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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Illegal and undocumented mean the same thing

Editor,

I am writing in response to the article “Term ‘illegal’ raises furor” published in Wednesday’s Daily Lobo. I am just wondering, in what world does illegal and undocumented not mean the same thing? The word illegal is not a “racial slur,” it is simply a synonym. Why was this such a big issue that it made the front page story? I realize that the context of the word illegal is the issue, but I feel that Senator Colt Balok has gotten some unfair criticism over the way that he chose to refer to these immigrants.

It is noted in the article that one of Balok’s former instructors told him that the use of the word was “putting people down” and that it was not Catholic of him. For an instructor to seek him out and tell him what his own words meant is outrageous. It would be different if Balok was throwing out inappropriate racial slurs, but during a perfectly respectful debate between two opposing sides, this should not even be seen as a problem.

When “our-storian” and finance chair for MEChA de UNM Ramiro Rodriguez said that Balok “is saying that he has the right to disrespect a group of people” and that “on campus, we’re supposed to feel safe, protected and at home” he is not listening to what his opponent has to say at all.

Balok clearly states that he is not trying to disrespect anyone and that he believes that people have the right to say whatever they want. It sounds like Ramirez is trying to scare people by talking about the safety of the students on campus over this word, which is ridiculous.

Let us concentrate on real acts of violence, disrespectfulness and hate towards other students — not this.

Differing opinions should not automatically be labeled as disrespect by either side. If these two opposing sides want to reach any goals, then they need to focus on the actual issues regarding Resolution 2S and work together to find a solution.

Yes, I know it is just not that easy but I bet it could be if the two sides could at least stop the bickering.

Angelica Clayton
UNM student