Northern Iowan

LTE: Oscars embrace violence

Letter to the Editor

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Watching the 90th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the determination of participants to shed light on social issues, including gender discrimination, immigration, systemic racism and school shootings — all of which entail violence against fellow human beings.

Imagine my surprise, then, when the Academy chose to glorify mega-violence by devoting a segment to honor and applaud the U.S. military.

The cheers from the crowd confused me; and not one speaker, from that moment on, connected the dots between the United States’ campaign of global violence and the violence we experience here at home.

In the past 50 years alone, untold millions of civilians have fallen victim to American weaponry and America’s obsession with militarism.

So as the ovation to American warriors echoed through Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, I found myself wondering: if Nikolas Cruz had enlisted in the military, and had he killed 17 Iraqis, or Vietnamese, or Afghanis, would we see him differently?

Was his crime not so much killing people, as killing the wrong people?

When U.S. history embraces the incomprehensible violence of war as a glorious and heroic solution to our nation’s problems, why are we shocked when our children see violence as the answer to their own problems?

— Jim Keane,

Graduate Student,

English Studies

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LTE: Oscars embrace violence