During my time at University, I have come to appreciate the fact that it is not only a place for learning, but also an open forum where people can share their views and discuss them with fellow students. Despite this, particular views can certainly upset some people, even if they’re not meant to be upsetting.
George W. Bush’s ability, or rather inability to speak in public was discussed during a recent lesson. Over the course of history, there have been impressive speeches made by political leaders dating all the way back to Ancient Greece. During this discussion, Bush was quickly identified as one of the weaker public speakers.
At this point, the discussion veered from the main topic, but the class seemed to enjoy sharing their views on the topic – that is, until an American exchange student stormed out of the room in a huff, claiming she was too pissed and angry to participate in the class.
All the students were shocked, as no one knew the student was becoming angrier with every word that had been said about her President. No one had said anything personally attacking George Bush or his policies, yet she had refused to shed light on the situation.
As an Australian citizen and resident, I feel as though I have no right to be commenting on George Bush’s policies within his homeland. I am not thoroughly informed on all aspects of these policies to be commenting on them and I don’t live in North America.
However, commenting on his foreign policies, namely the war in Iraq, is something that affects everyone to some degree and therefore should be an open forum for discussion. In the case of this exchange student and George Bush’s public speaking being the only target for discussion, the whole walkout situation was a little confusing.
Bush’s domestic policies weren’t mentioned nor were his foreign policies. No one said anything derogatory about him or any other North American for that matter. Do we not have a right to question his public speaking skills?
Earlier on in the lesson, the class was discussing difficult reading material from the textbook. The same student who would later walk out brought the author into question by pondering his mental stability.
After some research, she found out he had committed suicide. This seemed to reinforce her view that the author was mentally unstable, which is why the text was so pessimistic and difficult to understand. It turned out the writer was Jewish and that the Gestapo was coming for him. She didn’t understand what this all meant.
Maybe a Jewish student should have walked out.