I have a challenge for Dave Barnard, Lisha Perez and Nina Smith.

You seem to have a strong disagreement about, at least, two topics. First, does the fact that Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa are Latino have any bearing on their behavior during the recent Major League Baseball playoffs? Second, what role, if any, should there be at Williams for discussion of the influence of culture on behavior?

I, for one, have enjoyed reading your statements in the Record. It is wonderful to read such pieces. You are fortunate to be at a place like Williams that relishes passionate and informed discussion.

The perfect place for such a debate would probably be a Gaudino Forum. Presumably, it would not be hard to change the format so that each of you had an opportunity to first present your views, perhaps question each other and then involve the audience. I have no doubt that a good time would be had by all. Bill Lenhart, he of the “frank exchange,” might make for an excellent moderator, or perhaps even a full fledged participant. Harry Sheehy might also be included.

The cynic in me wonders, however, if any of the three of you are really ready for the rigor of such a public exploration and examination of your views. Perhaps Barnard is no more than a simple jock, intellectually incapable of participating in such a debate and best left to wallow in his own unexamined prejudices. Perhaps Perez and Smith are nothing more than shallow campus activists, unable to do more than be offended and issue demands.

My guess, however, is that the cynic in me is wrong.

On a personal note, I participated in a debate or two like this during my own time at Williams 15 years ago. They are among my fondest memories.

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