Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
A national tour featuring decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan won't be stopping at Forest Lake Area High School today as planned, after school leaders abruptly canceled the visit.
Steve Massey, the school principal, said the decision to cancel was prompted by concerns that the event was becoming political rather than educational and therefore was not suitable for a public school.
He said the school had received several phone calls from parents and others, some of whom indicated that they may stage a protest if the event took place.
To paraprhase Charlie Brown, "AAAaaaaaaaargh!" I can understand people disagreeing with the war, but are censorship and expressions of contempt for American war veterans really the most productive way to get their point across?
But maybe they are getting their point across. Maybe these people honestly think that American soldiers are evil, and that anyone who disagrees with them is evil, and they think that being courteous to war veterans is teaching students to respect evil.
And maybe that's not the lesson that some teenagers need to learn.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
[Former Governor Andrew] Young also quipped that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has her husband behind her, and that 'Bill is every bit as black as Barack.'
'He's probably gone with more black women than Barack,' Young said of former President Clinton, drawing laughter from a live television audience. Young, 75, was quick to follow his comment on Bill Clinton with the disclaimer, 'I'm clowning.'
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
The university banned Mr. Sampson from reading this book inthe presence of others after a far hearing. At least we have to assume that the hearing was fair; as it turns out Mr. Sampson wasn't invited to it:
In a stunning series of events at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Keith Sampson, a university employee and student, has been charged with racial harassment for reading a book during his work breaks.
Sampson is in his early fifties, does janitorial work for the campus facility services at IUPUI, and is ten credits shy of a degree in communication studies. He is also an avid reader who usually brings books with him to work so that he can read in the break room when he is not on the clock. Last year, he began reading a book entitled Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan. The book, which has garnered great reviews in such places as The Indiana Magazine of History and Notre Dame Magazine, discusses the events surrounding two days in May 1924, when a group of Notre Dame students got into a street fight in South Bend with members of the Ku Klux Klan. As an historical account of the students' response in the face of anti-Catholic prejudice, the book would seem to be a relevant and worthwhile read, both for residents of the state of Indiana and for anyone interested in this chapter of American history.But others at IUPUI clearly did not see it that way. First, a shop steward told Sampson that reading a book about the KKK was like bringing pornography to work (apparently this holds true in his eyes regardless of the context in which a book discusses the KKK, the position it takes, and so on).
Despite his not being given a chance to defend himself, he subsequently received a letter from Lillian Charleston of the AAO, dated November 25, 2007, informing him that AAO had completed its investigation of the matter. The letter stated,
You demonstrated disdain and insensitivity to your coworkers who repeatedly requested that you refrain from reading the book which has such an inflammatory and offensive topic in their presence...you used extremely poor judgment by insisting on openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your Black coworkers.
Ajzar Majeed, who wrote this piece for the FIRE's blog The Torch, compares Mr. Sampson's plight with the bizarre story of Jihad Daniel at William Patterson University.