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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 11/20/2017

Don’t march out; Challenge speakers

Don’t march out; Challenge speakers

Walking out doesn't solve anything

 

I preface this letter by noting that I mentor Asian-American students at the University at Albany. I made clear to them at the beginning of this semester that should the university extend a speaking invitation an individual whose views they and I would consider reprehensible and repugnant that they shouldn’t interrupt or attempt to shut down the speaker.

I encouraged them to research the speaker, listen to his/her words, and then use their research and intelligence to rebut the speaker during the question-and-answer session.

What then to make of the Albany Law School students who walked out of a panel on travel bans to protest one speaker?

They’re students at a prestigious institution of legal education. I have friends who graduated from that school and serve in truly distinguished capacities today. These students will be challenged when they argue cases against opposing attorneys and try to convince juries. Why not undertake a challenge now?

It’s my hope that the next time said students are again faced with this type of challenge, they’ll stay and question the individual(s) with the intelligence they obviously have in order to attend this school.

Michael Fondacaro

Albany

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