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A different shade of blue


Yale history professor John Lewis Gaddis ends his brilliant little book, Surprise, Security and the American Experience, with both a question and an answer:

All of which brings me around to answering a question another of my undergraduates asked in the dark and fearful days that followed September 11th: 'Would it be OK for us to be patriotic?' Yes, I think it would.

Yale students seem to be responding well to Gaddis' encouragement, to judge from a demonstration some 200 of them held on campus yesterday to demonstrate their solidarity with Iraqi voters.

From The Yale Daily News:

Students removed their gloves on a wintry Tuesday to dip their fingers in blue ink and show their support for the Iraqi people who bear a similar purple ink stain on their right index finger after voting in Iraq's first democratic election in 50 years.

Yale College Students for Democracy organized the finger dying on Cross Campus Tuesday afternoon as a way to commemorate the election and celebrate the high Iraqi voter turnout. YCSD Vice President for Communication Keith Urbahn '06 said that over 200 students dipped their fingers on their way to class or lunch.

The idea for the event originated from Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, an online blog, where a reader suggested using blue ink to dye fingers to show support for the Iraqis, YCSD President Jamie Kirchick '06 said. He said other YCSD members were particularly enthusiastic about the suggestion because it is a positive activity rather than a protest.

"You have naysayers who say Iraq is Vietnam, which is a claim that is particularly absurd," Kirchick said. "The fact that it was an election, the fact that people would still go out to polls, brave bombs and gunfire just to put a ballot in a box, is the [strongest] psychological message to the terrorists.

A very different Yale from the one I attended, where students (including a future New York Senator and the university's own president) once demonstrated in solidarity with Black Panthers Bobby Seale and Erika Huggins.

You really have to wonder what gets into college kids nowadays.

(Hat tip: Power Line.)

Posted by Rodger on February 2, 2005 at 06:38 PM | Permalink


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