The following is a sampling of the letters the BAM received about the protest that greeted the recent campus visit by now former New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly. Our report on the incident can be found on page 13.
Daniel M. Garr ’52
Congratulations on your articulate and thoughtful Nov. 4 commentary regarding “Intolerance at Brown.” As a member of the Brown class of ’58 I am outraged at the extreme intolerance of these students. Brown must be a place of rigorous intellectual inquiry. Brown cannot be a setting for barbaric, Hitler-like behavior where someone disagreed with is silenced before they speak. Hearing Ray Kelly should have led to a free exchange of ideas on big city policing procedures in the post 9/11 world and a lively discussion of the ramifications of such measures.
Charles P. Paley ’58
Brown students were wrong for violating the free speech principles of the First Amendment by preventing NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly from speaking. And given Mr. Kelly’s demonstrated contempt for the probable cause and equal protection requirements of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, Brown was wrong to invite him to the campus.
Mike Fahey ’67
I just saw TV footage of Brown students booing Ray Kelly off the stage. There is quite a contrast between the free-spirited atmosphere of Brown’s nudity week and the mean-spirited suppression of Kelly’s free speech, but together they suggest an institution whose values are upside down. Each time these events are publicized, my friends and family enjoy a good laugh at my expense, wondering why I actually attended this ridiculous institution. That is especially so when the most vocal students come across as illogical, inarticulate, and irrational. I wish Brown would pull itself out of this free fall. It is embarrassing.
Jeffrey Shapiro ’83