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Protest threat demeaning

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This is in response to Kevin Keane’s mean-spirited Letter to the Editor published on March 23 (“Obama choice unacceptable”). In this letter, Mr. Keane threatened that if the University administration did not heed his demands, he and others would line Notre Dame Avenue with graphic pictures of aborted fetuses. He claims that such a scene would result from the actions of the University. That is simply false – such a distasteful protest would only come from Mr. Keane and his fellow radical anti-abortion activists. I hope that he and others recognize that Commencement weekend is not for him, or other alumni, or for activists seeking to create political theater. Rather, it is a celebration for the Notre Dame class of 2009 in which we finally receive the diploma for which we worked so hard. It is a time for my classmates and me to have a final weekend together as college students before we go off into the real world or graduate school.

Through our hard work and committment to Notre Dame, we have earned the right to have our last weekend free from angry alumni who come to bash our University’s supposed loss of Catholic identity. Mr. Keane, it is your right as an American to protest. If you really feel the desire to stand on Notre Dame Ave. with your graphic pictures next to the person with the “God hates homosexuals” sign, our great Constitution gives you that right. I just hope that you and other alumni step back from your emotions and try to think back to yourself as a graduating senior.

Would you want protesters yelling as you walk across campus in your cap and gown? Would you want your young nieces and nephews to see an aborted fetus as their parents find a parking place? Would you want students to disregard their four years of hard work and instead focus on a 30-minute speech by the President of the United States? Please, consider my classmates and me. Commencement is about us and our time at the University, not about alumni who were on campus during the time of Gerry Faust and their political positions.

Rick Raley


off campus

March 23