on 'Noam Chomsky Speaks At Newton School'
To: News Administration
Subject: 'Writer Viewed As Holocaust Denial Sympathizer Visits School - Noam Chomsky Speaks At Newton School'
Date: April 14, 2007
Dear respected News Directors,
I would humbly like to submit the following letter/opinion on your coverage of the afore titled news report that appeared on April 11, 2007 at: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/11620591/detail.html
I hope you can publish it.
(submitted via website www.thebostonchannel.com)
--- begin opinion ---
In response to the brief coverage of Noam Chomsky's visit to Newton's public school on April 11, 2007, by Amalia Barreda in her sensationally titled report 'Writer Viewed As Holocaust Denial Sympathizer Visits School', the reporter quoted one of the organizers: "We didn't invite him here because he had ideas we agreed with or didn't agree with. We invited him here because we wanted to hear what an expert on the war had to say", and also quoted the President of the Student Senate protesting the visit: "I think it is horrible that Mr. Chomsky would be invited to speak unopposed", may I just note that Noam Chomsky is the 'opposing view'. He is the rare gadfly who dares to go against the grain and does lend a different and often opposite view from those prevailing within his own community of Jewish peoples, and within the institutional and official governmental circles which are subsequently widely promulgated among the mainstream American society by the mainstream news media.
To have titled this piece so sensationally and suggestively, and then to have only reported in the 'he said she said' style without lending perspective to the significance of Noam Chomsky even being invited into a predominantly Jewish neighborhood school leaves the reader without any perspective as to what has just transpired in Newton where opinions and world views, as in any other mainstream dominated locality in the United States, are often very 'incestuously self-reinforced', where 'balance' is to choose between Republican and Democrat, or between two talking heads of the same coin. What these youngsters and the school officials have done is remarkable, especially in the prevailing climate where the sons and daughters of America are being sent to the slaughter house - never mind the slaughter they themselves are doing in the name of "United we Stand". For this, the school, the parents, and the Members of the school's Social Awareness Club must be congratulated.
Indeed to be fair to the minds of the 'populist democracy' during their formative years and genuinely presenting them with counterpoints to what they normally hear in their schools, homes, news media, and among their social circle of like minded friends, Noam Chomsky, and the handful of courageous moralist gadflies like him, should be allowed to directly engage with our school kids where the initiation of "United we Stand" as 'good Germans' actually begins - in the very first grade - so that by the time one grows up as an adult, the peculiar nationalist, religious, or ethnic/racial 'ubermensch' world views which otherwise get ingrained within one and entirely defines one, come out more 'plebeian' and 'ordinary' and entirely seeded in the Biblical Golden Rule which is this nation's Judeo-Christian heritage. Some evidence of this not being the case at the present time in this nation is presented in the essay "America's Shame" available on the website noted below. To make any difference towards this nation's good peoples becoming informed and rational citizens as engaging adults, such invitations are essential when the tree is being planted (and nurtured), and I applaud the Newton High School for showing much vision and courage and becoming a role model for the rest of the nation. This surely must have been an incredibly difficult thing for them to do.
So thank you Newton Massachusetts, and thank you Noam Chomsky for the courage to be a gadfly, whether or not anyone may agree with you, and whether or not you go far enough in being one, or being one efficaciously! And keep seeding the Golden Rule ('do unto others as you have others' do unto you') for who can disagree with simple moral truisms - the best way to teach! And no thank you Amalia Barreda and Channel 5 ABC Boston for not lending any deeper perspective to the significance of this courageous event in Newton!
In full disclosure, Chomsky was among my professors at MIT many many years ago. He taught me to think - even to the point of rationally arguing against even the "arguably the most important intellectual alive" - as in my essay on Israel-Palestine "The endless trail of red herrings". Perhaps Channel 5 may do well to become his students first before they become reporters!
Cited Article URL:
--- end opinion ---
The author, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (patents here), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. He may be reached via humanbeingsfirst on gmail com.
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