Richard Swerdlin swerdlin at GTE.NET
Tue Jun 10 07:19:22 MDT 1997

> From: Mike Wangsmo <wanger at REDHAT.COM>
> Subject: Re: Tradition
> Date: Tuesday, June 10, 1997 7:09 AM
> Your message on: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 10:47:43 CDT
> >        Hazing is a reminder that some people have not advanced much on
> >evolutionary scale.  It is a tradition that should be countered by
> >concerned citizens.
> >
> >        The treatment of hazing at The Citadel on "60 Minutes" is
> >unfortunately another reminder to the effect that an administration may
> >choose to wink at such monkey business.
> >Hazing is not needed to build character.  It is simply a form of
> >
> >         Certain traditions can make sense, but hazing is hardly one of
> >them.
> Richard:
> While I agree that some forms of hazing are wrong, I tend to agree with
> forms of "initiation" to _clubs_.  The harder something is to get into,
> more cherished the membership becomes.  For example, the Marines that had
> their flight wings beat into their chest when they were earned.  Yes this
> violent, but, it really builds a form of brotherhood between the members
> the elite group.  This is kind of like how brothers fight each other
> up, but stand together against an outsider.
> More to the point at the Citadel.  While some of the actions of the
> against blacks (ie the kid who got shot) was way out of line, we don't
> the whole story. I don't buy into the stuff that the students are
becoming a
> bunch of Nazi's.  I think the kids are being rebelious, not white
> supremicists.  The reason that I believe this is because the highest
> student officer is a black student.  If the school was truly against
> minorities, that would NEVER happen.
> I suspect that there have been MANY white students that have been forced
> quit the Citadel because they didn't measure up to the standards held
> The same sorts of things happen in all elite military groups.  I remember
> to boot camp in the Navy and how the Seal candidates were treated.  In
> to be sure that the Navy had the best men possible for that group, they
> allowed all sorts of attacks on the recruits to weed out any one who
could not
> hack the elitism of the Seals.  That is just life.
> Mike

> Mike Wangsmo, QA Engineer
> Red Hat Software, Inc.

        My general concern is for those instances, governmental or private,
where monkey business is overlooked, when it could be at least reduced by
reasonable counter action.  Hazing is just one part of that forest.

        At Keesler AFB in Biloxi, the base commander paid little attention
to the level of gambling  prostitution, alcoholism, etc., involving GI's
and the town.  The commanding general seemed to be on the take and/or
politically in bed with the mayor, so that it was in his financial interest
to overlook related incidents, such as family abuses, suicides over
gambling debts, etc.

         The smell however reached Washington.  The city of Biloxi was
declared "off limits",
except for trips to the railroad station or post office.  Since so much of
the local economy depended on military patronage by local personnel, the
message travelled quickly.  While Biloxi was not transformed into another
Paradise, the situation did improve.

         Overall, it is reasonable to change what can be changed.  My point
is that many things fit this description.  An act of Congress or a state
legislature is not needed, in the sense that local action can address
questionable situations.  Comparably, money does not have to be

         Essentially, humans should treat others decently.

Richard Swerdlin
(swerdlin at

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