Monday, December 7, 2009

Camila M - Letter to the Editor

Dear Mr. Reynolds,
      I found your article about John Brown as a martyr for freedom interesting and persuasive, but I am not convinced. Pardoning John Brown would condone his actions as acceptable. Both his Pottawatomie Massacre and his raid on Harper’s Ferry were illegal and bloodthirsty actions that should not be excused. Attempting to mitigate this situation 150 years later has much more potential to do harm than good. The United States government has obviously already made it clear that it supports John Brown’s basic motive, to abolish slavery, and it need not declare its support for the means by which he tried to accomplish his goal. Pardoning a man who killed for a radical cause could lead dangerous radicals today to believe that such behavior is acceptable and will be better understood in the future. No matter how admirable his cause, John Brown was a murderer who aided in the gruesome, cold blood killing of five men in Kansas. The fact that these men were pro-slavery settlers in no way justifies his actions. I think Emerson and Thoreau’s support for John Brown and his actions tarnishes their names and I am confident that President Obama will not make a similar blunder.
      Camila McHugh
      Castilleja High School, Palo Alto, CA

No comments:

Post a Comment