To the Editor:
On Nov. 3, you published a letter from Mickey Haslett complaining about the three Saluki cheerleaders who knelt during the national anthem, going on to call Chancellor Montemagno’s reaction to the cheerleaders’ gesture too “timid.” Haslett’s response to the cheerleaders’ action is to change an estate plan that would have left scholarship money for the football team.
As a former student with three degrees from SIUC, I applaud the cheerleaders and our chancellor. SIUC has a proud heritage of protesting important issues. My memory goes back to Dick Gregory’s protests about race issues when he was a student at SIUC — and now we are so proud to recognize him as one of our alums.
Kneeling during the national anthem does not disrespect our flag or our military; it is a peaceful and respectful way to draw attention to an issue that is tearing our country apart. Idealistic students want a better world — they want “a more perfect union.” As faculty and chancellors teaching and guiding these students, we should be proud of them. I am.
Mickey Haslett can decide not to provide scholarships for our students. My husband and I currently give money for scholarships, and we will keep SIUC scholarships as part of our estate plan.