Letters to the Editor

'Who we really are'

In a country whose leaders show us it's OK to torture as long as the victims have a different skin color and different religious beliefs, why should we be surprised when a United States senator, comedians and fraternity students express racial and religious prejudices and stereotyping?

And what is surprising about a youngster impersonating another to earn higher SAT scores for his friend who aspires to an Ivy League college? Isn't America teaching them that "It isn't how you play the game, it's that you win?"

There are the ethics of our urban legends (e.g., George Washington and the cherry tree) and the ethics of our reality (Abu Ghraib, Enron, Scooter Libby). If congressmen and frat boys get confused, how can we judge high school kids who were just trying to win the kind of prize our educational system increasingly emphasizes as its primary goal?

An old Cherokee saying is: "Who we think we are dies. But we are not who we think we are." All of us need to ask ourselves whether who we really are is being translated into what we do, as individuals, as a nation.

Carolee Trefts