To the Editor:
Re: “Art Spitzer ’71, ACLU Legal Director, Reﬂects on Straight Takeover,” News, March 30.
Your very wonderful extended series marking the 40th anniversary of the Straight Takeover has one small, but important problem that seriously needs to be straightened out (if I may). In each of your articles the italicized lead in refers to the Takeover “in which armed black students took over the Straight …” That is not the case. When they took over the building the students were NOT armed. They were subsequently brought guns by sympathizers when rumors circulated about a possible armed fraternity attack, thus the famous and frightening picture of the armed students LEAVING the Straight. This is a small detail, but accurate history is made up of many bits of small detail. Guns and the Straight Takeover are indelibly linked in Cornell’s and the nation’s collective memory, but in offering your commendable coverage, it is important to get right when the guns enter the story, even if it in no way minimizes the moral contradiction of guns on campus.
Prof. Isaac Kramnick