Samples of Your Emails to Keep America Safe

Demanding an Apology from Liz Cheney

By NIN Hotline Readers for Emails to Keep America Safe on October 26, 2009

In response to news that Trent Reznor and other musicians had launched a formal protest of the use of their music for torturing detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the group "Keep America Safe," founded by Liz Cheney, made public statements reported in the Washington Times that Trent and the other musicians' effort was "pathetic" and "laughable." Debra Burlingame, director for the group, stated: "It's almost laughable to think that heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine have a moral authority on national security issues." We invited NIN Hotline readers to get in touch with Keep America Safe, let them know what you think, and demand an apology from Ms. Cheney for her group's statements.

Here are a few particularly great examples of your emails to Keep America Safe.

  • I am a resident of North Carolina and a traditional American conservative (fiscal conservative, social liberal.) I take issue with Keep America Safe's recent statements in regards to comments by Trent Reznor and other American recording artists. Keep America Safe recently made statements labeling Mr. Reznor's stance on the issue of using his music during interrogations as being "pathetic," "laughable," and that "heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine" lack any "moral authority on national security issues." This is a deeply disturbing and anti-American view that runs contradictory to the tradition of American conservatism and reasoned American political discourse. Mr. Reznor and the other recording artists protesting the unauthorized use of their intellectual property are American citizens and small business owners. Mr. Reznor employs dozens of hard working people running his musical enterprise. Mr. Reznor's music is his property, and in the tradition of American conservatism, control over the use and disposal of Mr. Reznor's property is sacrosanct and subject only to his judgment. Employing the work of a private citizen without their express consent in the service of public aims is amoral and runs counter to what all hard working American's of any political stripe (but specifically conservatives) should deem acceptable. I would respectfully request that your organization apologize to Mr. Reznor and others named and recognize their right to dictate the use of their intellectual property as they see fit. While you can dispute the reasons why they would not want their intellectual property used in this way you should not engage in slander and ad hominem attacks. Mr. Reznor and others have every right to express their opinions, dictate the terms of and use of their property, and posses the same "moral authority on national security issues" as any other American citizen regardless of their vocation. Thank you for your time.


  • To “Keep America Safe” and Liz Cheney: Your opinion on whether or not the government should be allowed to use private artists music at Guantanamo Bay is just that: an opinion. Artists such as Trent Reznor and Tom Morello may disagree with your opinion on the matter, but again, that is just their opinion. Differing opinions is a right that the Constitution provides every American. To state that their protest is pathetic, laughable and lacks “moral authority” is an insulting, misleading, and utterly childish statement that undermines the very principals this country was founded upon. If you truly want to “keep America safe” you will apologize to these artists immediately and start working on issues that actually protect the Constitution of this great country rather than issues focused on narrow minded right wing fallacies.


  • I'm not emailing you to debate your political stance or the goals of your group. Simply put, I am offended that a group meant to promote American freedoms has members who actively disregard and even belittle the opinions of artists based solely off the type of music they make. A little research of the main men behind the two bands specifically named in that quote would show a history of humanitarian and charitable work. Furthermore, it is incomprehensible to justify the use of people's life work, what many truly view as things of beauty, as a means of torture. To justify the previous and then to pass off the artists' opinions as meaningless due to their musical preference is inexcusable. I demand an apology from Keep America Safe, namely the spokeswoman Liz Cheney, who acts as a voice of the group. I am confident others are demanding the same.


  • Firstly, I would like to say that I uphold your right to speak your mind in any way you see fit, to be quoted in context, and to have your point of view respected. It is my sincere hope that part of "Keep America Safe," from your perspective, is to also uphold and maintain these principles for all Americans. It is therefore unfortunate that Keep America Safe has been a part of belittling, demonizing, and disrespecting the work of artists through recent comments regarding musicians who are outraged by the use of their creative output at Guantanamo Bay.

    Songs are not guns, tear gas, billy clubs, or hand grenades. Songs are an expression of personal emotion which galvanize and unite audiences, regardless of whether Keep America Safe finds any particular song to their taste. It is not the right of any political body to use the works of an artist however they see fit simply because the artist happens to reside within the jurisdiction of said political body. At least, that is not the case in the America I know and wish to keep safe.

    It is not the right of Ms. Burlingame, Ms. Cheney, or anyone at Keep America Safe to pass offensive and summary moral judgment on artists. Ms. Burlingame's statement that "It's almost laughable to think that heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine have a moral authority on national security issues" displays an ignorance of these artists' political lives, artistic merit, and value as human beings, and implies that the artists involved are somehow already so immoral as to be without rights altogether [ed. note - shortened for space] I am certain you and your esteemed colleagues at Keep America Safe must, after cooler heads have prevailed, understand that the harsh, divisive words of your spokespeople only served to alienate more and more people from your cause. This is unfortunate, as the basic tenets of your cause are commendable -- and so are those of artistic expression and attachment to one's works. Please do your part to ensure that both are respected and issue an apology today.


  • I recently read in a Washington Times article that your group has called the protests of certain musicians whose music was used for torture (or advanced interrogation techniques) "laughable," "pathetic," and that they lack "any moral authority on national security issues." I find this statement highly disrespectful, especially since I, myself, am a musician. Just because this group of artists does not agree with the treatment of prisoners does not make them "immoral." They have every right to be outraged that the music they worked so hard to produce was used in ways that inflict pain and suffering in other human beings. Your group has no right to demoralize and look down upon these people who are an integral part of American culture. Tom Morello, one of the artists who is protesting the use of his music for torture, graduated from Harvard with honors in political science. This is just one of the many examples which shows that these artists are educated, moral, caring human beings who are concerned about political issues, like many other Americans in the country. We all have a right to disagree, and no one should call us "immoral" or "pathetic" for doing so. On behalf of many other concerned American citizens, we would like the members of "Keep America Safe" who made these statements to apologize for publicly attempting to humiliate hard working Americans who are actively taking part in a political issue that they have an interest in. All Americans have the right to protest, and to sue in court if they so choose, and their attempts should not be criticized. Please consider doing the right thing. Thank you.


  • To Whom It May Concern, As an avid fan of Nine Inch Nails and a cataloger of music for the Library of Congress at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, I am appalled at the complete disregard for the Fine Arts and its fellow musicians Ms. Cheney and your organization have shown. Throughout history music has been nothing but a source of enjoyment for all people on this planet. To use music that millions of people love for torture shows that you have no feeling for the fellow humans around you. Keep in mind that because certain songs may make your ears want to bleed, others may love them. Your idea of "Keeping America Safe" isn't very humanistic, nor Christian, is it?


  • This attitude in using other people's property for your own use while expecting them to simple accept this and not argue is purely Socialist. One would think that an organization such as yours could get their ideology straight. All the bands Liz Cheney has insulted deserve a public apology.


  • First, I would like to thank everyone at Keeping America Safe for their concern for the country I so dearly love. Though we may not agree on many political issues, I understand and appreciate that your intent is (generally) in the right place. However, something your organization has been quoted with goes far beyond simple political differences and into the realm of personal insults. I speak, of course, of the article in The Washington Times where the outrage many artists have had over their hard work and creative talent was used for torture was called "pathetic" and "laughable", and it was said that they have no moral right to be upset. I know that Debra Burlingame, who made the comments quoted in the article, may not be a fan of the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, or REM, and I know that those artists tend to speak out on political issues that you may not be in agreement with, but I am asking you to please give them the respect they deserve. It may be extremely popular in politics these days to treat the people you disagree with as second class citizens (if that), but I humbly request that you take the higher ground here and offer an apology. Your organization does not exist in a conservative vacuum. You are a public figure, and as such, you have a responsibility to treat people with respect. I know you have received many emails on this topic, and if you have indeed actually read mine, I am very grateful. Thank you for your time.


  • To Whom It May Concern. Liz Cheney and her cohorts have no right to decide that certain musicians qualify as "immoral" and therefore have no right to object to the use of THEIR music to torture individuals. What's actually laughable is that she and others don't see this attitude as a violation of people's rights, the people your organization claims to be concerned about. Regardless of her musical tastes and so called moral values, you can't parade yourself as a supporter of Freedom and American Rights and then deny them to citizens, especially while she's busy supporting the denial of human rights to others (of course you can't fault her on that consistency). It's pathetic to see such people of power and potential respect so openly display their ill-informed hostility, lack of intellect and perpetuate the tiring divisiveness in this country. No one's holding their breath, but Liz Cheney should consider apologizing for so breezily suggesting that people she doesn't agree with don't have a say in our country.


  • I am sending this email to inform you of my disgust for your deep disregard to artists and their intellectual property in some recent comments that have been made public. Because it has been so eloquently stated by other people, i will state my opinion by verbatim quoting another person. Because I am a fairly conservative Republican, i agree with your intentions, but because of your total disregard for intellectual property rights, you are ignoring basic freedoms granted to these hardworking individuals. What follows it the best description of my complaint. *I take issue with Keep America Safe's recent statements in regards to comments by Trent Reznor and other American recording artists. Keep America Safe recently made statements labeling Mr. Reznor's stance on the issue of using his music during interrogations as being "pathetic," "laughable," and that "heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine" lack any "moral authority on national security issues." This is a deeply disturbing and anti-American view that runs contradictory to the tradition of American conservatism and reasoned American political discourse. Mr. Reznor and the other recording artists protesting the unauthorized use of their intellectual property are American citizens and small business owners. Mr. Reznor employs dozens of hard working people running his musical enterprise. Mr. Reznor's music is his property, and in the tradition of American conservatism, control over the use and disposal of Mr. Reznor's property is sacrosanct and subject only to his judgment. Employing the work of a private citizen without their express consent in the service of public aims is amoral and runs counter to what all hard working American's of any political stripe (but specifically conservatives) should deem acceptable. I would respectfully request that your organization apologize to Mr. Reznor and others named and recognize their right to dictate the use of their intellectual property as they see fit. While you can dispute the reasons why they would not want their intellectual property used in this way you should not engage in slander and ad hominem attacks. Mr. Reznor and others have every right to express their opinions, dictate the terms of and use of their property, and posses the same "moral authority on national security issues" as any other American citizen regardless of their vocation. Thank you for your time.


  • As an American citizen and tax payer and as an artist and music lover, I am outraged by Debra Burlingame's recent comments in response to the protests of Trent Reznor and other American recording artists at the unauthorized use of their music during torture sessions at Guantanamo Bay. "It's almost laughable to think that heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine have a moral authority on national security issues." While I support Ms. Burlingame's right to like or dislike any music she so chooses, I am appalled by the arrogance and the dangerous moral ignorance this statement reveals. This statement suggests that Mr. Reznor, Mr. Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and others are less simply because of the music they create and have no right to protest an unauthorized use of their work, their art because she deems them "immoral". What's next? Declaring them heretics and soulless and banning their work (except for use in a national security context, of course)? I demand a public apology from Debra Burlingame and Liz Cheney to Trent Reznor, Tom Morello, and all the other artists Ms. Burlingame insulted with her thoughtless and arrogant comments.


  • This evening I have read some disturbing statements made by Debra Burlingame, a director of Keep America Safe, about Trent Reznor, et al. The statements seem ignorant at best and reflect poorly on your organization as well as her knowledge of these bands and their moral values. Mrs. Burlingame has every right to have an opinion about these individuals, their bands, the genre of music, or what ever else she so desires. She does not, however, have the right to slander someone in the media based on her opinions and make statements that lack the same moral fabric that she claims these people lack. These bands and individual members have rights, both constitutionally, and legally under copyright laws, to determine how, when, and by whom their art can be used. Please try to respect their rights and think before statements of ignorance are made. If you are about protecting American rights, the foundation of what keeps us safe, then please do the right thing and apologize to Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails, Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine, and all bands that you have insulted by these statements.


  • It is with disappointment and disgust that I write this email as I feel the comments shared by this organization have not only outraged these amazing and artistic musicians, but also a slap in the face to music lovers, and to the citizens of this great country. I have been a passionate fan of these artists' music my entire life, and much of which has had a positive influence on the person I am and will be. As an influential figure in the local healthcare community, I share this same sentiment by these artists, and I believe that holding these beliefs in the misuse of their music and life's work is hardly "immoral." What is immoral and evil is the mistreatment and torture of human beings, and for that we demand an apology at the very least!


  • I'm emailing in regards to comments by Debra Burlingame on the use of music by artists such as Rage Against The Machine and Nine Inch Nails in torture at Guantanamo Bay. Her comments including "It's almost laughable to think that heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine have a moral authority on national security issues," do not in any way defend your position and detract from your overall argument. Whilst I highly disagree with both torture and the very nature of Guantanamo Bay itself the use of artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against The Machine in this is particularly abhorrent regardless of your moral view on these areas. A similar area would be the use of a Ted Nugent in an advert promoting a support line for homosexuality or ZZ Top at a communist party conference. Neither artist would even consider authorising their music for this purpose and would be incensed to find it had been used in this manner. To not only defend this practice but also to allege that it is 'laughable' that they should have any moral authority on this matter is deeply offensive and displays significant ignorance of the bands themselves. Only this year for example Nine Inch Nails ran a campaign to help raise money so Eric De La Cruz could get a new heart. I fail to see how this could be the act of anyone who lacks "moral authority" and there are many similar examples by bands whose music has been used for torture. I demand that Debra Burlingame apologise for her comments and that in future she should not comment about people she seems to know nothing about.


  • I am a concerned citizen who would like to hear a sincere apology from Liz Cheney and her group "Keep America Safe" regarding the their harsh criticism of an honest protest by Trent Reznor and fellow musicians to stop their music from being used for torture at Guantanamo Bay and to finally shutdown this unlawful institute. The Director of “Keep America Safe”, Debra Burlingame, who spoke on behalf of Ms. Cheney’s group was reported to have described this effort by Trent Reznor, Tom Morello, Pearl Jam and other notable artist as being “pathetic” and “laughable”. Burlingame reportedly stated "It's almost laughable to think that heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine have a moral authority on national security issues". I will not go as far as to say that artists like Trent Reznor or Tom Morello should have moral authority regarding issues of national security. However, I will say that it disturbs me that a group like “Keep America Safe” should think they have so much moral authority that they can simply disregard and belittle someone else’s attempt to honestly speak out against injustice. I find the statements made by Debra Burlingame on behalf of Ms. Cheney and “Keep America Safe” to be blatantly tyrannical. I would hope that someone speaking on behalf of a supposedly legitimate political organization would be a bit more sensitive and tasteful in their approach to such issues. If we allow ourselves to succumb to tyranny, then what will be left to keep safe?


  • Ms. Cheney,

    The recent comments made by Ms. Burlingame regarding the “moral authority” of American musicians voicing their opinion and protesting the use of their music for purposes of torture were completely inexcusable. I understand not everyone who takes a casual look at some of the artistic output of groups like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine and might see images or hear language not to their standards, or might even be offended by aspects of what they see or hear. However, to dismiss the artists that make the music as moral-less heathens who have no right to be appalled by the use of their output for purposes of torture implies that Ms. Burlingame assumes that anyone who expresses themselves in a way she finds unappealing is somehow a lesser class citizen, and has given up their rights to protest under the constitution. It also implies that people who listen to, or even look up to those artists somehow belong in the same lesser class.

    Surely Keep America Safe wouldn’t want to be perceived as an organization who delegates which citizens have a right to protest and disagree. Surely in the America of 2009, someone in your organization could do the slightest bit of research on these two artists in question and find a long history of humanitarian and political activism. Surely someone would want to issue an apology to these prolific artists for undermining their opinions in such a demeaning way.

    Surely someone at Keep America Safe realizes the tremendous contribution the artists have made not only for America, but in the eyes of the world as Americans. Mr. Reznor, for example, has not only become one of this country’s most respected and lucrative musical composers, he is a trailblazer in the field of technology and music distribution. If somehow this man or his amazing 20+ year career doesn’t fit Ms. Burlingame’s idea of a respectable American citizen, or if somehow this man is in Keep America Safe’s eyes not a prime example of living the American dream where hard work, intelligence, and the freedom to express oneself can also make someone an incredible success; then I suggest an apology is still in order.

    An apology to him for his millions of fans who feel a slap to Mr. Reznor’s sensibilities are a slap to all of ours. In an America of partisan and hopelessly divided politics and culture, it is the Trent Reznors of the world in who’s work American people, and people from all over the world look to for solace.

    He, and the other musicians mentioned by Ms. Burlingame, have made and continue to make a more significant and positive impact to America in the last 20 years than almost any casual citizen. They are upstanding people, of just as much moral authority as any other citizen, and deserve to voice their opinion if their creative works are used in a way that they find reprehensible.

    Keep America safe owes these artists, and the millions of fans of these combined artists who make up such a significant portion of the American population, an apology. Ms. Burlingame would be wise to think deeply before she dismisses someone as “pathetic”, or “laughable” in the future. In doing so, she might not polarize so many people away from her cause.

    The goal of protecting America is a noble one, and while we disagree deeply as to what ends to accomplish it we must go to, we should agree that all citizens, especially the ones whose life’s work is being used in such a controversial way, still have the right to voice their opinions in this country and have their property under their own protection without being dismissed in such a demeaning and disgusting way.

    It is time we start healing our divides, not increasing them. Apologize publicly today.


  • I, along with many others, demand an apology from Keep America Safe for calling Trent Reznor and other artists and bands "immoral". Trent Reznor has not only tried to inspire moral behavior in people but he has also succeeded.


  • I believe an immediate apology should be addressed by Ms. Burlingame to the music artists she named in a recent publicized statement. Regardless of Debra Burlingame’s feelings on their dispute, her comments that their beliefs were "pathetic," "laughable," and that they lacked any "moral authority on national security issues" were absolutely derisive, implying that their profession, elected activism, or type of music disqualifies them from questioning the legality of the government or facility’s actions. Upholding national security is a valuable and arduous task but I do not think Burlingame’s disagreements over their protest were expressed in a remotely professional or civil manner. I would hope that the Keep America Safe as an organization could agree that with national security, keeping the intellectual rights of fellow Americans safe is also incredibly important and that strong feelings (on any topic of open, public discussion) should be debated respectfully and never called a laughing matter.


  • It has caught my attention that your organization, specifically Debra Burlingame, has made public derogatory statements about the musicians speaking out against the unauthorized usage of their product at Guantanamo Bay for purposes of torturing prisoners. How Ms. Burlingame can question the right of artists such as Trent Reznor and Tom Morello to protest this is in itself evidence of the remnants of the previous administration’s ill-founded, simplistic approach to any voice which would dare to challenge the violation of human rights committed in the false guise of anti-terrorism. It is clear that the majority of the American people did not stand behind the Bush administration’s actions regarding terrorism, as each methodology that is only now revealed is vilified in the public and reversed by President Obama. Mr. Reznor and Mr. Morello, along with the other musicians whose art was twisted and abused in furtherance of acts violating not only the Geneva Convention but also America’s Constitutional protections, have a vested stake in their work and should not be dismissed as lacking moral authority simply based on Ms. Burlingame’s ignorance. Her words may make great sound bites, but they reflect a shallowness and lack of comprehension of not only what these artists are stating, but also the fact that her trite labels are meaningless to any individual of true intelligence who is discomfited by abuse carried out in this nation’s name.


  • The recent comments made by certain members of your group were nothing more than the arrogant and presumptuous thoughts of an ignorant person looking for a good soundbite. They are grossly ignorant of the very active political lives of artists like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine. They are ignorant of the very active humanitarian lives of these men. They are ignorant of their artistic and social importance to millions around the globe, and the responsibility they take towards those fans and their personal rights. Let it be known that Mr. Reznor of Nine Inch Nails most recently recieved a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for his efforts to aid a sick fan and his help in petitioning new health legislation, and Tom Morello is an internationaly recognized promoter of human rights. The ignorant and slanderous statements made by your organization were without merit and uncalled for. I fear they have cast a very poor light on your organization and the mindset of the people within. I request an official statement of apology to the artists slandered by your organization, and their fans.


  • Leaving aside our personal politics, I would like to express my disappointment about the comments made last Friday by Debra Burlingame, a director of your organisation.

    Complaints were made by various musicians to their music being used as instruments of torture, and her reply described their behaviour as "pathetic," "laughable," and that "heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine" lack any "moral authority on national security issues." In the first place, I would hardly describe objections to the gratuitous misuse of someones art form as "pathetic." Disregarding personal opinions on their music for a moment, we are talking essentially about the abuse of art, or if you prefer, a product based on the creativity of people. The intention being for people to listen for their enjoyment, this clearly is not the purpose at Guantanamo Bay.

    Debra Burlinghame not only displays ignorance of this fact, but also of the music itself. Perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions but she seems to dismiss their opinions merely because of the type of music they make. Does she somehow suggest that their ideas are any less valid than her own? That somehow because of who they are that their work is entitled to be subverted? I find this position intolerable, and as a school of law graduate, she should at least be familiar with concepts like intellectual property and slander.

    I believe that your organisation, and in particular your founder Liz Cheney, should issue an apology for these statements made on behalf of your organisation, as I believe they have done no good for your cause and only serve to further alienate people you claim to want to protect. Excuse me for saying so, but if this close-minded example is typical of your organisation then I am truly afraid for America.


  • I can distinctly remember when I heard that 'March of the Pigs' was used to torture prisoners at Gitmo. I was appalled to say the least. A few days later, I would see Trent Reznor perform that very song in Sacramento, CA for the first time since that news broke. I always wondered how that felt for him.

    Fast forward almost one year, and the issue has come up again. It seems that not only has progress not been made to stop this, but that backpedaling organizations such as 'Keep America Safe' are adding insult to injury by calling these musicians' efforts to stop their art from being used in ways they didn't intend "pathetic".

    There are so many things wrong with this I don't know where to begin. So here are some easy to reference bullet points to give you a topline summary of

    * A commercial has to license music to use it. A store has to license music to play it. But a government run facility can use songs without permission to torture prisoners? I'm sure there are some artists out there that would gladly license their music for use in torture.

    * Do you know who Tom Morello is? Google him. Pretty much the only thing that separates him from Barack Obama on paper is the guitar thing.

    * Why does someone in a metal band not "have a moral authority on national security issues"? Are you telling me that Toby Keith, someone who sings 'Beer For My Horses', does? If you do a content analysis of metal lyrics, I'm pretty sure you'll find some of the most sophisticated themes of any music genre.

    * Remember that time you worked really hard making dinner, only to have one of it's recipients pour ketchup all over it? Pretty insulting, right? Well, there's really no comparison to having songs you created used for torture.

    * May I ask what you are personally doing to Keep America Safe? These artists have devoted their lives to creating music that make people who choose to listen to it feel good. Perhaps this music has saved some of those people from doing bad things. Creating an organization that is run on fearmongering and finger pointing seems counterproductive to the cause it claims to support.

    * This entire debate seem diversionary from the real issue at hand: torture! It's wrong.....whether it be music or waterboarding; we shouldn't be doing it. Any person with real human feelings will intuitively understand this.

    With that said, I'd like to add my voice to the mix and request a public apology from Keep America Safe, Ms. Cheney, and Ms. Debra Burlingame in particular.


  • Liz Cheney's comments about artist's music involved in the Guantanamo Bay torture is sickening. Fans of music and art everywhere should demand an apology. Firstly, the Republican party has no position commenting on morality in any form. The idea that your organization would support the exploitation of America's artists in this fashion sickens me. You have no right to call yourself patriots.


  • As an Arizona voter, an educated citizen, and a high school teacher, I am disturbed and offended by a quote that brought your group to my attention. Mrs. Burlingame’s recent statement that, "It's almost laughable to think that heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine have a moral authority on national security issues," implies that these artists somehow lack morals by virtue of their chosen professions. To sarcastically question these artists’ concerns, "…about (the) torture of hard-core terrorists” demonstrates a lack of respect not only for the artists, but for the ethical and moral beliefs of a huge segment of the American population, including Senator John McCain (my Senator). The idea that a spokeswoman for your group so offhandedly belittled the life’s work of any artist and the concerns of these Americans concerns me deeply. In addition to the content I work every day to help my students master, I work hard to build an environment where the thoughts and ideas of each child are treated with respect. Many of these students find their identity through the arts, and through music in particular. The high school students in my classroom recognize that every voice deserves to be heard and as Americans, we all have the right to our own opinions. My students would be appalled if I were to dismiss their work and input just because they are young. Similarly, you have dismissed the work and opinions of a number of artists simply because they are musicians working in what Mrs. Burlingame obviously views as an undesirable genre. I understand that music from other genres has been used in the same fashion. Each of these artists has a right to be concerned about how their intellectual property is being used. However, it is clearly easier to attack the likes of Trent Reznor and his band, Nine Inch Nails, that to attack Sesame Street and Neil Diamond. But even Big Bird would know that the attitude displayed by Mrs. Burlingame isn’t nice or respectful. It is time to say you’re sorry. Even my freshman students would know that.