The Great Walls Nameless Order.
The Great Wall's Nameless Order. Universal

The latest collection of e-mailed letters to the editor includes two readers who took umbrage with Sean's review of The Great Wall, and another from a former Husky who's not so happy with the political climate at his alma mater.

Hi, this one is for Sean Nelson. I don't like the article you wrote.

I've seen a few reviews of The Great Wall with the same basic premise—"BE LESS ANGRY NEXT TIME" @ everybody who hated the racist trailer. And I don't get it. The Great Wall used whiteness, and the white savior story, to sell a movie with mostly Chinese characters. Why tell people they shouldn't get upset about that? Whoever made the 1st trailer (and designed the poster) purposefully erased the main characters from the story just because they're not white. But you think that's not significant or worthy of anger? Yeesh.

Olivia Mansker-Stoker
Tent City Collective

Sean Nelson’s review of The Great Wall starts out from a place shorn of context. This is unforgivably sloppy; a media critic must place this film in its proper environment of past movies such as 21, Aloha and many, many other films that employ overt whitewashing. Further, a critic should also note the rampant pressure on writers and directors (both white and of color) to shoehorn in white characters where they do not belong; every non-white creator has their story of distributors and studios telling them, “Good story, but can we put a white character in there someplace? We won’t get financing without it.”

The review starts from a place that’s ahistorical. It thus ends up in the wilderness with no way to get back to civilization. Essentially, it’s glorified masturbation.

You can do better than this. You MUST do better than this, for a metro area that’s 15-20% Asian and growing. Don’t disappoint us again with such sloppy work.

Roger Tang, Editor
Asian American Theatre Revue

Recent events at the University of Washington have made me ashamed to call myself a Husky.

As a high school student, I was ecstatic to receive my UW acceptance letter. Even then I was aware that the University’s reputation imputed a strong commitment to that which is most critical to the flowering of thought; the free movement of ideas.

My experience at the UW was a wonderful affirmation of that ideal. For several years, I was surrounded by a student body both bright and curious. As a student in the Political Science department, my professors ran the gamut of the political spectrum: from centrists to libertarians to those more concerned with redistributionist policies, their unifying principle was a commitment to rigorous and open scholarship.

So it disheartens me to see political violence and harassment stifling this movement.

A number of incidents in recent weeks have concerned me, but a video I watched recently of a protest in Red Square dating back to November of last year has prompted me to write this letter. In the video, a veteran and student at the UW by the name of Kyle Broussard is harassed by protesters for the apparent crime of silently filming a public protest. Surrounded by University of Washington students in the video, he’s physically and verbally accosted by multiple people across the span of roughly ten minutes. The reason for his initial harassment is unclear—one student, perhaps taking issue with the student’s white skin and shaved head, decided that Mr. Broussard was unwelcome in Red Square so long as he filmed the left wing, identity politics driven protest. At one point a UW police officer joins in the fervor, mistaking the other students’ harassment as an indication of the young veteran’s wrongdoing.

We are not Turkey. We are not Russia or China or Cuba so why should we tolerate this crushing of curiosity? What does it gain us to tolerate the repression of student journalists, of those who hold different views than our own?

The bill of rights guarantees not only the right to speak one’s mind but by extension a right to act in accordance with one’s conscience for when we speak freely we are hindered only by the will and rule of our conscience. And this principle holds not only when we speak our own minds but more importantly when we exercise restraint and refuse to harry those we may disagree with, when we pull our fury inward and refuse to indulge the demons that would intimidate those we disagree with.

The University of Washington has long held a certain regional pre-eminence and that pre-eminence was won and maintained by strength of tolerance and commitment to refrain: refrain from the silencing of those whom we disagree with, refrain from falling into the easy and senseless punishment of those we dislike.

Support The Stranger

We’re better than this.

Talon Abernathy
UW class of 2015