Letters to the Editor
By AUTHOR, Public Affairs
While in the Disabled Student Program office last week, I picked up a copy of Berkeleyan and read about the number of minority students who will graduate from Berkeley this May. What annoyed me was the other "minority" students who were excluded in the article: disabled students.
I will graduate from Berkeley in May. To me, it is a lifetime achievement, like a Nobel Prize. Living with low vision since birth, I, and others like me, have known the intolerance, bigotry and hatred often coming from people who are the first to complain about "social injustices" done to them.
UC Berkeley is one place in California where I have felt safe and included. None of my professors ever treated me with contempt. Although I have met some hypocrites among the student body, I have also seen students and professors who have compensated for their intolerance toward disabled people. I am grateful to have been a part of Berkeley, because before I came here, I was led to believe I was not worthy of achieving my goals.
Don't ignore the graduating disabled students leaving here in May. Too many of us have worked and dreamt of graduating from a university. You can never know what my participation here at Berkeley has meant to me.
Regan Amanda Mason
I read Tamara Keith's column about People's Park, which I felt was well thought-out and insightful for people of my generation. (I am 50.)
Having lived through the '60s, all I can say is, "it seemed like a good idea at the time." I suppose it is a testimony to our generation that she doesn't grasp what it was all about -- no one looks twice at pink hair, nose rings, blacks, Asians, gays and lesbians, or any other group mainstreaming into society now. Perhaps the concept is best depicted in the underrated movie, "Pleasantville." Society did not tolerate diversity very well back then -- even the "liberal" University of California.
As for People's Park, I personally don't care if Bank of America builds a 50-story high rise there. It is a place (and an idea) that has come and gone, and as relevant to future generations as those bird dropping-covered statues in a park of some long-gone politician.