Letter to the Editor

Oviatt Library staff

Hawaii activist inconsistent

I attended the speech Haunani-Kay Trask gave on American militarism and the war on terror on Oct. 6. She is a very passionate speaker and is committed to her ideas.

One of her major points was that the Patriot Act and other actions by the Bush administration has greatly impeded our civil liberties. And one of the greatest threats she saw is the “continuous” attack on our freedom of speech. She urged her audience to fight for our basic rights especially the right of free speech.

She continued by saying that we must stop “fascists” from speaking on campus who advocate such ideas which limit our freedoms. We should do whatever is necessary to prevent these reactionaries from speaking. She urged students to protest these speakers with the goal to prevent them from talking.

I understand her point of view and respect her right to express it. However, is it not somewhat hypocritical for her to advocate for free speech and then at the same time try to stop people from speaking who she disagrees with and whose speech she finds offensive? I can understand some misguided student pushing for free speech and at the same time preventing others from exercising their right of free speech. But Trask is a university professor and by advocating such contradictory ideas, she is encouraging the very evils she excoriates.

She believes in free speech but only for herself and her ideas while trying to prevent people she disagrees with from speaking. It is a very sad day that students are being taught by professors advocating such hypocritical concepts.

Anthony J. Hillbruner


Oviatt Library