Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MAY 04, 2015 5:00 AM

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Community without religion

The four students profiled in the article “Coming Into Faith” in the April 28 DI have one thing in common — what they were seeking, and what they found in their new religions, was a friendly, supportive community. But interestingly, three out of the four didn’t even mention that they currently believe in any sort of God. Finding friendship and acceptance is certainly important, but having to adopt a specific set of supernatural beliefs would seem to be a high price of entry. The UI is “blessed” to have a dogma-free alternative — the Secular Students at Iowa. That’s a recognized student organization committed to creating a friendly place for freethinkers, as well as promoting education, advocacy, and public service, with ties to both the Iowa City and nationwide secular communities. They explore critical thinking, science, social trends, and human rights from the secular perspective in their weekly meetings and enjoy lots of fun social activities as well. I’m not a student, but I have gotten to know the Secular Students at Iowa people through our shared interest in protecting secular government. “No religion” is the fastest-growing segment of the population, while mainline and fringe religions decline. Secular Students at Iowa is a great place for anyone who wants to be with others who are good without god(s).

Peter Nothnagle

Online comments on ‘Korobov: The power of peaceful protest’

So just so we’re clear, your argument is that racism can’t be a factor in the fact that nearly half of all black people in this country live below the poverty line, that black college grads are less likely to receive job offers than white college drop outs with criminal records, that black people are more likely to be randomly stopped and searched by the police in spite of empirical evidence showing whites are more likely to be carrying contraband when they’re randomly stopped, that blacks serve longer prison sentences for the same crimes as whites, and that despite making up only 7 percent of the country’s population, black men account for more than half of America’s prison population, the vast majority of whom are incarcerated for nonviolent crimes because Barack Obama is the president, Loretta Lynch is the attorney general, and Daymond John is on “Shark Tank”? At what point did Tippie stop requiring that business majors take intro to statistics?

This is the worst article I have read in a long time. You, Michael Korobov, are so lost in your privilege that you don’t see how wrong you are. I’m glad you, a white kid who has not participated in the protests, are qualified to write about the Black Voices movement. I am glad that you, who was “forced” to walk around a peaceful protest, can decide if black voices are being heard on our campus. I’m glad that you, who is a white business student, can have the luxury of trusting the “justice” system of the U.S. I’m glad that you, who doesn’t live in Baltimore and has not been there during the protests, can write about the mindset of the people and how they responded. I’m glad that you, so full in their privilege of being a white, male, straight, non-poor, able-bodied libertarian, are qualified to know the best way to change the racist institutions of America. Have you even read about Martin Luther King Jr.? Or did you look up quotes for this opinion piece? Have you not heard of the Black Panthers movement? Of Malcolm X? Do you not realize that these events happened at the same time as MLK’s peaceful protests? Have you not heard MLK’s speech about how a “riot” means there is a deeper issue to solve and how it is up to America to solve it, and about how it does not victim-blame the people that are a part of the protests?

Ian Brauer

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