”, why did he not write about our trigger-happy vice president?
Cynthia McKinney’s absurd behavior and racial rhetoric have likely cost her a seat on Capitol Hill. Her district is around 36% white. Are whites in her district being oppressed or racially profiled? Absolutely not. However, the segregationist policies of senators such as Trent Lott, Jeff Sessions, Robert Byrd and the recently retired Zell Miller have hurt myriads of people of color. Do they get labeled as ‘racist’? If he had read Condi: The Condoleezza Rice story by Felix Antonin then he would know that in 1990 while Condi was an adviser to President George H.W. Bush, Rice was physically shoved by a secret service agent while attempting to enter the White House.
Indeed, Blacks are still subjected to unwarranted harassment no matter how successful they become in America. I am not an apologist for Ms. McKinney. In my opinion she made a mistake by refusing to wear the security pin, which might have prevented her from having several run-ins with the law. I still remember in 1998 when my dear next-door neighbor, a Capitol Hill Police Officer named Jacob Chestnut was killed by a deranged gunman in the line of duty on at the nation’s Capitol. Surely, his fellow officers have become understandably edgy and vigilant. I am not a liberal, I want an end to gun control (aka victim disarmament) in America, I hope women stop aborting embryos and fetuses, and I strongly believe the attacks on Christianity by the secular elements of our society need to cease. I am sick of seeing Oliver North, Mark Furman, and other notable criminals on news programs. There needs to be some moderate opinions in our school paper for a change not these conservative or liberal jeremiads which continue to polarize the readers.