Sviggum rhymes with Wiggum, you know.

The row continues. There is now an open letter from UMM faculty and staff laying out the flaws in Sviggum’s assertions.

We’ve also made the pages of the Washington Post. I think this is great PR for us — I like being known as the campus that is so open and diverse that a Republican criticized us for having a student body that wasn’t white enough. Please consider attending this university if you value new perspectives!


  1. Bruce Fuentes says

    We are dealing with racism in our small northern WI high school. Our 16-year-old is black(adopted when my mother-in-law lived in South Africa). Some idiots were making monkey noises at him and one of the other black students during lunch. Our boy went right to the guidance counselor and reported it. We put the school district on notice that we would not tolerate hate toward any student in the district. Let’s see how they deal with this.
    We must call out hate in all its forms whenever we see it.

  2. Doc Bill says

    Sviggum released an apology. I was surprised that his apology hit all the points of a proper apology rather than the “notpologies” we often read. He said he was sorry. He realized his words had consequences. He vowed to listen and learn from his mistake. If he follows through and even becomes an advocate for Morris, that will be a step in the right direction. I’m willing to accept that he just didn’t know any better having lived a sheltered life.

  3. robro says

    I saw the WP story. Racism and racists are all over the media these days. On the one hand, the rise of bigotry is sad. On the other hand, bigotry…racism, misogyny, xenophobia… was already there, just under the surface. It’s just sticking its head up thanks to the exploitation by certain political forces here in the US and other parts of the world.

    Doc Bill @ #2 — “If he follows through”…ah, there’s the rub.

  4. Rich Woods says

    There is now an open letter

    All you bloody people in your bloody ivory tower, how dare you be nice to everyone! Who knows how it will all end…

  5. Matthew Currie says

    I doubt if I’m alone here, but the “just asking questions” dodge is, I think, just that, and if Sviggum apologized, he ought to have. There are ways of asking a question that imply agreement, and ways that do not. If someone is protesting, and you ask “Can’t we just shoot them?” this is technically just a question, but obviously it’s an opinion. Sviggum got a couple of complaints from potential parents whose ideas about diversity would appear to be red flags of bigotry. Anyone who did not agree with the idea could easily and effectively asked a question about this in a different way, airing the constituents’ concerns without appearing to take their side.

    “Some people have complained to me that they will not send their kids here because the college is too diverse. How would you respond to them?”

    You can ask a question in a way that actually invites a thoughtful answer. How hard would that have been?