Government grad student
Have you heard? The administration lies, and lies big time. And yes, about important issues; Sweatshops, gays ... all the oldies but goodies ... And they're a bunch of hypocrites (did I mention they lie?).
"How so?" you may ask. Well, I'll tell you, and, if after reading this column you're not completely convinced that I'm right, I'll refund your time (some conditions may apply. (See me for details.)
First, let's discuss the lying part. Do you recall the time when Father Malloy led us all to believe that the "sexual orientation clause" issue would be decided by the Board of Trustees at its February meeting? In fact, they had decided months earlier that they would continue the, "Ug-think-gay-people-bad, real-bad" policy. Now that was classic! It's not just lying, it's Notre Dame lying! Ahhhhh, memories ... those were good times gentle reader, good times.
And the hypocrisy of it all is almost too much to bear. I'm not a theologian, like Pat Buchanan or Sean Vinck, but, as I recall, there was a guy who lived a long time ago who said wild and wacky things like, "love everyone," and general hippy-type stuff like that. I think (but don't quote me on this) his name was Jesus. Thus, the fact that His so-called followers in the Administration are so committed to discriminating against gays, falls, I feel, just a tad short of Jesus' game plan for humanity (not to mention the fact that this whole fiasco is very bad news for Notre Dame's academic reputation).
Ooh, oo! What about this whole issue of Notre Dame employing slave labor concentration camps. Now there's a doozy-double whammy, because, once again, not only are they lying, but being total hypocrites as well. Again, let's deal with the lying part first.
The administration claims that they care about the conditions under which ND merchandise is made. However, those on the battle front of this issue do not believe that concrete measures have been taken to ensure the dignity of exploited workers. Not one truly significant step.
The Administration claims that they're "looking into" this issue. Yeah, in the same way that a crack addict "looks into" quitting. These people are so addicted to the big bucks they can't pull themselves away from the "competitive advantage" that only slave labor provides (God bless capitalism)!
Which brings me to the hypocrite part. Malloy pretends to be a priest ... but of what church, I don't know. The Catholic Church (maybe you've heard of it) mandates a living wage for all people as a basic moral principle.
I'm sorry, but making 15 cents an hour doesn't exactly fall under the category of, "adequate compensation." I guess Malloy thinks to himself, "Hey, it's just Jesus who thinks all of this justice stuff is so important. I pull rank here! I'm in charge of ND, and Jesus was just a carpenter-Savior of all Humankind."
Bottom line: I feel that the University doesn't want to find out the specifics of where and how all the Notre Dame apparel is made. Why? Because they know we, "Radicals," will check up on the deal to make sure their own "beliefs" are being enforced [insert biting sarcasm here].
I guess the Administration would just like us students to trust them to do the right thing, Uh huh.
We students have an obligation NOT to believe the Administration. They are the "man" and we students are the "masses." That's the way it works; that's the tradition in the American college system. It's flat out un-American to trust them. I hope you're not un-American.
In conclusion, it is apparent, to many members of the Notre Dame community, that the most important concerns of the Administration are maximizing income and avoiding anything that might tarnish Notre Dame's reputation.
I think it's pretty clear why full disclosure of factory conditions, wages and locations would serve neither of those concerns.
ND: Slave labor and gay-bashing. May God forgive us all.
Jay Johnson is a graduate student in the Government and International Studies department, and is a member of the Progressive Student Alliance. He hopes that your life was changed by reading this column and that you will join PSA.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Tuesday, October 5, 1999