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UC too sensitive to media?

James K. Sayre, Oakland
Tuesday September 10, 2002

To the Editor: 

Your recent story, “UC Berkeley defends it patriotism,” (Sept, 6) was truly an amazing tale. It seems that to memorialize the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the UC administrators decided to hand out white ribbons instead of the more traditional red, white and blue ribbons. They first claimed that this bizarre move was to “save money.”  

The UC administrators, in their infinite sensitivity, were apparently concerned that a traditional tri-color ribbon might offend or exclude student supporters of the Taliban, the al-Qaida and the “hate America first” crowd. I can just see the headlines now: “UC student Bin Laden buddies offended by red, white and blue ribbons at UC 9-11 memorial service.”  

Actually, to pick white as a color for a mourning or a memorial service is a little odd. Black is the traditional color for the expression of mourning or grief. White is the color typically associated with surrender.  

Just imagine if our politically-sensitive UC administrators had been leading the American Revolution back in 1776. First off, Betsy Ross would have been unemployed; the American flag would have been a simple white sheet. At the Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston, the Americans would have simply raised their spiffy white flags and just surrendered on the spot to the British redcoat soldiers and we Brit-Americans would still be singing “Hail to the Queen,” driving on the left side of the road, eating bangers and smoking fags.  


James K. Sayre,