Ryan Chartrand

The intention of Arab culture night was to celebrate the beautiful music, exotic dance, and delicious cuisine that all continue to the pride of an ancient people. Despite the harsh reality that numerous Arabs live in regions marred by violent conflict, for one night, the hope was that an audience at Cal Poly could appreciate the many positive aspects of Arab life that exist independent of any contemporary strife.

Sam Goodly made the intellectually dishonest leap of equating current political struggles in some of the world’s least-developed nations with the notion that the Arab people are inherently bloodthirsty. So many nations in the Middle East and North Africa suffer from gross inequalities in wealth distribution, foreign interference with their resources, a lack of basic human rights, and (most importantly) powerful and corrupt governmental regimes that exacerbate these ailments. Inevitably these unfortunate regional circumstances aggravate even the most understanding citizens, and it is regrettable that some resort to violence as a means of expressing their anger and frustration. But it is preposterous and insensitive to call this their nature, and their behavior is most certainly not “unprovoked.”

One must consider the individual environmental situations that evoke violence before inappropriately branding an entire race with such a negative stigma. There are so many vibrant, moderate, and peaceful-minded people of Arab descent. (Some of whom are students on this very campus!) Please, learn to distinguish these Arab people and their culture from a violent minority.

Cassie Widay
Economics Junior

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *