November 3, 2003: Headlines: COS - Mauritania: Speaking Out: Iraq: The Breeze: Mauritania RPCV Cindy Hunter, a professor at JMU, took the brunt of a much more violent attack when a sign on her porch protesting the war against Iraq was set on fire

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mauritania: Special Report: Arsonist burns home of Mauritania RPCV Cindy Hunter for opposing War in Iraq: November 3, 2003: Headlines: COS - Mauritania: Speaking Out: Iraq: The Breeze: Mauritania RPCV Cindy Hunter, a professor at JMU, took the brunt of a much more violent attack when a sign on her porch protesting the war against Iraq was set on fire

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-115-42.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.115.42) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 1:10 pm: Edit Post

Mauritania RPCV Cindy Hunter, a professor at JMU, took the brunt of a much more violent attack when a sign on her porch protesting the war against Iraq was set on fire

Mauritania RPCV Cindy Hunter, a professor at JMU, took the brunt of a much more violent attack when a sign on her porch protesting the war against Iraq was set on fire

Mauritania RPCV Cindy Hunter, a professor at JMU, took the brunt of a much more violent attack when a sign on her porch protesting the war against Iraq was set on fire

I only wish that the banning of magazines was the worst of the attacks against the First Amendment in Harrisonburg. Cindy Hunter, a professor at JMU, took the brunt of a much more violent attack when a sign on her porch protesting the war against Iraq was set on fire. The blaze spread into her house and nearly burned it to the ground, causing $50,000 to $60,000 worth of damage, according to the Oct. 21 issue of the DNR.

There are a lot of adjectives that can describe an attack like this disgraceful, cowardly and even sickening. But, I think one phrase describes it perfectly un-American.

There is nothing patriotic about causing physical harm to the private property of an individual with whom you disagree. Every resident of this city has the right to his or her opinion, and the right to express his or her opinion as they see fit, but the rights of the arsonist ended at Hunter's front door. No American should have to suffer and have his or her life threatened just for disliking a war.

At the last Student Government Association meeting, a bill was presented to condemn this dismal act and to support the family a family of valuable members of the JMU community. One would think showing this kind of support would be a no-brainer. Acts of terrorism like this arson are nothing short of sickening, and, as the self-described "voice of the student body," I had hoped that the Senate would pass this bill and show that we support our own in times of crisis.

Instead, a senator from my own college spoke out against it, calling it a political issue and insisting that it failed the "litmus test" of whether or not this bill directly serves the student body. An interesting choice of tests, since, just recently, the SGA passed a resolution thanking former members of the Board of Visitors for their service, including Mark Obenshain, the catalyst of the removal of the emergency contraceptive pill from the University Health Center. How did that resolution directly affect students?

According to an article in the Oct. 30 issue of The Breeze, the motion to support Hunter and her family originally passed, and by a wide margin. Quorum was called, however, and it was "determined there were not a sufficient number of people present to pass the bill," causing the meeting to come to an immediate end.

I find it sad that we have come to the point that sneaky procedural tactics are used to squash a motion that did nothing more than show support for a family that has lost nearly everything. It doesn't matter what Hunter's opinion was of the war in Iraq, and supporting her is not supporting the anti-war movement. Supporting her means only showing compassion toward an outstanding member of our close-knit community at JMU.

Why have these attacks on our First Amendment rights hit our front door in Harrisonburg? Attempts at limiting free speech are nothing new. Perhaps Sept. 11, 2001, gave us a wake-up call and made us think that sacrificing our First Amendment rights would give us some sort of fleeting security.

However, as Benjamin Franklin once said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Johnalex Golden is a junior political science major.




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Story Source: The Breeze

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Mauritania; Speaking Out; Iraq

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