Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Andrew Breland’s most recent opinion editorial “The Man who invented ‘Santorum’” was a particularly disconcerting read for multiple reasons. I personally have no opinion on Dan Savage—I do not have the information nor have I attempted to find the information necessary to claim a stance on the surrounding controversy.

I also have no issue with Breland’s opinion on Savage. My discomfort lies in the presentation of said opinion. As a political science major, I don’t question that Breland understands the importance of researching the issues before forming an opinion. Gathering relevant information is critical in making an informed opinion—which is what is precisely lacking in this particular piece.

As a member of the Case Western Reserve Community and a contributor to a publication such as The Observer, it is disappointing to see a piece that reads more like a page from a pre-teen’s journal than a published article. It was clear that Breland never sought information on the choice to bring Savage (he was simply “minding my own business” while listening to other student’s conversations).

His claim that “perhaps the students that are excited have never read or heard the hateful statements that have come out of his mouth…maybe we just do not care” is insulting at the very least. To assume those who have differing opinions are simply ignorant or hateful themselves is contradictory to the love of the First Amendment that he touts so proudly. The fact that he did not attend the event is further proof of his own ignorance on this topic, the same ignorance that was placed on those who did attend.

It did not seem to occur to Breland that those who attended the event have access to the same amount of (and more, due to the very fact that they attended the event) information as he. By asking those who attended, Breland would discover that a Q&A session allowed for his exact grievances to be addressed as did the Open Forum hosted by the LGBT Center the following day.

It should also not go unnoticed that Breland does not waste time recognizing himself as a martyr, saying “…I expect my words here to cause outcry. I expect angry classmates. I expect spiteful and demonizing glances.” It is a discredit to the intellectual and supportive community of CWRU to assume those who disagree will turn to hatred.

I truly believe that someone who feels as strongly and sincerely as Breland claims would attend these events and take advantage of the opportunities presented to discover why others agree or disagree with his thoughts. I respect his efforts to ignite change on this campus by challenging policies and decisions.

His space in The Observer serves as an exceptional opportunity for a dialogue to be opened in the campus community and I appreciate the attempt at beginning this discourse. I can only hope that in the future his writings will be grounded in fact and Breland will serve due credit to his readers.

Rissah Asefa
Undergraduate student