Dear President Jackson:
I am dismayed and appalled by your closure of the show by Waafa Bilal
at RPI. If an institution of higher learning-whether it calls itself
a University or an Institute-stands for anything, it must stand for
freedom of expression. Your decision to cave into right-wing pressure
groups such as the campus Young Republicans writes a sad chapter in
the history of intellectual courage. Benjamin Franklin reminds us
that those willing to trade freedom for security deserve neither. You
have discredited your institution by failing to stand up for this
precious freedom in these dark times and set a terrible example for
the students who have been placed in your trust and stewardship.
Heidegger did little more. I hope you will show the wisdom and the
courage to change your policy and reopen the show.
Lecturer in Visual Arts