September 7, 2014

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In Defense of Free Speech

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To the Editor:

Re: “THROWDOWN THURSDAY: Islamophobia and Racism,” Opinion, Sep. 4.

We firmly stand by Sun columnist Julius Kairey and his right to express his strong views on this important subject with courage and conviction. While we find nothing fundamentally incorrect with Kairey’s article, we are far more concerned with the numerous calls for his censorship. In particular, there is a growing call for the suspension of his regular columns in The Sun, which are usually joined by incendiary comments about his background and his right to attend our university. Evidence of these blatant attacks on Kairey’s freedom of speech can be found in comments on his article on The Sun’s website as well as across social media accounts linking to the article.

It is extremely unfortunate to witness the pervasive censorial instincts of those confronted by opinions and arguments contrary to their own. Cornell’s motto is “Any person, any study.” It is not “Certain people, certain studies.”

It is our hope that fellow students will critically reexamine Mr. Kairey’s article and, indeed, challenge him to defend and substantiate his claims. But those who continue to disagree with Kairey must dutifully respect his freedom of speech and cherish the freedom we have in this country to hold and argue differing views.

Kushagra Aniket ’15

Laura Gundersen ’17

Nathaniel Hunter ’17

Andres Sellitto ’17

Christopher Nowacki ’17

Mark LaPointe ’16

Casey Breznick ’17