Georgetown’s Independent Journal of Satire and Opinion,” The Georgetown Academy, went a step too far in its “Attic Salts” section recently. In a piece entitled “Letting the Fox into the Henhouse,” the writer attempts to “predict some Hoya editorial headlines for next semester,” with Ryan Erlich (SFS ’01) as a member of The Hoya’s editorial board. All of the “headlines” are harsh, and I would expect nothing less from The Academy.

If that was all, however, I would simply groan, turn the page and keep reading. I once said that the mark of success at Georgetown was being insulted by The Academy, but this time, the journal went beyond the fun and games of campus journalism and onto a new playing field. One of these “headlines” is not just harsh but simply irresponsible and unwarranted, suggesting that Erlich would wish the headline, “Stewards Should Wear Yellow Stars, or Something.”

The Academy here likened Erlich to a Nazi. I have problems with this piece of “satire.” I am highly doubtful that any of Erlich’s actions or words have ever indicated that he wished anyone death, imprisonment in concentration camps or the like. Using “Yellow Stars” to prove a point about any issue on campus is grossly misusing a historical symbol that is a sign of hate to many people. Knowing that Erlich has a Jewish heritage and then using this symbol to prove a point is irresponsible and insensitive (pardon me for using the word insensitive, those who joke sensitivity out there, but it is still a virtue in my book). Regardless of whether you like, hate or could care less about Stewards, there is no legitimate reason to call someone a Nazi – a murderer – because of it, even to sound clever or witty. Sometimes clever writing (or what some people take for clever writing) must yield to common sense.

I read every issue of The Academy, because although I rarely agree with anything in it, it gives me another point of view which I hope somewhere down the road educates me. It often, in a clever way, insults organizations, like GUSA, with which I am involved. Sometimes I laugh because it is amusing, but this was just too much.

Being basically liberal in the political sense, I often see other liberals deride conservatives as having no heart, making it seem as though all conservatives are evil. I am sure that there are conservatives who see liberals as completely unrealistic and foolhardy, making it seem as though all liberals are self-righteous. These two stereotypes are both inaccurate, as both liberals and conservatives fall somewhere in the middle of selfish and self-righteous, both just wanting what is best for America.

A problem we all face occurs when we take our policy views about a particular issue and decide that it suddenly needs to become a personal issue between us and the individuals with whom we disagree. This is where The Academy, in its “Attic Salts” section consistently and overwhelmingly misses the mark in the piece concerning Erlich. One of the best bits of advice my father ever gave me was that people only curse when they have nothing intelligent to say. The “Attic Salts” section of The Academy, at least in this issue, did nothing more than journalistically curse.

Everyone, I believe, who writes for publications or is active on campus, wants what is best for Georgetown. It is The Academy and every other publication’s job to serve as a watchdog with their own particular slant. Turning from a watchdog into a pit bull, however, is not necessary. I do not blame the majority of people who work for The Academy, since they are helping to place into print opinions they espouse, which they have a right to do. To whomever wrote this piece, and whomever allowed it to go to print, however, please be more responsible next time. If this viewpoint makes you mad or gives you reason to satirize me in the “Attic Salts,” take your best shot. I’ll be sure to read.

Aaron Kass is a junior in the college.

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