Quantcast

«

»

Nov 22 2013

Race-baiting is alive and well at UMM

The University of Minnesota Morris is a liberal arts university — that means that we teach a wide curriculum in which students are expected to graduate with a broad background. Our science students are expected to also get at least an introduction to the humanities and social sciences, and even within biology, we expect that our graduates will get training in both molecular biology and ecology (which is, of course, not as much of a reach as you might think). Our student body also tends to be rather more politically liberal and progressive than the community we’re imbedded within, although that is not a prerequisite for the liberal arts. We do have conservative students here — I expect that the majority are more conservative than I am — but they also trend towards being more the reasonable, rational, educated sort of conservative. Not the kind you’ll see on Fox News, and most unfortunately, not the kind who are likely to get elected to the Republican party.

This is not a story about any of those students. This is about our wingnutty embarrassments. We do have a few of them.

The embarrassments have a weekly student paper of their own, The North Star. We also have a regular campus weekly, the University Register. The Register is the paper we groan over; it’s student run, it’s sometimes terrible, but at least it is representative and sometimes does a good job. The North Star is a disgrace — its one virtue is that it makes the Register look professional. We’ve tolerated the North Star despite its inanity because hey, at least it’s sucking in money from external conservative organizations, and it does a fabulous job of demonstrating the ethical bankruptcy of movement conservativism. But now they’ve stepped way over the line. Their latest crusade is basically promoting racial hatred and discrimination, and I’m ashamed to see their drivel distributed on campus.

Their “new” game — it’s actually old and tired, so add total lack of originality to their sins — is “satirizing” racism. You’d think students at a liberal arts university would understand the actual meaning of satire, but they don’t, despite writing a sloppy disclaimer in their latest issue pronouncing everything they do as satire.

Here’s their most recent exercise in creativity: selling “Affirmative Action cookies,” that old game. White people are offered cookies for $5, while minority students get a discount or are even given money to take a cookie. One incident with John Geiger, the right-wing genius in charge of this demonstration, was described in today’s Register.

Mr Geiger assured me ever so sweetly that an undisclosed portion of all proceeds would go to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Mr Geiger pointed to my Native/female/LGBT friend and roommate standing next to me, she’s probably struggled so much, she could really use a cookie. He then proceeded to giver the cookie, and pay her $2.50, stating, though you’re taking proceeds from the NAACP, you probably struggled $2.50 more than them. How benevolent.

Nauseatingly patronizing, more like.

We are a university in the middle of a very white, very rural part of the country. We have been working hard to open the doors to a more diverse student body; we waive tuition to American Indian students, we want a more representative sampling of what America actually looks like, so we actively recruit students from underserved populations, so we have a large proportion of first generation college students and students on financial aid. We have had disgraceful racial incidents in the past — the Halloween practical “joke” in 1993 by our former wrestling coach Frank Pelegri is still a mark of shame — and we struggle to make this a more inclusive place. Having a group of young Republican assholes-in-training mocking our minority students is not a step forward.

Worse, they have a “satirical” series in their paper in which they call out various faculty and administrators for not doing enough to promote equality and combat racism. These are known progressive workers at our university, and are actually already working hard to create a more inclusive space — so apparently, if this is satire, they’re trying to mock leaders of our non-discriminatory policies, and are apparently opposing the encouragement and acceptance of minority students on campus. And this has taken a particularly vile turn.

On page 9 of the latest issue, they have…

Jesus, it disgusts me to even say it.

…a crime scene photo of Trayvon Martin’s dead face, with the caption Trayvon Martin, victim of racism and fascism, and what does [administrator] have to say about it? Nothing. Not a single thing.

And with that, they have crossed a line. Free speech is one thing, making light of murder and claiming that our chancellor of student affairs excuses it is another. Using dead black boys to “satirize” equality is contemptible. I would advocate the disposal of their flyers if the Ku Klux Klan started papering our campus, and likewise, the North Star has worn out its welcome and must go. Treat their scattered papers as hate-filled trash and dispose of it appropriately.

Not that it will help much. I’ve been told by one of our students that they’ve made arrangements with our town newspaper, the Sun Tribune, to have their evil rag distributed with that paper every week. I guess I won’t be reading that paper anymore, either, if they’re endorsing this kind of racism. And I guess the community will now get the idea that our university endorses racism, thanks to the racist idiots publishing the North Star.

This is currently our university’s shame. The measure of our commitment to equality will be determined by how we deal with it.

60 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    colnago80

    One of the things I always find amusing by the neo-fascist right is their steadfast opposition to affirmative action. Somehow though, that opposition never extends to legacy admissions, such as George W. Bush, who, if his father had not been a Yale graduate, wouldn’t have got so much as an interview at that august university.

  2. 2
    Steven Brown: Man of Mediocrity

    My condolences PZ. I hope your university finds a way to deal with this.

  3. 3
    Artor

    @Colagno80
    The difference, of course, is money. Paying a shit-ton of cash erases a world of sins.

  4. 4
    Lynna, OM

    Ugh. That’s nasty all right.

    The tone of the “North Star” is one of sneering ignorance and arrogance.

  5. 5
    laurentweppe

    Personally, I’d add some “realism” to their lttle satire by going in, taking three or four cookies and when asked why I don’t pay answer: “Because I’m white, rich, agressive and quarrelsome” before upturning the table.

  6. 6
    leahdoner

    What I’d like to know is why the f*ck is Frank Pelegri today employed as a wrestling coach at Monsignor Edward Pace Catholic High School in Miami?

    Maybe he gets brownie points from Jesus for not raping his black victims before pretending to lynch them?

  7. 7
    gmacs

    Wow, these assholes sound even worse than The Counterweight. I remember all the emails from some right wing student my senior year at UMM. I figured that person must not have been around to experience the implosion that followed Basil’s shame.

    How long before one of these jerks gets arrested with O’Keefe?

  8. 8
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Honestly, it blows me away that people say such crap, never mind that they think it out and print it. And if these idiots get university support as a recognized student org, it should be de-recognized on the clear and obvious grounds they provide so copiously.

    colnago80

    And the less-privileged, perhaps admitted to university through affirmative action, are not granted “gentleman’s Cs” when they are under-prepared or uni is otherwise not working out for them.

  9. 9
    athyco

    That they purposely appropriated the name from the Frederick Douglass newspaper said much to me in the first place. Ugh.

  10. 10
    carlie

    They may be able to be found in violation of the student code of conduct, under disciplinary offenses 5,6,and/or 7:

    Student Conduct Code

    Subd 5.Attempt to Injure or Defraud. Attempt to injure or defraud means making, forging, printing, reproducing, copying, or altering any record, document, writing, or identification used or maintained by the University when done with intent to injure, defraud, or misinform.

    Only would apply if the Univ. has to maintain the newspaper, although “used by” might work. Pretty far stretch, though.

    Subd. 6. Harm to Person. Harm to person means engaging in conduct that endangers or threatens to endanger the physical and/or mental health, safety, or welfare of another person, including, but not limited to, threatening, stalking, harassing, intimidating, or assaulting behavior.

    Could be endangering mental health of the administrator, or more likely inciting others to harassment against the administrator.

    Subd. 7. Bullying. Bullying means aggressive behavior directed at another person, either in person or through electronic means, that causes stress or harm and that is repeated over time, including but not limited to assaulting, defaming, terrorizing, making obscene gestures, or invading privacy.

    Probably this one, although the “repeated” part might be more difficult to get at.

  11. 11
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    laurentweppe

    White privilege! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ I take all your cookies.

  12. 12
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    It would seem that the higher price that straight white men have to pay for those cookies is meant to symbolize the higher price that these people have to pay in order to advance all of those lesser humans.

    In other words, it is a variation of “The White Man’s Burden”.

    Amazing that those collections of whiny little pissants think so highly of themselves while painting themselves as the victims of society.

  13. 13
    raven

    Nothing new about this. There have always been racist and fascist groups around campuses.

    When I was an undergraduate, someone(s) never caught kept spray painting swastikas around campus. Can’t say it did them much good. The grounds staff spent a huge amount of time cleaning them off of buildings.

    I can’t think of much that can be done. But keep pointing out that they are racists and that is all they have. Christofascists never miss a chance to demonstrate the complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy of their religion and politics.

    It’s a huge tail wind for everyone else.

  14. 14
    raven

    Here’s their most recent exercise in creativity: selling “Affirmative Action cookies,” that old game. White people are offered cookies for $5, while minority students get a discount or are even given money to take a cookie. One incident with John Geiger, the right-wing genius in charge of this demonstration, was described in today’s Register.

    This sounds trivial, childish and unlikely to do anything except them look stupid and evil. Like something James O’Keefe would do.

    I’d be inclined to extensively document it. On the internet. Over and over. We live in a transparent society and the internet never forgets.

    I have no idea who John Geiger is, but whenever he looks for a job, someone is going to go on Google and find out he is a rather dumb racist.

  15. 15
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    When I was in university, the name of the vile paper (it was produced by engineering students, at the time overwhelmingly men) was “The Orifice”.

    No, I’m not kidding. And the name didn’t do it’s awfulness justice, if you’ll credit. The Orifice. It doesn’t even need snarking, just mentioning.

  16. 16
    gmacs

    Raven,

    If it’s anything like precedent, they’ll grandly embarrass themselves, and then they will leave when they realize they are no longer welcome in the social circles around campus apart from their own small group. And I do mean they will probably individually either drop out of school or transfer. They think that they are original, but it isn’t even 10 years since the previous conservative monthly at UMM was established.

  17. 17
    raven

    The embarrassments have a weekly student paper of their own, The North Star.

    I’m dredging up my Dark Ages training. Cthulhu, its been a long time since the (anti) Vietnam war.

    Think I’d just set up an expose the North Star website.

    1. Document their racism and general fascist insanity. I’m sure they are very religious fundie death cutists, global warming deniers, gay haters, atheist haters, evolution haters, science haters, and last but not least women haters.

    Christofascism is a package deal. You get a whole ball of hate, lies, and hypocrisy in one download.

    2. You will get hate mail and death threats. Guaranteed. Post them in their own section. And have the phone number of the local policy on hand. Death threats are felonies.

    You will be threatened with SLAPP suits. So know the laws and follow them.

  18. 18
    JJ831

    There have always been racist and fascist groups around campuses

    I was very happy with my Uni in that there weren’t really any thing of the sort there. OK, maybe the Young Republicans club, but they wouldn’t have been stupid to do anything publicly.

    Oddly our big disgrace is on the other side (although it might fit in with your fascist description) – We were that University where students had been threatening and actually firebombed a professors house, over the use of lab animals.

  19. 19
    raven

    We were that University where students had been threatening and actually firebombed a professors house, over the use of lab animals.

    That sounds like maybe UC Santa Cruz.

    Are you sure they were students though? IIRC, the Animal Liberationists aren’t students, just residents.

    One of those groups once broke in and stole some of our lab animals.

    We had a group of Earth Firsters or Earth Liberation Front or some radical environmental group. And they did a huge amount of damage to various targets all over the west coast. I even knew one slightly.

    It was really dumb. They were listed as domestic terrorists and eventually all of them were caught, convicted of felonies, and sent away for years.

    And FWIW, none of them were students either, just people living around universities.

  20. 20
    Trebuchet

    According to Ken White at Popehat, the best solutions is more speech.

  21. 21
    Terska

    In my day 30 some years ago an extremist right winger threw a real tear gas canister into an LGBT dance that was about the biggest annual event on campus. He was caught and the Marine Corps threw him out of their ROTC program. I think he was expelled too. He was considered a lunatic by most people even in those bygone days. Now days he could run for office.

  22. 22
    magistramarla

    That “Affirmative Action Cookies” thing was just done at UT Austin this fall.
    Happily, it got some pretty bad press, even in Texas.

  23. 23
    Terska

    One more thing, sorry. Minorities and women have to pay higher prices for cars, services and mortgages. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/06/the-price-is-racist-when-minorities-and-women-are-asked-to-pay-more/277174/

    https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=study+minorities+pay+higher+prices&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    There are no discounted cookies for minorities.

  24. 24
    PZ Myers

    These guys have been around for a couple of years, and I’ve agreed with that all along — they’ve got a different and stupid point of view, and free speech is the answer to that.

    But there are limits, and one of those limits is when they create a hostile environment for a subset of our population, and when they go out of their way to be confrontational in public spaces. That’s coming awfully close to harassment.

    It would be as if I went over to our student union, asking people there if they were Catholic, and then telling them right there that they were idiots, or if I started posting autopsy pictures of John Kennedy and sneering at our believing students about it. There is a point where behavior can create a space untenable for the people who have to be there.

  25. 25
    raven

    But there are limits, and one of those limits is when they create a hostile environment for a subset of our population, and when they go out of their way to be confrontational in public spaces. That’s coming awfully close to harassment.

    Agreed.

    There is a difference between free speech and menacing, threats, intimidation, and bullying.

    If and when they cross the line, toss them out. They aren’t adding anything to the University at that point, they are taking something away.

    And make sure you get it all in pictures and video. These days, cameras and video recorders are small enough to put in your pocket.

  26. 26
    raven

    And make sure you get it all in pictures and video. These days, cameras and video recorders are small enough to put in your pocket.

    This is important. Don’t forget it.

    Videos of UO adjunct professor James Olmsted in confrontation with …
    daily emerald. com/…/videos-of-uo-adjunct-professor-in-confrontation-wi…‎

    Mar 15, 2013 – University of Oregon adjunct law professor James Olmsted has been …. who had become concerned for the safety of the people he was shouting at. … etc,) I’ve no doubt they would have been expelled and probably arrested

    James Olmsted was a U of Oregon law professor. WAS!!!

    One day he confronted a group of minority students and started yelling at them. They videotaped it. He pushed a few of them and grabbed a camera. But didn’t get them all. This is theft.

    The university watched the video, talked to the many witnesses and told him he was banned from campus. They didn’t even let him clean out his desk, did it for him.

    Free speech is a right. OTOH, you have rights too. One of them is to not be a victim. Use your rights.

    And remember, “The whole world (really) is watching!!!” A reference the people born in the Dark Ages will recognize.

  27. 27
    Bicarbonate is back

    Very sorry to hear this, PZ. That Cookie story really turned my stomach, as did the Trayvon Martin “satire”. Personally I think the Cookie story could be prosecuted (perhaps not the right word) under Carlie’s @10 Subd. 6. Harm to Person.

  28. 28
    raven

    Olmsted is a good example of what not to do.

    And remember, the North Star racist clowns will have video cameras too. It’s pretty standard these days for agitprop. Anyone can end up on Youtube.

    James Olmsted, Oregon Adjunct Professor, Booted From Teaching After Clash With Student Protesters (VIDEO)
    The Huffington Post | By Tyler Kingkade Posted: 03/18/2013

    Edited for length

    University of Oregon adjunct law professor James Olmsted was booted from teaching after police charged him with harassment during a clash with student protestors last week.

    Olmsted was arrested on two counts of physical harassment Thursday after authorities said he shoved one person and seized a student’s cellphone, multiple news outlets reported. The professor began arguing with pro-immigration activists called Students Against Imperialism as they held a mock Mexican-American border check-in at a demonstration on campus Thursday, according to video descriptions on YouTube.

    (WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)

    Olmsted then snatched a cellphone from a student filming the exchange and held it until campus police arrived and arrested him, KVAL reports.

    Olmsted was charged, escorted off campus and forbidden to return, according to the Oregonian. The university said in a statement that Olmsted had been relieved from his teaching responsibilities.

  29. 29
    vaiyt

    Here’s their most recent exercise in creativity: selling “Affirmative Action cookies,” that old game. White people are offered cookies for $5, while minority students get a discount or are even given money to take a cookie.

    To make it correct, they must make it so the white students must pay for their cookies with money taken from the minority students. They also need a system where any relatives of a white person that bought a cookie gets one for free.

  30. 30
    Usernames are smart

    And with that, they have crossed a line. Free speech is one thing, making light of murder and claiming that our chancellor of student affairs excuses it is another. Using dead black boys to “satirize” equality is contemptible.

    Sorry, but no. PZ, you can never know what it is like to be black and be the target of racism (note the word “and” is not the word “or”). You don’t know what it’s like to have a girlfriend dump you because her parents ‘might find out you’re black’, or overhear a coworker tell a joke about lazy black robots.

    Maybe you might ask some actual black students what they think before deciding that a newspaper of racist douches, by racist douches and for racist douchnozzles should be banned because they print reprehensible trash.

    …unless you want to have it both ways.

  31. 31
    Patrick Tolle

    @ Artor #3- A shit ton of cash and being former director of the CIA who knows where the bodies are buried will buy a lot of indulgence especially at the Ivys. The only thing I’ve ever thought good of the University of Texas at Austin, besides their location, is that their law school was discriminating enough not to admit the Shrub.

  32. 32
    Francisco Bacopa

    I don’t even understand what the North Star was getting at with their headline about the [administrator] and Trayvon Martin. However the administrator felt about the Martin case is not exactly relevant to his or her official duties.

    Was the North Star simply exhibiting a dead black person for shock value? Were they gloating that the killer got away with it? Were they wanting to threaten others with this example?

    Probably a mix of the three with an emphasis on the third.

  33. 33
    Holms

    Could someone clarify for me – do they have the actual police photos taken of the deceased Trayvon (as opposed to the relatively innoccuous shots of him still alive)? I was under the impression that it was illegal to publish such footage.

    Additionally, this seems to be potentially libellous against [administrator], there may be grounds to get a retraction or apology at the very least.

  34. 34
    carlie

    Holy crap, but their graphic design is for shit. That was painful to read.

    Ok, so I read the article, and I believe what they were trying to do was to satirize anti-racism groups by pretending to be one, and writing the way they think anti-racism groups do, throwing out ridiculous accusations that make no sense and jumping to conclusions. Basically, analogous to a ‘pitter “playing feminist” and saying “OH MY GOD WHY DID YOU SAY HELLO TO ME YOU AWFUL AWFUL MAN YOU’RE ATTACKING ME” and somehow thinking that’s funny and a pointed critique at feminism. They see anti-racism groups as making the kinds of accusations they find unfair, so they’re pretending to be one and making unfair accusations against administrators for not commenting on things they wouldn’t be expected to comment on. So, it’s just a good old-fashioned strawman burning, executed just as incompetently as one would expect from a group of college students whose idea of amusement is picking on people.

  35. 35
    theoreticalgrrrl

    Where the hell did they get the crime scene photo of a murdered 17-year-old child? Wouldn’t publishing it be violating the privacy of the Martin family?

  36. 36
    thewhollynone

    RE the local commercial paper, the Sun Tribune– somebody needs to organize a delegation to discuss with the owners of said paper their plan to distribute this North Star trash along with their paper. I think they could be discouraged from doing that unless the North Star editor is a child of a Sun Tribune higher up, that is.

  37. 37
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Usernames are Smart #30, responding to a quote in PZ’s OP:

    And with that, they have crossed a line. Free speech is one thing, making light of murder and claiming that our chancellor of student affairs excuses it is another. Using dead black boys to “satirize” equality is contemptible.

    …[snip]…

    Maybe you might ask some actual black students what they think before deciding that a newspaper of racist douches, by racist douches and for racist douchnozzles should be banned because they print reprehensible trash.

    No. Just no.

    Usernames are Smart, you have this one very, very wrong. Your first segment about “you can never know what it’s like…” is presumably to set up the next part, since PZ says nothing telling others “what it’s like” to be Black in Morris, Minnesota.

    There are two reasons this is wrong.

    First, PZ is rightly taking this as a rhetorical attack on PZ’s own community. The addition of more racism to the Morris/UMM communities make them worse, to PZ’s mind, for him and for other white people. Although some whites clearly get big gains from racism, and all whites get some small advantages, frequently unnoticed, PZ believes that he loses from racism. He values an anti-racist community, these people are ruining one of the things that makes PZ’s communities valuable to him. He is rightly hitting back.

    This is a good thing. This is a victory for anti-racism in the USA. Since before Frederick Douglas people have been making the point that holding slaves degrades the slave owner. These aren’t new arguments. But the taking of them to heart by as many people as do nowadays is a good thing. It may not even be a greater percentage, but it’s of 300 million, which with mobility and the internet makes possible a level of coordinated, anti-racist, white action not possible since “the little woman who started this big war” stopped writing.

    So, yay, PZ is paying attention to the damage racism does to PZ and PZ’s community. And then he acts on it, taking responsibility for his community and keeping it good or even making it better.

    But then,
    Second seeing something racist and turning to any nearby person of color (why only black folk? First Nations folk and Indians were an explicit target of this from the description; other people of color were as well) isn’t a model of anti-racist leadership. It’s putting people of color on the spot. How is any person of color supposed to speak for all the people targeted?

    That’s tokenizing and wrong.

    If white people simply say nothing and then step in to follow along if and when leadership of color appear, this is also wrong. People of color have no idea whether you will be with the anti-racist leaders or not until the take the risk. They can’t count allies and they must instead decide on their own, assuming that there will be no help, whether they will be able to take on such groups as individuals. Ugh. The responsibility for ending racism rests not on people of color.

    No, what a white person can do is take action on behalf of that person’s own self, or on behalf of the people the person does/can represent. You’re a white university chancellor? Speak for the faculty, that’s your job. You’re a white student body president? Speak for the student government, that’s your job. You never speak for people of color as a white person. Ever.

    But that doesn’t mean you don’t speak out against racism.

    Now, if a reasonably cohesive message is put out by the groups of persons/peoples of color most affected, then make sure your action doesn’t cross the boundaries of acceptable response, if any, specified in that message.

    When people of color choose to lead an anti-racism response/movement, of course the white folk in the community should follow. But a white ally doesn’t put people of color (leaders or not, activists or not) on the spot, doesn’t put the burden of ending racism on people of color.

    And when the groups most affected don’t have a reasonably cohesive message – when there is disagreement – white folk have to use our critical thinking to make a decision about how to proceed. Disagreement among folk of color over best response tactics doesn’t relieve white folk of the responsibility to act to end racism.

    Finally, for both when there is and when there isn’t a reasonably cohesive message, critical thinking must be engaged to make sure that you don’t do something unethical just because the idea arose from communities of color. Sometimes this is as easy as refusing to stand with those who would launch a war, but other times it requires asking difficult questions about whether the people of color most able to get attention to their analysis/perspective are in fact people who really represent the folk targeted by a particular racist action. Horizontal hostility, sexism, classism, ableism, all these can affect what responses get recommended.

    We don’t get a free pass to enact sexism because we are fighting racism.

    We get, if we have good and honest friends, the gift of accountability on all the moral dimensions of our choices all at once.

    So, no. If Morris residents actually read this post and agree in sufficient numbers to start a real campaign of trashing the North Star, and if a large number of people of color call this out as a bad or counter-productive tactic, then PZ will have to be accountable for his choice to listen or not, follow or not.

    But neither putting people of color on the spot by asking for the proper white action in response to this is to relieve himself of the responsibility of thinking about racism.

    Remaining silent leaves people of color thinking that they are alone in taking offense at racism – the silence sends a signal. This is also not acceptable.

    Your solution, Usernames are Smart, is not workable, and has unethical impacts on people of color.

    I say no: White people can and should choose to act, taking the risk of acting badly and being accountable for those missteps when we do.

  38. 38
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Can I buy you a Molly, Crip Dyke?
    That was outstanding.

  39. 39
    unclefrogy

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

    uncle frogy

  40. 40
    Pen

    Ugh, I’m really sorry.

    But there are limits, and one of those limits is when they create a hostile environment for a subset of our population, and when they go out of their way to be confrontational in public spaces. That’s coming awfully close to harassment.

    That’s why I pretty much support some form of hate speech law. Some speech actually is harassment and does limit peoples access to the space you’re busy trying to make more diverse.

  41. 41
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Usernames are smart

    PZ, you can never know what it is like to be black and be the target of racism

    You are quite right there. Could you elaborate as to why this should in any way restrict PZ’s calling out racism wherever and whenever he sees it?

    Maybe you might ask some actual black students what they think before deciding that a newspaper of racist douches, by racist douches and for racist douchnozzles should be banned because they print reprehensible trash.

    Again, why?

    …unless you want to have it both ways.

    Unless you can show otherwise, this is a Non Sequitur in terms of your above comments.

    (The link does raise an important, though separate, point. I often find I need to restrain myself from making such arguments. As offended as one may become by the hurtful ideas that others raise, it is best to keep the lines of communication open. There are limits though. And these are already in place wrt hate-speech (as in incitement to physical harm) or slander. There is no tightening required. Indeed, as the linky indicates, such could come back to bite one.)

  42. 42
    jnorris

    I am glad I am not the UMM career councilor that has to help these asshats find employment. I mean, News Corp can only hire a few new ones each year. Perhaps they can intern with the Tea Party and then run for office.

  43. 43
    cgilder

    Not only has the Young Conservatives of Texas at UT Aistin pulled the same cookie stunt this year, last week they were advertising a “Catch the Illegal Immigrant” “game” in which people who found the students with a “illegal immigrant” name tag and brought them to the YCT game masters would receive a $25 gift card. Never mind there are 400 undocumented students currently attending UT under the DREAM Act, this game was “only designed to highlight the problems with illegal immigration” not make those students feel hunted, ashamed, or otherwise unwelcome. Oh no, of course not. Assholes.

    Anyways, after giant community protest, condemnation from the Office of Diversity and the University President, the YCT called off the game because they “feared retaliation”. The irony, it is rich. On the plus side, there was a massive protest/demonstration against immigration policies and in support of the undocumented students as a result of their asshole stunt, so not a total loss.

  44. 44
    herb

    PZ…glad you are there to call out this stuff….hopefully you will be supported by the “good Christians” of your local community.

  45. 45
    raven

    Free speech is a right. OTOH, you have rights too. One of them is to not be a victim. Use your rights.

    And remember, “The whole world (really) is watching!!!”

    and

    Anyways, after giant community protest, condemnation from the Office of Diversity and the University President, the YCT called off the game because they “feared retaliation”. The irony, it is rich.

    Christofascists are cockroaches. They really hate the light.

    A blog chronicling their racism, multiple hates, and lies could be effective. Might be good to do it anonymously with heavy cybersecurity. These charming patriots have a tendency towards violence.

  46. 46
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    raven @45:

    A blog chronicling their racism, multiple hates, and lies could be effective. Might be good to do it anonymously with heavy cybersecurity. These charming patriots have a tendency towards violence.

    Right Wing Watch has been doing yeoman’s service along those lines for years. And are, except for a few leftists, completely and totally ignored. There are other sites that do this regularly. The problem is not doing it, the problem is getting US voters to actually read the damning material rather than listening to Faux News.

    Now, if we could get a TV news network to do this, that might make a small dent.

    Well, by a small dent, picture a mosquito hitting a main battle tank.

  47. 47
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Now, if we could get a TV news network to do this, that might make a small dent.

    Well, by a small dent, picture a mosquito hitting a main battle tank.

    The metaphor works even better if one understands modern reactive armor.

    Rush Limbaugh: a bloated extension of right wing media that explodes as a defense mechanism.

    Of course, really the entire right-wing media is the reactive armor, with racism, classism and patriarchy as the weaponized juggernaut, and with Wealth in the driver’s seat.

  48. 48
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Sorry, raven. That came out as rather condescending. I didn’t mean it that way, but intent is not magic. My apologies.

  49. 49
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    I would say Wealth is sitting in the commander’s chair, with Whites-in-poverty as loader, TalkRadio as gunner, and Underclass down at the bottom with Wealth’s boots on its shoulders, driving where it’s told.

    But I’m a wargame geek, so, y’know, take with a C-rat’s worth of salt.

  50. 50
    Inaji

    Usernames are smart @ 30:

    Sorry, but no. PZ, you can never know what it is like to be black and be the target of racism (note the word “and” is not the word “or”). You don’t know what it’s like to have a girlfriend dump you because her parents ‘might find out you’re black’, or overhear a coworker tell a joke about lazy black robots.

    Sorry, but no. You don’t know what it’s like to be mixed race. You don’t know what it’s like to be Oglala Lakota in Minnesota. You don’t know what it’s like to live on a rez.

    You’re being very stupid here, you might want to stop that, start thinking, and be part of the solution instead of part of the crowd who sits on their arse for sundry reasons.

  51. 51
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @CaitieCat:

    I knew I was missing something with “driver’s seat” but I don’t know anything about tanks. Thanks for fleshing out a metaphor.

    Although, I’m not sure the underclass does the driving – directed or not. I think the underclass is under the treads.

  52. 52
    raven

    Sorry, raven. That came out as rather condescending. I didn’t mean it that way, but intent is not magic. My apologies.

    No problem. I wasn’t offended so you can recycle your apology.

    Right Wing Watch isn’t that ignored. It’s an important resource. What people do is check it and take off on whatever they document. It’s one of Ed Brayton’s main sources.

    The better comparison might be…Freethoughtblogs and….PZ Myers’s Pharyngula. blog.

    It was just an idea that someone could do without much money and without worrying about someone burning a cross on their lawn (which happened here not too long ago). Maybe it won’t work. Won’t know until you try it. And hopefully not the only idea.

    IIRC, the North Star clones are well funded. They are the almost mythological “Outside Agitators”. Not sure by who but the Tea Party and it’s like have lots of money. For all I know it is one of the Koch brothers’s PACs. Money always comes in useful for these activities. We have Right Wing Watch and they have Fox News, Forbes, and the WSJ.

  53. 53
    raven

    Speaking of Rightwing Watch, here is one of the supporting groups. Their budget is listed as $1.2 million a year. I’m sure there are many more and they are keeping a low profile. There is never just one cockroach and they do hate the light.

    FWIW, there used to be some similar liberal groups. Don’t know if they are still in existence.

    rightwingwatch. org:
    Collegiate Network edited for length

    The Collegiate Network was established in 1979 to provide financial and technical assistance to right-wing student newspapers on college campuses. It is heavily funded by right-wing foundations and claims its newspapers have a combined distribution of more than two million each year.

    Website: w ww.co llegiatenetwork. org

    President: T. Kenneth Cribb
    Finances: $1,249,161 (2003)
    Affiliated with: Intercollegiate Studies Institute
    Publications: Campus magazine, Stop the Presses!, online news; Start the Presses!, handbook; and a network of 80 student-run college newspapers
    Formally known as: Institute for Educational Affairs (changed in 1980)

  54. 54
    raven

    I’ve been told by one of our students that they’ve made arrangements with our town newspaper, the Sun Tribune, to have their evil rag distributed with that paper every week. I guess I won’t be reading that paper anymore, either, if they’re endorsing this kind of racism.

    Morris is 5,277 people and the population is slowly declining like a lot of small Midwestern towns. UM Morris is 1,932 students.

    My guess is that half the town cash flow comes from UMM. And without the U. it is on its way to being a wide spot in the road.

    So the Sun Tribune decides to attack the University? Doesn’t look smart but what do I know.

    One of the pet hates of the christofascists are universities and college students. For all I know the surrounding community hates them and would rather hate them and sink into poverty then take their money.

  55. 55
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Pen @40:
    Hate speech laws can be tricky though. The definition of hate speech often varies from country to country, and I imagine in the US with the power the GOP has, a hate speech law would contain elements of blasphemy laws and that would likely curtail criticism or mockery of religious beliefs.
    As much as I deplore hate speech, I would rather continue to allow it (within the current limits of US law), rather than run the risk of losing the ability to mock or ridicule pseudoscientific or religious beliefs.

    ****
    In the case of PZs post, I think the North Star writers have attacked the character of the chancellor of student affairs while continuing to spread their racism. They have taken things to a new level. As a result, I think they should face the consequences of their actions.

  56. 56
    SallyStrange

    So the Sun Tribune decides to attack the University? Doesn’t look smart but what do I know.

    The emotional kick from trashing the assholes on whom your local economy depends trumps any possible alienating effect such actions might have. No matter how annoying the locals are to the out-of-towners, the university isn’t going anywhere. Well, it might fail, but it certainly isn’t about to pick up and move.

    (I grew up in one such town.)

  57. 57
    raven

    The emotional kick from trashing the assholes on whom your local economy depends trumps any possible alienating effect such actions might have. No matter how annoying the locals are to the out-of-towners, the university isn’t going anywhere. Well, it might fail, but it certainly isn’t about to pick up and move.

    (I grew up in one such town.)

    Sounds about right. Thanks for explaining that. All the advantages of hate with none of the consequences.

    I’ve lived in several myself. Including a large one in the NE called…Boston. They’ve all been pleasant places that attract or invent a lot of Hi-Tech industries and wealthy retirees.

    They do tend to help the neighborhood. It’s a green industry, they take in students and money and produce educated people. Well most of the time anyway.

  58. 58
    raven

    Oops, borked the blockquotes. You can tell it is 2 AM PST and I just woke up from a nightmare.

    The emotional kick from trashing the assholes on whom your local economy depends trumps any possible alienating effect such actions might have. No matter how annoying the locals are to the out-of-towners, the university isn’t going anywhere. Well, it might fail, but it certainly isn’t about to pick up and move.

    (I grew up in one such town.)

    Sounds about right. Thanks for explaining that. All the advantages of hate with none of the consequences.

    I’ve lived in several myself. Including a large one in the NE called…Boston. They’ve all been pleasant places that attract or invent a lot of Hi-Tech industries and wealthy retirees.

    They do tend to help the neighborhood. It’s a green industry, they take in students and money and produce educated people. Well most of the time anyway.

  59. 59
    salamander

    Assuming that this group is also against homosexuality I find the name of their paper comical. Northstar is the first openly gay superhero.

  60. 60
    robinjohnson

    He then proceeded to giver the cookie, and pay her $2.50, stating, “though you’re taking proceeds from the NAACP, you probably struggled $2.50 more than them.”

    What is his point here? Is he trying to say that when NAACP money goes towards affirmative action or advancement for minorities, that’s “taking proceeds from the NAACP”?

Comments have been disabled.