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The Northerner

Arguments not sufficient

Will Johnson

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Dear Editor,

Once again, I am reluctantly writing in response to the statements made by Kevin Malay in his last letter to the editor. Yet again, Mr. Malay and his outlandish suggestions have ultimately made it impossible for me to sit idly by without issuing some form of rebuttal.

In the last issue of The Northerner, Malay argued that the basis of his case in regards to the suggested expulsion of Michael Powell was not founded on legalities but was, instead, an appeal to “human outrage and emotion.” Call me kooky, but I find the notion of administering punishment to an individual based on anything other than facts and proper legal procedure to be extraordinarily disturbing.

Additionally, I find that the mere concept bears an alarming resemblance to the knee-jerk reactions displayed by panicky villagers in monster movies. Sure, Mr. Malay substitutes his pitchfork with a pen and trades in his torch for an editorial, but fundamentally, the assault is just as appalling as gathering an angry mob and storming Castle Frankenstein. I’m certain that it comes as no surprise to most people, but human outrage and emotion are not components of a stable justice system. More accurately, they are catalysts for civil unrest and unsubstantiated judgment.

Unsurprisingly, I also found it unfeasible to not take issue with Mr. Malay’s painfully obvious insight (or lack thereof) into the American legal system.

“We all know, though, that being found ‘not guilty’ doesn’t mean someone is innocent.”

Once again, Mr. Malay has managed to dumbfound me with his impressive knowledge of the American court system. Yes, I can freely admit that, in some cases, people are declared “not guilty” when, in all actuality, they committed the crime that they were accused of. However, on that same token and utilizing his own form of (and I use this term loosely) logic, it can easily be said that there are a number of people who are found “guilty” when they were innocent of the crime they were convicted of. I suppose that the question I need to pose is: what’s your point?

Nevertheless, in the interest of brevity, I will abandon my grievances with Mr. Malay and his legal acumen in order to once again address his apparently insatiable desire to generalize the black students on this campus. In his letter, Malay vehemently states that the Michael Powell issue only achieves its significance to African-American students due to the fact that Powell is an African American himself. Furthermore, Mr. Malay essentially declares that African Americans only seem to care about the rights of other African Americans, drawing comparisons between cases such as Timothy McVeigh and Kobe Bryant. I understand that this is little more than a matter of opinion, but pardon me if I find it dreadfully difficult to find the correlation between the Terry Schiavo case and Michael Jackson’s legal woes.

Furthermore, forgive my ignorance if I can’t seem to determine how it is possible to associate Timothy McVeigh’s murder conviction and Kobe Bryant’s rape accusations. I’m confident that there is a deep social commentary underlying such an assertion. However, despite my best efforts, I can’t find it. Perhaps I need one of your torches.

In short, I find Mr. Malay’s arguments to be poorly constructed at best. His blatant disregard for even the most basic of civil liberties and his outright contradictions in regard to his own statements are abysmal. And to make matters worse, in spite of all his posturing, Mr. Malay has yet to provide a single acceptable reason for why Michael Powell should face expulsion, which, if I’m not mistaken, was supposed to be his point in the first place.

Will Johnson

RTV/Psychology

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Arguments not sufficient