This is in response to an editorial by Howler staff. The editorial can be found here. Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinions of Hampshire Howler staff.
Dear Sir(s), Madame(s) et.al,
I am writing to your rag to express my displeasure at the recent comments directed towards Justice Scalia’s passing, and the furor surrounding lowering the flag. First, it must be stated that when the order is enacted, this is not an act performed in frivolity and the country is placed symbolically into a period of mourning. As would be the unthinkable at a funeral, heads should be bowed, voices hushed, and condolences offered. We should not disparage the memory of the deceased with actions and speech that demonstrates not only a lack of manners, but also of human decency and respect. Every life is sacred, and should be treated as such.
Second, we should honor those who have served this country, and offer our shoulders to those who mourn. Trampling on the very flag that envelops the entombed has no equal in poor taste. You may not have agreed with Justice Scalia’s decisions, but he served his country proud by holding, to the best of his ability, the laws of this beautiful land, and when in doubt according to his own moral code. No more could be asked of another. The recently interred left behind a wife and nine children: imagine and have compassion for their suffering at this time before you self-flagellate on your own sense of faux self-importance.
Those who believe that raising furor about the flag is a pathway to enacting their own personal politics, should feel a deep sense of personal shame. The actions of faculty in November of 2015 concerning Beirut were disgraceful, using the tragic suffering of others for a political purpose. If the Hampshire faculty were truly vested in equality, and the terms by which death should be honored, a similar brouhaha should have been made about every abrupt quietus across the world. Yet, their inconsistent voices were silent when fresh waves of Nigerian, Iraqi and Afghanistan bombings fluttered past the mouths of our mainstream media, more concerned with the consecrated noughts on their pay-checks and their sacred sabbaticals.
Using a mourning to advance a political agenda is deplorable, and is no different than the Westboro Baptist Church picketing veteran, homosexual, and other ‘political’ funerals. For a revolution to occur, we must not bicker about foofaraws, and hold shouting matches upon soapboxes, but instead lead by example, just as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr and others did, to usher in new eras of equality. If you wish to see change in this country, in the world, run for office, populate the halls of power, and add to the dialogue with your own tremulous voice, but don’t stamp on the halls of the hallowed dead.