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Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Dr. Janis Deitz’s letter to the editor (Oct. 3), in which she takes the position that the United States had to drop two atomic bombs on innocent civilian populations, including children, killing over 200,000 immediately and many, many more in subsequent years and decades as a consequence of the massive amount of radiation released. How does a country that for its entire history has claimed the moral high ground, despite slavery, Jim Crow, the near extermination of Indians, and the internment of Japanese-Americans (justified as well?), come to terms with the dubious distinction of being the only country to drop nuclear weapons on a civilian population and did so by detonating the bombs above the ground to maximize damage and deaths? The answer is myth-making. Archives are now being declassified that confirm what critics have been saying for decades. Japan was on its last legs, on the verge of defeat, and the U.S. government knew it. In a November 1963 interview, Eisenhower said, “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” Admiral William Leahy, who served as the chief of staff, wrote in his book I Was There, “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan.” Leo Szilard, a scientist who played a major role in the development of the atomic bomb, wrote, “If the Germans had dropped atomic bombs on cities instead of us, we would have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them.” Let me finish with what perhaps scares me the most, but in Admiral Leahy’s words: “My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. We were the first to have this weapon in our possession, and the first to use it. There is a practical certainty that potential enemies will have it in the future and that atomic bombs will some time be used against us.”

Hector Delgado
Professor of Sociology

 

Dear Editor,

Of course we serve Hispanic students! (“University serves Hispanic students,” Sept. 26) We serve all students. And we reach out to all students. In my 20 years at La Verne, I have loved seeing parents and students at Spotlight Weekend and SOAR registration. I have never paid any attention the color of their skin. They are my children – why wouldn’t I love them all? I have many cards and letters from students, none of them saying “Thank you, even though you are white.” This article says that “We’ve never really identified what serving means.” Isn’t that the purpose of our mission? “A key to a higher retention rate among Latino students is hiring more multicultural full-time or tenured faculty” (p.1). No argument there, but our recruiting efforts do absolutely work hard to attract a very diverse faculty. As a matter of fact, the graduation student speaker selection process is done without knowing who wrote the speech – the diversity of our student speakers has mirrored the diversity of our student body

We have a student center that is a gathering place for everyone. Everyone. What is wrong with that?

Janis Dietz
Professor of Business Administration

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