The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 3rd

Letter: ​What is the difference in humanitarianism?


I have been confused by a pair of letters that John Jacobi has written to the editor over the past week.

First, I would like to ask a question about the meaning of his terms. What exactly does Mr. Jacobi mean when he says that “left(ist) humanitarianism” is a dominant ideology on our campus? What specifically makes “left(ist) humanitarianism” different from other forms of humanitarianism? More importantly, Mr. Jacobi says that we need to “stop responding to historical problems.” This is a dangerous and foolish proposition that overlooks how deeply the past is embedded in the present. Although we seemingly live in a post-colonial world, present-day conflicts such as the Syrian Civil War and the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis have roots in the colonial past.

Also, a quick glance in any newspaper quickly demonstrates that it would be naive to assume that racial ideologies no longer have any effect on our contemporary world. Thus, to properly revise Mr. Jacobi’s position, I would argue that understanding and responding to historical problems is the only way “to properly analyze our CURRENT conditions.”

Max Lazar

Graduate student

Department of History

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