The memories of those killed in the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11 were cheapened last week by politics. However, it wasn’t the liberals nor the conservatives who to blame, but our very own West Chester (Pa.)University.
Now hear me out, I’m not writing this to criticize my own university, and I refuse to single anyone out. Hey, I love this place, but it’s time to hold up the mirror and realize what a mixed message we have sent last week. The week before September 11th, the academic quad was filled with hundreds of miniature US flags in honor of those souls lost to the September 11th terrorist attacks. What a praiseworthy tribute to our lost loved ones, who were the victims of cowardly terrorists. The scene was touching, maybe even emotional for others. This was the traditional way WCU honored them, a solemn service with remembrance and reflection.
Everything seemed to be fitting in honor of those we lost, yet three blocks away, in the Sykes Student Union building, Fahrenheit 9-11 was being played at various times during the day.
I hardly consider a detestable documentary the best way for West Chester University to give reverence to our lost loved ones or the idea of patriotism.
I refuse to call Fahrenheit 9-11 “unpatriotic.” However, patriotism is defined as “love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it” by scholars. So I hardly consider a documentary of hate to be an act of patriotism, and that’s exactly what it is. This is the first documentary ever produced for the sole sake of bashing a public official. It’s a new low for the entertainment industry.
Now I have seen Fahrenheit 9-11 twice. Once in the summer when it first came out, and then as a part of a political science class I had. When asked by others about it, my opinion towards this movie has been consistent, that it’s an incredibly one-sided film which exists for the sole purpose of bashing a public official. Still, I do not believe it should be “banned” from campus. After all, Michael Moore does have something to say. That’s the point of democracy, that we are all Americans and can disagree with each other.
However, what place does Fahrenheit 9-11 have in a week of commemoration of those we lost on 9-11? What does hating Bush have to do with remembering our lost love ones. It’s really hilarious how the left accuses Bush of playing politics with 9-11, when here at our very own campus, we have a movie featuring a leftist doing just that.
I voiced my discomfort with such an idea, but was told by an administrator that Fahrenheit 9-11 is just part of a balanced program the university is doing on 9-11. What balance? What pro-Bush documentary (if such a thing exists in the media) could possibly balance the hate of Fahrenheit 9-11?
Let’s get to the truth. WCU has nothing to balance the leftist program, Fahrenheit 9-11. So, because it’s so deceitful, I’ll bring balance. I recommend checking out David Kopel’s website, where he has investigated the movie’s points and presented the full truth. (http://www.davekopel.com/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-Fahrenheit-911.htm)
While the movie itself was a dishonor for 9-11, the real insult here is in our own faculty actually giving extra credit to their students who went to see such a movie. Now in the name of education, I ask the faculty, what do students gain from a one-sided film? The point of education was to broaden a student’s horizons, but this seems to be an attempt at narrowing them. So I’ve come to two conclusions, either they are uneducated about the film’s bias, or they themselves are simply biased and passing it on. How convenient that it is during an election year.
So which faculty member now is going to give students extra credit for going to David Kopel’s website and analyzing his reasoning? Or even for a report of the Bush administration’s handling of 9-11? How about it? Where’s the balance? It doesn’t seem to be in the classroom at all. Is there really a faculty bias? You decide.
I already have decided. I just can’t bring myself to support how we observed the September 11th anniversary. I cannot support the leftist politics of a movie being shown at the same time that a moving memorial is commemorated, even if it is part of a balanced program. Could you? In the words of a Navy veteran I spoke with, “I saw those two buildings go down with my own eyes, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him (Moore) interpret it for me.”
Therefore, in the interest of what 9-11 is really about and for real patriotism, I dissent.
Anthony Maalouf of West Chester University in Pennsylvania is a junior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. This column will also appear in The Quad, WCU’s student newspaper.