On Monday November 11, Dinesh D’Souza, renowned author of The New York Times bestseller What Is So Great About America, spoke in front of a full house at the Ira Allen Chapel. Mr. D’Souza was able to enlighten students with a point of view different from what they are forced to hear from much of the faculty. Coming to this University I was extremely disgusted with some professors’ continued insistence to push their political or anti-American beliefs to so many students. I have not yet heard one professor voice an opposing opinion.
These professors, along with some of the more vocal student-run groups on campus, have called Mr. D’Souza a racist. His speech touched briefly on the topic of racial discrimination, but he said that regardless of one’s ethnic background, anyone can obtain any dream or aspiration here in America with diligence and hard work. How can that possibly be construed as racist?
One of the questions asked to Mr. D’Souza brought up a very good point. So many questions pertained to how America is so horrible for having slaves many years ago, yet they fail to mention the slavery that is going on today in other parts of the world. Mr. D’Souza made an excellent point that America is not distinguished by the fact that we had slavery: we are distinguished because we abolished slavery.
Mr. D’Souza stated in his speech, “America is like a blank sheet of paper. You write your own script.” It was nice to hear something positive about our freedoms that are easily taken for granted.
Living in this country we have many opportunities to accomplish our dreams and aspirations. A comment during one of the many debates that night made me realize how some take for granted their own education. One girl argued that she isn’t privileged because she had to work hard to get into this university, but I would argue that the very fact that we have the opportunity to obtain an education is a privilege in and of itself.
I wish to conclude by explaining how Mr. D’Souza’s last statement meant a great deal to me. He said that if anything in his speech came as a surprise-and it obviously did-then we aren’t receiving a proper education. I concur, we rarely hear both sides to many controversial topics debated by Americans everyday. I came to this University straight from the Navy…as a matter of fact, straight from the Persian Gulf where I served in Operation Enduring Freedom. I have seen so many other countries and I know how good we have it in this country. I am proud and grateful to be here in America furthering my education. There are people all over the world that will never get the chance in their lifetime.