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Words Of Hate

April 25, 1993

Barry Siegel's gallant, liberal perspective on the issue of hate on college campuses ("Fighting Words," March 28) leaves me with several questions.

Is Siegel aware that the incidence of campus hate crimes has skyrocketed over the past 10 years? And what does he say to the argument that comparably narrow sexual-harassment policies remain untouched by ACLU challenges? Women have a recourse that minority students do not. Where is the justice in that?

The article perpetuates the notion that minority students should bear all the responsibility for the ills of a racist society while their enrollment rates are dropping and their dropout rates are rising. Did Siegel consider quoting students of color, especially about their experiences with racial harassment on campus?

Apart from a few anguished paraphrases, there was nothing from students about what hate speech means to them. Somehow, it doesn't seem right to build a story on the backs of students without spending a little more time talking with them.

MICHAEL SALAZAR

Los Angeles

Siegel responds: I spent a great deal of time talking to students of color at Madison. As is evident from their quotes in the article, hate speech has caused them much pain. But as is also evident, many have come to believe that hate speech codes are not a terribly important part of the solution.

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