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Posts tagged College Campuses

When you reach the bottom of the barrel, start digging.

From the Opelika-Auburn News (2008-03-07):

Westboro Baptist Church, a group known for protesting and picketing funerals and memorials of fallen soldiers, is planning to picket at the Sunday afternoon funeral of 18-year-old Auburn freshman Lauren Burk, according to the group's Web site. Burk was killed Tuesday night. Police are investigating her death as a murder.

Westboro Baptist Church, established in 1955, is an Kansas-based organization lead by Pastor Fred Phelps.

The group is also planning to picket the funeral of Eve Carson, UNC student body president who was killed Wednesday morning.

Both funerals are listed on the WBC site's online picket schedule for Sunday.

First the Phelpses came to picket the funerals of men murdered by gay-bashers.

Then they came to picket the funerals of AIDS patients.

Then they came to picket the funerals of soldiers killed in combat.

And now, having given up any pretense of having a particular target other than humanity and simple decency, they’re just showing up to any old random funeral, so long as they know that the news media will be in the area.

What they are doing now is no more, and no less, evil than what they did to Matthew Shepard’s family. I would say that the cruelty here is more bizarre, but it’s not, really, when you understand some basic facts about the Phelpses. They have shown repeatedly, by their words and their deeds, that they thrive on being hated and provoking reaction. There is literally nothing at all that is beneath them, as long as it gets their names and their websites in the news yet again. And it will.

How Jason Smathers learned to stop worrying and trust the State

From Jason Smathers’s report on Wendy McElroy’s recent anti-voting lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

You put your trust in the state because it filters out complexities of life you either cannot manage on your own or see no need to. Why do people obey unjust laws? Because — for the majority, in most cases — it'd be a whole lot more problematic and chaotic without the system there. I may recognize that a war we're involved in is unjust, but I don't attempt to overthrow the government because the state simplifies my life in ways that more directly affect me.

Well. I, for one, know that if I were an Iraqi child, I would be happy to die so that Jason Smathers can live a simpler life.

Refuge of Oppression #4: Non sequitur edition

Happy 2008, everyone!

In celebration of the new year, here’s a recent correspondence I received over the holidays, from a friend of men’s college sports, a protector of men’s endangered penises, and a defender of virtue, righteousness, and old time religion generally against the assault from femists socialist man hating women, apparently including the elder statesman of Analytic philosophers.

I will bestow 100 bonus points on anyone who can identify absolutely anything in particular on my blog that this missive would count as a reply to.

From: healingchiropracticrehabcenter
To: Rad Geek
Date: 2007-12-28 8:01 PM
Subject: Hilary

Hilary and the rest of the femists socialist man hating women got it all wrong

Women want special treatment because they are woman but want to be lied to saying they achieved something by merit

But in reality by their skirt and flirt.

Women want all the oppertunities of a man but special affirmitive. Action treatment but want to keep their little priveledge of a stay at home housewife.

Womens goal is not to be equal but to destroy men

ALMOST eliminated Wrestling like they did boxing.

Cut football scholarships back
And gave mens football and basketball money to womens sports and mens sports that do not generate revenue

Mens Div 1 Basketball 13 Scholarships
Womens Div 1 basketball 15 scholarships

The National Council of Communist athletes calls this. Gender Equity

Womens Volleyball 15 Scolarships
Mens. Volleyball 41/2 scholarships

Crew. Women can have 40 scholarships
Men. 0 scholarships

Men in football or basketball are picked
Cheverlet player of the game and the money is given to the ” gen Scholarship fund which equates to non male non male athlete benifets

Hollywood and TV is always showing women beating up on men and its okey while the men are being faggy hairstylist and waitressess and nurses

Women walk around in these evolution shirts starting as amonkey progressing to a football player then a high heeled bossy bitch

There are also much more qualified women to run than hilary that love our country Hilary loves the. United Nations of Islamic Terroists

By the way Hila ry already served her 2 terms as President.

Only in America Lorena Bobbit cut off her husbands dick. Stayed out of Prison and Kept Her License to Carry Scissors and cut hair.

If A Man Cut out a womens vagina or cut of her breasts , what do you think would of happened to. The. Guy

One Last Situation

If The Terrorist where White Christian Male military veterans would they get any symathy

Timothy Mcvey killed around 160 people from the IRS They ececuted him within 5 years

Over 6 years after 911 which almost
4000 were killed how many terrorist or planners have been killed
What would the femenist view be if they were white christian heterosexual men who played contact sports and served in the military?

I am sure you can see the point

Where is the outcry when a Muslim converts to christianity and sentenced to death By Now

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

O.K., fess up. Which of you actually penned this over-the-top satire on the illiterate buffoonery of antifeminist Internet trolls? It’s not that it’s not funny, in its own way, but I’d say that it is entirely too ham-handed to be ultimately successful.

Law and Orders: UCLA campus police “found it necessary” to repeatedly taser an Iranian student already lying helpless on the ground

Cops in America are heavily armed and trained to be bullies, and they routinely hurt people who are not posing any serious threat to anyone, in order to make sure that they stay in control of the situation. They have no trouble electrifying small children, alleged salad-bar thieves; or pregnant women possibly guilty of a minor traffic violation, if they get tired enough of being talked back to and if their bellowed orders are no longer sufficient to end an argument–even without any plausible reason whatsoever for fearing any physical threat to themselves or others. When they are caught in the act police administrators will wring their hands, make up some lies to try to excuse the assault, promise an investigation, find that Official Procedures were followed, and then do nothing at all, except perhaps question the decision to arm the pigs with tasers (as if the equipment were the issue here). This is a cellphone video of what happened to UCLA student Mostafa Tabatabainejad when he refused to show identification to campus police and then demanded that they not touch him while he left the library.

(Link and story via Brian Doherty @ Reason Hit and Run 2006-11-16.)

Here is the story from The Los Angeles Times:

The latest in a recent spate of cellphone videos documenting questionable arrest tactics surfaced Wednesday, this one showing a UCLA police officer using a Taser to stun a student who allegedly refused to leave the campus library.

Grainy video of the Tuesday night incident at UCLA’s Powell Library was broadcast Wednesday on TV news and the Internet, prompting a review of the officers’ actions and outrage among students at the Westwood campus.

The footage showed the student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, falling to the ground and crying out in pain as officers stunned him.

According to a campus police report, the incident began when community service officers, who serve as guards at the library, began their nightly routine of checking to make sure everyone using the library after 11 p.m. is a student or otherwise authorized to be there.

Campus officials said the long-standing policy was adopted to ensure students’ safety.

When Tabatabainejad, 23, refused to provide his ID to the community service officer, the officer told him he would have to show it or leave the library, the report said.

After repeated requests, the officer left and returned with campus police, who asked Tabatabainejad to leave multiple times, according to a statement by the UCLA Police Department.

He continued to refuse, the statement said. As the officers attempted to escort him out, he went limp and continued to refuse to cooperate with officers or leave the building.

Witnesses disputed that account, saying that when campus police arrived, Tabatabainejad had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack. When an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, the witnesses said, Tabatabainejad told the officer to let go, yelling Get off me several times.

Tabatabainejad encouraged library patrons to join his resistance, police said. The officers deemed it necessary to use the Taser.

Officers stunned Tabatabainejad, causing him to fall to the floor.

The video shows Tabatabainejad yelling, Here’s your Patriot Act, here’s your … abuse of power, the Daily Bruin reported, adding he used a profanity.

It was beyond grotesque, said UCLA graduate David Remesnitsky of Los Angeles, who witnessed the incident. By the end they took him over the stairs, lifted him up and Tasered him on his rear end. It seemed like it was inappropriately placed. The Tasering was so unnecessary and they just kept doing it.

Campus police confirmed that Tabatabainejad was stunned multiple times.

By then, Remesnitsky said, a crowd of 50 or 60 had gathered and were shouting at the officers to stop and demanding their names and badge numbers.

Remesnitsky said officers told him to leave or he would be Tasered.

Tabatabainejad declined to comment. He was arrested Tuesday night and cited by campus police for resisting and obstructing a police officer and was released.

The incident was the third videotape of an arrest to surface in the last week in Los Angeles.

One video showed a Los Angeles Police Department officer dousing a handcuffed suspect in the face with pepper spray as the suspect sat in a patrol car.

That video came to light Monday, just days after the LAPD and the FBI launched investigations into another videotape showing a police officer hitting a suspect in the face several times after a foot chase in Hollywood.

UCLA Assistant Police Chief Jeff Young said Wednesday that he had viewed the video of the campus incident on the Internet and would view any other videos that were shot.

We will gather as many samples as we can find, from different sources, Young said. We’ll use it for our own administrative investigation.

— Amanda Covarrubias and Stuart Silverstein, Los Angeles Times (2006-11-16): A third incident, a new video

Here is the campus police’s military necessity justification for repeatedly electrifying an unarmed man already lying on the ground and offering no physical resistance, let alone physical threat, to the armed and uniformed gang of peace officers surrounding him:

Tabatabainejab encouraged library patrons to join his resistance. A crowd gathering around the officers and Tabatebainejad’s continued resistance made it urgent to remove Tabatabainejad from the area. The officers deemed it necessary to use the Taser in a drive stun capacity.

— University of California Police Department (2006-11-15): Powell Library Incident

The Powell Library is university property, and authorized agents of the university have every right to force out someone who does not use the library according to the policies set by the university. What they have no right to do is to carry out those aims by repeatedly using powerful electric shocks to immobilize a helpless man with pain, over and over again, when he is already lying on the ground, solely in order to keep control of the situation or to ensure students’ safety when the students themselves feel far more threatened by the belligerent and violent police. Whether or not they found it necessary to torture Tabatabainejab with electric shocks in order to accomplish those things is quite irrelevant. As Edmund Burke once wrote,

To prove, that these Sort of policed Societies are a Violation offered to Nature, and a Constraint upon the human Mind, it needs only to look upon the sanguinary Measures, and Instruments of Violence which are every where used to support them. Let us take a Review of the Dungeons, Whips, Chains, Racks, Gibbets, with which every Society is abundantly stored, by which hundreds of Victims are annually offered up to support a dozen or two in Pride and Madness, and Millions in an abject Servitude, and Dependence. There was a Time, when I looked with a reverential Awe on these Mysteries of Policy; but Age, Experience, and Philosophy have rent the Veil; and I view this Sanctum Sanctorum, at least, without any enthusiastick Admiration. I acknowledge indeed, the Necessity of such a Proceeding in such Institutions; but I must have a very mean Opinion of Institutions where such Proceedings are necessary.

— Edmund Burke (1757): Vindication of Natural Society

There are three things about the video that are just terrible to watch and to hear. The first is the obvious one: Tabatabainejad screaming in pain and writhing on the floor as cops assault him again and again. But the second is just as awful: the crowd of 50 or 60 students, outraged at the police’s ongoing assault, and doing nothing about it other than yelling at the cops and indignantly demanding their badge numbers–apparently in the fantastical belief that a The Law is somehow going to protect them from violence at the hands of its own rampaging hired goons. The third are the comments from the bare-fanged sadists who inevitably came along, as they come along in every case like this one, to add remarks like this:

if you don’t cooperate you get tazed. it’s very simple to understand.

— trappednAZ, in replies to YouTube (2006-11-16): UCLA Student Tasered by UCLA Police for not showing ID

Or this:

I have a medical condition! Hahaha, so good. Damn that was funny. If you don’t wanna get tasered, then don’t a dick to the police. They’re just doing their job.

— symonwill, in replies to YouTube (2006-11-16): UCLA Student Tasered by UCLA Police for not showing ID

Or this:

This is why you dont scream like a 5 year old at police when they tell you to do something. The guy wouldnt comply with anything the police were saying. He deserved it. This shouldnt even be an issue.

— c17h25n, in replies to YouTube (2006-11-16): UCLA Student Tasered by UCLA Police for not showing ID

Did you know that if a college student has a bad attitude towards armed strangers giving him orders, that justifies the cops using violence, up to and including hitting him with immobilizing electric shocks, over and over again, while he lies on the ground, in response? Apparently in the world of authoritarian creeps and bureaucratic sociopaths, it does.

Further reading:

Thanks again, bro: Sigs at Whitman College go “above and beyond what other people do” for Halloween… with blackface Halloween costumes

(Story thanks to a tip from TL.)

Just about every year, right around now, I get to hear the same thing again: a bunch of students, most of them white, threw a party involving blackface costumes and other forms of crude racist caricature. It happened at Auburn–at least twice. It happened at Ole Miss. It happened at Syracuse. It happened at Oklahoma State. It happened at Stetson. It doesn’t always happen at a fraternity party, but it often does. Sometimes the kids opt for broad pastiches of gangsta images that they’ve picked up from MTV. Sometimes they opt for explicit references to the history of slavery and militant white supremacy. Sometimes–as it seems happened in Baltimore–they opt for both. The pattern is established, and the reactions are reliable. While University administrators are busy rushing to make a public example of whoever was caught throwing the party, and anxiously insisting (to anybody who cares to listen) that this is an isolated incident, not representative of the campus culture, etc. etc. etc., it’s left to those who know something about what actually goes on on campus (usually Black students or faculty) to point out, yet again, that these things happen in a broader context, that this is nothing new, that things like this happen all the time on campus, and that the only thing special about this case is that the story went public. Then a few months later, everything settles back down, the administration eases or completely reverses its disciplinary actions against the fraternity, and we wait until late next October or early next November, when exactly the same damned thing happens at yet another Halloween party somewhere else.

… Thanks a lot, guys. You have officially ruined Halloween.

— GT 2006-11-03: Thanks, bro: a racially themed frat party at Johns Hopkins University

In case you were wondering, it’s still that time of the year, and the brothers of Sigma Chi have continued their tradition of leadership and service–not only at Johns Hopkins, but also at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington:

Walking into the Survivor-themed greek party, Sigma Chi juniors Brice Crayne and Bryan Ponti could never have imagined the kind of reaction their costumes would ultimately get. They said later that they just wanted to stand out: and with their faces and bodies painted entirely black with orange markings, they certainly did. It didn't strike them that their body paint would eventually move the entire campus to a standstill.

Senior Natalie Knott was browsing the Internet in the library when she came across photographs of Crayne and Ponti from the party. Feeling a gut reaction, Knott showed the pictures to a few friends who didn't see much controversy.

I had to leave the library because I was really angry but I couldn't figure out why because nobody was seeing what I saw, Knott said. She drew connections to racist archetypes, specifically the blackface minstrel shows popular in the early 1900s. After speaking for hours about the issue with friends in her apartment complex, Knott decided she should bring her concerns to a faculty member.

The next day, Knott consulted with Politics Professor Bruce Magnusson, who told her that she should show the photographs to the dean. After conferencing with student life committee chair Clare Carson for an hour, Knott decided to post her thoughts to the student listserv, at Carson's suggestion.

The response was immediate. Feedback poured in over the listserv from minority students who felt offended, white students who felt attacked and a slew of others whose feelings fell somewhere in the middle.

— Sophie Johnson, Whitman College Pioneer (2006-10-26): ‘Blackface’ incident ignites campus

As a side note, I don’t have access to FaceBook, so I haven’t seen the photo. If any of y’all out there can find them, please feel free to pass them along to me–I think it’s important that these images be brought out into the open for public discussion.

Meheret Debebe, 19, a Whitman sophomore, said she was more offended by what she read in the listserv than by the picture.

I thought wow, I go to school with a lot of racist people, she said.

Debebe, who is black, said she has felt alienated at her school in the past.

— Maria P. Gonzalez, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (2006-11-11): ‘Blackface’ incident has Whitman abuzz

The poor lil’ white boys and their buddies insist that they’ve gotten a bum rap. After all, hey, their intentions were pure as the driven snow–they just blacked up because they wanted to stand out (for what, exactly?). Besides, who says that in their totally non-racist minds blackface had anything in particular to do with race?

The responses that resulted from Knott's initial e-mail ranged from passively curious to incensed. At first, the bulk of responses were from those who felt insulted by Knott's assertions. … Whitman's Sigma Chi president senior James Hovard was one of the first people that took issue with Knott's e-mail. Hovard heard about the e-mail from a friend, and he produced a reply that same night.

I was a little shocked and surprised because I was at that party and the thought of Brice and Bryan dressing up in blackface never crossed my mind. I know that they wore black paint, but I never thought of it as a racial issue, Hovard said.

— Sophie Johnson, Whitman College Pioneer (2006-10-26): ‘Blackface’ incident ignites campus

Well, then.

Neither Crayne nor Ponti responded to the listserv e-mail, but both were personally affected by the incident.

I had to set up a punching bag in my room I was so mad, said Crayne: I felt like someone had passed judgment on me; someone had called me something I definitely am not, and that's a racist.

Ponti felt similarly attacked. The individual who pointed out everything that was wrong with the pictures did not contact either me or my good friend as to our intentions, they simply wrote their e-mail in the heat of the moment and we were caught completely off guard, he said.

— Sophie Johnson, Whitman College Pioneer (2006-10-26): ‘Blackface’ incident ignites campus

God forbid anyone should ever pass judgment on your behavior, or consider what you did apart from the esoteric of what you were feeling, deep down in your heart. Gosh but it must be so hard on them to feel attacked and misrepresented by the majority.

The students, who belong to the Sigma Chi fraternity, say they never meant to insult or offend anyone.

It was never meant to be a statement, Crayne said. We’re a couple guys who like to go above and beyond what other people do.

… As for Ponti and Crayne, they have come away with a lesson.

Now that I see I offended people I’ll never do it again, Ponti said.

I can totally understand how they were offended and once I thought about it in that way I apologized. I was sorry, Crayne said.

— Maria P. Gonzalez, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (2006-11-11): ‘Blackface’ incident has Whitman abuzz

Well, that’s mighty white of them.

Here is an old black and white photo of several white students in minstrel-show blackface, smiling at the camera and holding a banner reading 'We love the Betas.'

Whitman College Greeks in black face standing in front of the old student union building in the 1950s. From a presentation by Whitman professor Duke Richey. I’m sure none of them meant to make a statement.

Still, I can’t say that I’m particularly encouraged that college juniors think it’s a perfectly good excuse, in cases like these, to pass themselves off as too damned ignorant and thoughtless to be expected to know anything in particular about the history of race in America, or minstrel shows, or the use of blackface, or why folks just might not be entirely cool with it.

The faculty’s response has been relatively sensible: besides encouraging Knott to bring the FaceBook photos up with her fellow students, they’ve also cancelled a few classes to put on community events to teach about the history and implications of blackface. The administration, on the other hand, has taken this as a chance to boldly wring their hands about a PR disaster and take serious steps towards slapping the offending white frat boys on the wrist:

The costumes have since spurred heated discussions, seemingly divided the campus and prompted a Town Hall meeting that drew hundreds.

In the most recent response to the blackface incident, all classes were suspended Thursday while the college held a daylong symposium on race and diversity.

College takes action [sic]

In response, college President George Bridges worked with faculty and student leaders to address the tensions and to start the process of educating the campus on racial sensitivities.

Ponti and Crayne were not disciplined, but did meet with Bridges.

— Maria P. Gonzalez, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (2006-11-11): ‘Blackface’ incident has Whitman abuzz

I’m glad they got their talking-to and all, but I can’t say that this entirely dislodges Amanda Marcotte’s question-and-answer: Where are college kids getting this idea that they should have the benefit of having their racism and sexism coddled and protected? Obviously, that's just a rhetorical question, because I know exactly where they're getting that idea, which is from all the authority figures who coddle and protect them.

Further reading:

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