Saturday, December 16, 2006
What to do when you're a white college student who wants to peacefully protest a current political hot topic? Answer: BE CAREFUL. You may incur the wrath of "correct-minded" professors who will utilize language that, in reverse, would get one suspended from college and countless mandatory hours of "sensitivity training" and "diversity seminars."
Case in point: Washington State University College Republicans erected a "mock fence" to protest immigration policy. Uh-oh. You know what's coming, don't you? Splenetic "proper-minded" students ... and professors imputing with wanton abandon.
Another assistant professor from the CES department, John Streamas, was reported as calling College Republicans members “white shitbags,” though it was not recorded on video. According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Streamas admitted to using the phrase, but said it needed to be taken in the proper context.
Oh, of course. The "proper context." And what might that be, Prof. Streamas? “It made me angry. The fence is no different than a Confederate flag or a swastika.” Oh, silly us. We sort of presumed the "proper context" might have been some offensive epithet hurled your way by one of the College Republicans. But all it was was something ... that made you angry?? And a fence to prevent illegal immigration from a neighboring country ... the same as a symbol many consider to be synonymous with American slavery? Or a symbol of racial purity and ethnic genocide? Excuse our rudeness, but we find that completely dotterel.
Prof. Streamas has received a reprimand for his outburst. But we are certainly curious as to what may have happened if Streamas had uttered his slogan to a group of black College Democrats (changing, of course, the word "white" to "black") who had, say, erected a symbolic fence that represented how a lack of affirmative action policies at WSU "kept out" minority students. Our [quite educated] guess holds that Prof. Streamas would either have been suspended, mandated to attend sessions on "sensitivity," or even fired.
Prof. Streamas wasn't the only "appropriately minded" instructor to take action against the corrupting campus GOPers:
One of the three videos shows David Leonard, assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies, first asking and then demanding the cameraman for his WSU student identification number. “By the student code of conduct, I’d like to have your ID,” he said on the tape. “You have to give it to me.” The standards of conduct do not require students to hand over their IDs in such situations, but it does require students to comply with a “proper order” from a university official.Once again, had the picture been transposed, we surmise Leonard would have been called out for his "fascist" and "Stalinist" tactics ... that he was acting more like a member of the Gestapo than an educator of an enlightened site of higher learning.
Critical Mass has a copious amount of additional material on Professor Streamas, if you care to indulge yourself.