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The Daily, the University of Washington’s student newspaper, published a letter to the editor that I wrote — somewhat to my surprise.

The most interesting thing, perhaps, is that the title “Discrimination a sad fact of life” — is not mine (it was added by the editor). Also interesting is that I toned down the rhetoric quite a bit (ie, “as worthy as his cause may be”) to have a chance of being published — which is exactly the issue I was talking about.

The letter, published as far as I can tell in its entirety:

Discrimination a sad fact of life

“UW obligated to allow military recruitment on campus despite discriminatory policies against gays.” For me, this begs the question, is the UW also obligated to allow liberal professors on campus despite discriminatory policies against conservatives? This might explain why I, like many gays, always shy away from telling people what I really am and who I really voted for.

Although my experience here at the UW is limited (I am a transfer student), I have encountered through my years in the educational establishment several occasions where my grade was lowered for reasons that can only amount to political disagreements with professors.

I also know that my experience is not isolated, as many of my friends have reported similar abuses here at the UW and at other universities. I see this as a civil liberties issue. I feel that I am not free to express myself in this “you can hold any opinion as long as it agrees with mine” environment upheld by much of the faculty and student body.

When all discrimination — even “politically correct” discrimination like I face — is taken as seriously as the military’s discrimination against gays, maybe then we can have work on real solutions to the issue.

Until then, I can’t help but think of crusaders like Bryce McKibben — as worthy as their cause may be — as nothing more than political hacks, unable to see the forest through the trees.

— Ryan McElroy, Senior, bioengineering and computer enginering

Props to Hannah for letting me know it happened.

2 Responses to “Published”

  1. Bryce McKibben Says:

    It’s funny what comes up when you Google yourself.

    I wanted to let you know that I’m sorry you’ve experienced discrimination for being a conservative. This seems equally unethical and undemocratic as discrimination based on sexual orientation. I do, however, question that there are actual discriminatory POLICIES against your political persuasion, in such form as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is so widely recognized.

    I would absolutely stand by your side when it comes to attacking discrimination of all kinds. I do not, however, think that my attempt to speak out on an issue dear to my heart (rather than yours) consequently makes me a “political hack.” I think it makes me passionate about equality and diversity.

    But, thanks for your comments anyway. It keeps the democratic process alive, especially when it’s civil.

  2. Ryan Says:

    I tried emailing you. Didn’t seem to work.

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