KSU professors give debate over ’12 race
by Jon Gillooly
October 30, 2012 01:33 AM | 4445 views | 10 10 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kenneth White
Kenneth White
KENNESAW — Two Kennesaw State University professors debated who would make a better president, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, before a lively audience of about 130 students at the school on Monday evening.

Arguing for Obama, Dr. Kenneth White, an assistant professor of criminal justice and political science, said on the topic of immigration, Obama is the better choice.

“Obama fought to protect the sovereignty of the United States when Arizona passed its radical immigration law, SB1070,” White said. “Obama took that law to the Supreme Court and won. Three of the four issues were struck down.”

As for the fourth part of that law, it too will be struck down once it makes its way through the Arizona court system, White said.

“Romney argues for self-deportation as a strategy,” White said. “He wants to make 12 million people so miserable that they’re going to move voluntarily. Some of those people have family here. They grew up here, and when they go abroad they’re not going to be welcomed as insiders. To me, that’s just a cruel policy.”

Arguing the side for a Romney presidency was Dr. Melvyn Fein, a professor of sociology at KSU.

Fein said it’s apparent to him that Obama has his own policy when it comes to self-deportation as well.

“It’s called recession,” Fein said. “If there are no jobs, then people go home, and that’s what they’re doing.”

White went on to argue about what it means to be an illegal alien.

“First of all, it’s not a crime to be in this country without paperwork,” White said. “Deportation is a civil proceeding. So an immigrant without paperwork is as illegal as somebody who didn’t call code enforcement when they switched out a lamp at their house, and they’re illegal in terms of code. Those are the facts.”

White’s argument prompted Fein to stutter in astonishment, saying, “this, this, this word play. This, this sophistry. ‘Oh, they’re not going to be illegal because it’s not a crime blah, blah.’ They’re breaking the law. Call it what you like. They are breaking the law.”

One student, Michael Zeman, vice president of KSU’s College Libertarians, asked, “Why should we vote for either candidate when both of them support negating our civil liberties by the National Defense Authorization Act, the Patriot Act, the Defense of Marriage Act?

“Why don’t they have a cohesive plan, either of them, for saving the economy?” continued Zeman, who is studying economics and finance at KSU and plans to vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. “Why must we continue to support the military-industrial complex and other departments of the federal government?”

Fein was first to answer.

“Why do we support our military and the industries that support the military? Because if we didn’t have those, and we couldn’t defend ourselves against our would-be enemies we would not be free in the long run,” Fein said. “This is not a peaceful world. Look around you. If we dismantle our Army … within a decade we’d be speaking Spanish because the Mexicans would be marching north.”

With this response the crowd broke out in laughter, but Fein continued.

“If you think this is just a talking point, you haven’t seen the maps of the Latino groups in the Southwest which show California and Arizona and Texas and Colorado as parts of Mexico,” he said. “If we could not defend our borders, they would be coming over here almost immediately.”

Another student asked Fein why he didn’t mention Canada.

“If you don’t know the difference between the Mexican culture and the Canadian culture, then you can’t answer that question,” Fein said.

Shaddi Abusaid, a senior majoring in journalism who graduated from Kennesaw Mountain High School in 2008, asked “Does it not concern you that Israel’s oppression of millions of Palestinians perpetuates terrorism?”

Fein gave a history lesson.

“If you know something about the history and not just Arab propaganda, you know that Jews were moving into Palestine in significant numbers in the 19th century, and they were buying the land from the local folks who were not called Palestinians because they were ruled by the Turks.”

When Jews declared independence, the Mufti of Jerusalem, a friend of Hitler, took up arms against them, yet the Jews survived against massive odds, Fein said.

“Well now that they have won and preserved their nationhood, now they’re the bullies,” Fein said. “Now they’re the oppressors. The folks that tried to kill them are now the good guys because they have managed to remain in poverty lo these many years. If these folks had pulled themselves together and created a modern state, they wouldn’t need to destroy Israel and they wouldn’t need to make Israel into a scapegoat for their own misery.”

White took up the question by saying Obama is a friend of Israel.

“What Romney has shown is that on his trip— for example, when he went to Israel — he has shown a certain mindset that again I think is out of touch,” White said. “He suggested sort of what Dr. Fein just suggested now, which is that somehow the Palestinian culture is deficient. And I can’t imagine something more insulting to the people there that you would suggest that your culture is deficient as a matter of its culture.”

Fein said as a sociologist, culture is at the heart of what he studies.

“Calling it ‘culture-deficient’ is harsh, but you know what? Cultures matter,” Fein said. “If you have a culture that’s dedicated to democracy and to the free market, why you know what happens? That society tends to prosper. If you have a society that’s dedicated to something very different, I think there’s a real sense that there is a medieval spirit in many of the Muslim countries in the Middle East. That didn’t bring prosperity to Europe. It’s not going to bring prosperity to the Middle East. It doesn’t work. And if you don’t recognize that and if you don’t realize that there needs to be cultural changes in the Middle East, then you don’t know what it’s going to take to fix it.”

Fein referenced a friend of his who recently moved back to Egypt where his wife was forced to have her head covered.

“She was not allowed to live the way she lived in the United States,” Fein said. “These things matter. And if you want to ignore them and you want to ignore the way women are treated in the Muslim world, you go ahead, but the consequences are going to be negative whether you agree with me or not.”

KSU student Desiree Delcid, a 2008 South Cobb High School graduate studying modern language and culture, said she was undecided about who to vote for before the debate because she needed to do more research. After the debate, she said, “It’s leaning me towards Obama more because of the education issues and immigration and women’s rights.”

Delcid also declared White the winner.

“More people here were agreeing with what he was saying,” she said.

Joey Shaw, a sophomore studying exercise and health science, and his girlfriend, Sarah Besterci, a junior studying psychology and criminology, said they started their relationship while students at Kell High School. Although the couple both intend to vote for Romney, they said the winner was also White.

“He came across better to people,” Shaw said. “More people seemed to agree with him. The whole crowd. While the crowd was laughing and booing when they were talking about how if we didn’t have an Army how Mexico would invade, they didn’t hear the part that the Latinos do have in their maps, and I don’t know much about this, but I have heard this before that they do have land extending up into the California region and New Mexico, and if we didn’t have an Army what would happen.”
Comments-icon Post a Comment
AZTLAN fighter
October 30, 2012
Here is part of what Fein (correctly) tried to pass on to the skulls of mush. No hate speech here ehh? (that will ever make it to students at KSU)


El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan

In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal "gringo" invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlan from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.

We are free and sovereign to determine those tasks which are justly called for by our house, our land, the sweat of our brows, and by our hearts. Aztlan belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent

Brotherhood unites us, and love for our brothers makes us a people whose time has come and who struggles against the foreigner gabachowho exploits our riches and destroys our culture. With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan.

Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.

Buzz Williams
October 30, 2012
Hey, Ken- Arizona and the other states are trying to enforce the laws currently on the books because Washington will not do it. if money is tight, let the states take over the duty but give them the backing. You attitude is the refelction of too many that teach our young that America is bad.
October 30, 2012

"And I can't understand how someone who has dedicated their life to the study of culture could take a stance that encourages intercultural warfare."

Perhaps someone who has been around this world for a while an is aware of history harbors reasonable fears about the safety of the USA. Romans never believed their empire would collapse.

As to preemption--you or I are no more qualified to judge when it is correct. I often wonder how World War 2 would have fared if Chamberlain came home and said to England= "To arms, the Nazis are going to invade Czechoslovakia". Quite likely things may have turned out different.

I am sure from your many years on the panet you can advise Israel or the UN or America when the right time is.
Pat H
October 30, 2012
Obama fought to support the sovereignty of our country by fighting tough laws against criminal invaders? And KSU pays this guy a salary to indoctrinate our young people?

Illegal entry is a crime, but a misdemeanor. Second time caught here illegally it is a felony. That is not a civil matter but a criminal one.

Mr. White seems to need to go back to class. Mexican culture practiced here in our country by people who just come for benefits by way of babies is destroying our culture, as well as our tax structure.
Shaddi Abusaid
October 30, 2012
I had the pleasure of speaking with Fein after the debate.

He's an absolute hawk.

He told me that the best way for America to defend itself was through the use of preemptive war.

He's convinced that Iran has a nuclear weapon and he thinks the United States should invade.

Personally, I don't think attack as a means of defense is the best foreign policy for the United States.

And I can't understand how someone who has dedicated their life to the study of culture could take a stance that encourages intercultural warfare.
LB Armstrong
October 30, 2012
Kudos to Joey and his girlfriend, first for being there to hear both sides but also for being savvy enough to realize they need to look deeper into the issues for themselves and not vote based on one's impression of surrogates.

Certainly, if any of the kids was really listening and not just there to heckel, they can take the factual presentation of the middle east problem and research it for themselves. Even under the most intense peer pressure to be liberal, one can dig deeper, try to see both sides and then make up their own minds, and this seems to be what they're doing.

Also, it's sad to see the Libertarians, who I identify with on so many things, foster such an anti-military ignorance on the security of the U.S.I suppose the rebels are drawn to that, but they have to know then that they are part of the problem in this country, not in any way part of a solution.
October 30, 2012
I thought KSU leaned conservative post-Betty, so why did they sabotage the Romney argument by having 750 AM spouting nutcase Fein argue it?

People who simply parrot what they heard on the radio do not make for strong debaters. They do make for MDJ Op-Ed writers, of course.
October 30, 2012
Another angry, ugly comment from you. Not a contribution to the conversation, just a nasty, self-satisfied vent.
October 30, 2012
Although,I didn't have the pleasure of listening to Fein on 750AM radio, I have read his articles in the Marietta Daily Journal and taken one of his classes at KSU, he is NOT a nutcase.(Rather strong language)
October 30, 2012
Nutcase .. Wingnut . Whatever.. It's early!

Not understanding why somebody out there thinks VFP42 is angry, though. Huh?
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides