Pick Your Battles

By Sebastian Godinez

In the U.S., there is an old adage that goes like this: “You need to pick and choose which battles you’re going to fight.” This is an adaption from the words of  military leaders from Sun Tzu to Carl von Clausewitz, the father of modern military strategy. The obvious point behind this statement is that there are some battles that aren’t worth it. The students protesting on Drew’s campus are one such example of this. First off, Woody Allen has never been convicted of any crimes and as far as I’m aware of, and unlike Harvey Weinstein, there is not a lot of evidence to indict him on. Moreover, he was on campus for only 3-4 days. If he were here long-term, protesting might have some merit.

Now Clausewitz had a second idea, that war was an extension of political goals. Of course, this protest is not a war, but this is akin to a “war” against allowing Woody Allen on campus. If the goal was to bring about a point, you did it with your posts in both the Acorn and on Facebook on day one. Standing outside and plastering large parts of campus with cardboard signs wins you nothing but brownie points. In any event, the significant effort that people engaged in against someone who was here for a mere few days should be redirected to where it matters: Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C. Support the efforts of New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who on many occasion has introduced legislation that is designed to curb and prevent sexual assaults both on college campuses and in the U.S. armed forces. Tell our new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, that the revocation of the Obama-era “Dear Colleague” letter is harmful to empowering victims of sexual assault from getting the assistance they need.

I wish to give the same advice to members of the lead editorial for last week’s edition of the paper. Biloxi is a city in Mississippi. Drew University is based in New Jersey. While it’s unfortunate that Biloxi chose to ban the exceptionally well-written and powerful book that is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, it is one of many cities that have done this. Are we going to express collective shock every time this happens? Or should we decide that these are battles to fight another day, in a better situation?

Sebastian is a senior Political Science major.

Graphic by Caroline Polich

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