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View on LGBT major at ULL misguided

September 27, 2012

 

MANAEN “JACK” MUNDI
Senior mathematics and physics

 

Opinions are healthy, but become derisive and divisive when confused for fact.

 

Your opinion piece (in the Bulldog Survival Guide) about U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, demanding the University of Louisiana at Lafayette president to drop the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender minor is flawed for many reasons.

 

Your article fell short of making a counter argument: empirically stating how an LGBT minor will indeed help the economy. Instead, you reverted to calumny.

 

Your opinion loosely strung up faulty premises about LGBT and tourism and arrived clandestinely to the conclusion, albeit non sequitur:

 

“It only makes sense that other businesses would want to hire people who are knowledgeable about the LGBT community too.”

 

I needed specific examples where knowledge of LGBT issues has been the cause of employment.

 

Quoting from the last paragraph of Rep. Landry’s letter to the president of UL-Lafayette:

 

“I again call on the university to allocate its time, energy, and resources on programs that increase the hiring viability and earning capacity of our students. Please do not assign the scarce assets meant for 15,000 on a minor that serves only five people and offers nothing for direct employment prospects. I hope our university will put people over politics and end the LGBT studies minor.”

 

The congressman’s argument is serene and utilitarian.

 

In the same vein, Rep. Landry’s argument will condemn the creation of new minors in fields (such as philosophy, classical Greek or Latin) that have little or no benefit towards preparing students for the Louisiana job market.

 

I see not how the honorable member of Congress is hinting at intolerance or ignorance.

 

Your opinions, grossly misrepresented in some instances, overstated in others, and understated parts of the congressman’s position.

 

I’m intrigued at how policies that do not, implicitly or explicitly, have immediate benefits to members of the LGBT community are considered ignorant and intolerant.

 

You could have argued that why then are religious studies minors, for instance, tolerated over LGBT minors. However, such an argument is weak because limited resources are central to Rep. Landry’s argument. Scarce resources spark a reevaluation of academic priorities; and, yes, LGBT studies (like classical Greek or Latin) doesn’t fit squarely as a priority.

 

You could have argued that the purpose of a (liberal arts) education is not necessarily to get a job, but to improve as an individual. This would have been the better argument; but such a leisure education would be at the expense of whose taxpayer dollars? My point exactly. We have become so accustomed to paying in-state tuition that we forget that we have to reward the state for subsidizing public education with our useful, college-acquired job skills.

 

Your opinion, sadly, politicizes the issue, engages in ad hominem attacks on the congressman, and inappropriately paints the issue as a civil rights ordeal. If it is tolerable to engage in calumny against a member of Congress, then I presume it fair I refer to your opinion as blatantly misguided.

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