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Old 05-31-2003, 03:02 PM   #76
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I think the KKK are dangerous because they incite racism. I don't support them being allowed to speak on a college campus because I believe that black students on the campus have the right to live their lives without fear of racist attack.

I don't think an indivdual speaking about the war poses the same threat to students, so I while I don't think it is appropriate to allow such a speaker to address a graduation, I wouldn't oppose it for the same reasons I would oppose a KKK speaker.
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Old 05-31-2003, 05:36 PM   #77
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Fizzing,

"I think the KKK are dangerous because they incite racism. I don't support them being allowed to speak on a college campus because I believe that black students on the campus have the right to live their lives without fear of racist attack."


"I don't think an indivdual speaking about the war poses the same threat to students, so I while I don't think it is appropriate to allow such a speaker to address a graduation, I wouldn't oppose it for the same reasons I would oppose a KKK speaker."

That means that you believe that having a belief or opinion in of itself can be dangerous, even if the person never in anyway acted out that belief. This is something liberals usually accuse conservatives of. I believe persons talking about racism or war pose no threat to anyone as long as they are simply stating beliefs and opinions and not engaging in any sort of action beyond that.

Political and controversial beliefs can be expressed providing it is the correct setting. The Graduation ceremony was not one. But in area's where political beliefs are allowed to be expressed, I can't see how you can restrict someone else's free speach or decide that one political belief is or is not deserving of certain types of behavior. All political beliefs here in the USA are treated equally in both the freedom to express and the reactions and behavior to that expression.
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Old 05-31-2003, 05:39 PM   #78
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If Rumsfeld had spoken at West Point or some other military school I would not expect the students to turn their backs or be disrespectful.

Sting,

I think you are off with all this KKK talk. Sure it would be legal for a Klansman or Neo-Nazi to speak. But, any official that invited him would be out of a job.

Not supporting the Administration’s foreign policy is no where close in offensiveness, as having a Klansman speak.


A better comparison might have been a speaker opposing Clinton’s “Interventionist” War in Bosnia in the 90s. There were many that did oppose that war.
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Old 05-31-2003, 05:50 PM   #79
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One big boo
Wrong speaker, wrong reaction at Rockford College

“Think. Act. Give a Damn.” That’s the new motto of Rockford College. By that measure, this year’s commencement speech was a success.
But when the audience booed the speaker off the stage for his antiwar views, it sent a less noble message. Intolerance. Closed minds. Group-think.

New York Times reporter Chris Hedges had to cut his message short Saturday after he was interrupted by shouts of protest, foghorns and students rushing the aisle in protest. His microphone was unplugged twice. The second time, college President Paul Pribbenow urged Hedges to wrap it up.

Pribbenow made a poor judgment by inviting Hedges to speak at the commencement, a time of comfortable words, pride and reflection on accomplishments. That’s not the tradition at every college, although Rockford College has followed that model.

Pribbenow might have thought he was shaking things up. Challenging the common wisdom. Giving students one last, best chance to exercise their liberal arts education and to learn from other people, even if they don’t agree with them.

These are important messages, but a graduation is not the right place to send them. It’s likely to end up just as Saturday did. Badly.

Rockford College is not the first school, by any means, to see controversy over commencement speeches. On Sunday, one in eight graduates of Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania walked out in protest before U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum spoke. In earlier comments, Santorum compared homosexuality to incest and bigamy.

Two years ago, President Bush returned to Yale University for a commencement speech. Graduates held up “Yale Women Against Bush” signs. People protested the death penalty. They did, however, give the president a chance to talk — a courtesy not given Chris Hedges.

Hedges said U.S. policy in Iraq amounted to tyranny over the weak. He said the war was betrayal. He said heroic ideals were the failure of original thought. Overcome, a Rockford College graduate from Capron left in tears. Another graduate threw his cap and gown at the stage before leaving. A 66-year-old Boone County man, the father of a graduate, said it hurt to hear his country criticized.

The strong emotions are understandable. What is not understandable is the urge to silence Hedges, to deprive him of the right to share his ideas and deprive other people of the right to hear them.

Where did Rockford lose its tolerance? Where was the danger in hearing what Hedges had to say?

The reaction to Hedges’ speech has made Fox News and the online Drudge Report. More people have clicked on the story on rrstar.com than on all stories on the Web site combined.

We hope the protest reflects emotions that are still raw on the war and that it is not a sign of growing intolerance of unpopular or unorthodox ideas. That’s not Rockford.

And that’s certainly not Jane Addams, Rockford College’s famous graduate and social reformer. She was a pacifist. She opposed World War I, even after the United States entered the war in 1917. Fourteen years later, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Would she have been booed off the stage at Rockford College?
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About Rockford College

Rockford College was founded in 1847. It is an independent, co-ed liberal arts institution. The college offers bachelor’s degree programs in 31 majors and master’s programs in business and teaching. It’s one of only 10 institutions in Illinois with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Jane Addams graduated from Rockford Seminary (what is now Rockford College) in 1881.

The well-known alumnae is the founder of Chicago’s Hull House, a social reform center. In 1931, she became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

* As of the fall 2002 semester, the college had 864 full-time undergraduate students from 10 states and 27 countries.

* The average ACT score for freshmen is 23, and the campus population is 62 percent women and 38 percent men.

* A racial breakdown: 84 percent white, 7.5 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and 3.5 percent Asian.

There are 80 full-time faculty members. The ratio of faculty to students is 1 to 9.

Source: www.rockford.edu
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Chris Hedges


New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has spent 15 years covering conflicts in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Algeria, Iraq, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in Israel, Kosovo and Sarajevo. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Colgate University and a master of Divinity from Harvard University.

Hedges was the Central American bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News and later the Middle East bureau chief for that newspaper, based in Jerusalem, from 1988 to 1990. He was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, based in Cairo, from 1991 to 1995 and later, the Balkans bureau chief from 1995 to 1998. He was a member of The Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for the newspaper’s coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism.

His debut book, “War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning,” is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In it, he addresses humanity’s fascination with war through such references as Homer and Shakespeare.

Source: Rockford College Spring 2003 Commencement program



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Old 05-31-2003, 06:18 PM   #80
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


hiphop, you did say ouizy doesn't donate. you said:

"It would have been a good idea to donate. I am really sorry that you don´t."

I hope you understand why it made a few of us upset that you were jumping on ouizy's back about this. You are in no position to know whether or not ouizy donates, and even if you somehow knew he doesn't, you are still in no position to judge him for not donating.
Nope, I don´t understand. Stop to make assumptions and to discredit me, 80s.

What you are quoting is exactly what I said. It ain´t any form of jumping on someone´s back. I also am not judging. I am pointing out it would have been and would still be a good idea, and that I am sorry ouizy apparently (in his own words) did not donate for that cause. What´s the problem. If the problem is that I didn´t add "for this cause", you can f***ing imagine what I meant. After all, it is totally logical that I don´t know whether he donates 20,000 $ per year to Greenpeace or not.

You, on the other hand, keep mixing into things that aren´t your business at all. You may be concerned, like I am about certain issues, but I replied to ouizy personally and to Angela because she´s a mod, and I am just replying to you now because I want to set the record straight. Stop blaming me for jumping on someone´s back when I don´t. If ouizy felt like I was jumping his back, he himself might as well explain how come, and I may choose to reply.

Another comment from you about this will remain unanswered by me.

Anyhow, I´ll get you a medal for playing the psychotherapist.

Angela: ok by me. Maybe I will post about donating another time.

While we are dicussing, just today another thousands of people have died of AIDS and famine. In my opinion, everyone should get involved. In my opinion, this is a Christian duty.
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Old 05-31-2003, 06:28 PM   #81
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If a KKK speaker could be allowed to speak, a Nazi could also be allowed to speak. He could praise Hitler and his policies of putting the jews into concentraition camps. After all, that´s just an opinion. Doesn´t pose a threat to anyone. Just talking. Free speech.


In my opinion, history counts.
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Old 05-31-2003, 06:51 PM   #82
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hiphop, it seemed to me that you were jumping his case about it based on the wya you worded some of it. That is why I jumped to his defense, because quite frankly, it upset me that you just kept hammering at him about it, and seemed to eb making teh assumption that he doesn't donate.

However, if I am wrong about your motives and intent, i am very sorry to have jumped your case, the very thing i accused you of doing to him.
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Old 05-31-2003, 07:00 PM   #83
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Fine. Shakehands, peace, later, dear old chap
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Old 05-31-2003, 10:43 PM   #84
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Deep,

"Not supporting the Administration’s foreign policy is no where close in offensiveness, as having a Klansman speak."

I've already said I totally agree with that. I've also said that is not the point at all. This is not about a comparison between a KKK person and an anti-war person, its about equality when it comes to free speach and opinion.

"I think you are off with all this KKK talk. Sure it would be legal for a Klansman or Neo-Nazi to speak. But, any official that invited him would be out of a job."

Not necessarily. It depends on the institution and the setting.

"A better comparison might have been a speaker opposing Clinton’s “Interventionist” War in Bosnia in the 90s. There were many that did oppose that war."

Again, my point is not about a comparison between the level of offensiveness between speakers. Its about double standards for speach and opinion that is supposed to be protected equally, regardless of the level of offensiveness, provided the setting it takes place in is appropriate.
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Old 06-01-2003, 07:01 AM   #85
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Originally posted by STING2
That means that you believe that having a belief or opinion in of itself can be dangerous, even if the person never in anyway acted out that belief. This is something liberals usually accuse conservatives of. I believe persons talking about racism or war pose no threat to anyone as long as they are simply stating beliefs and opinions and not engaging in any sort of action beyond that.
I think that a person expressing racist views can be dangerous. A university in the UK allowed a member of the BNP (British National Party - extreme right, holocaust deniers, support forced "repatriation" of all black people from the UK) to speak on campus last year. In the next few days there was an increase in racism - Muslim women were shouted at for wearing the hijab on campus and called "traitors," black students had racist comments made toward them and one student found a racist poster had been placed on the door to his room in a residence hall. Each of those events happened within days of the BNP speaker addressing a meeting, and in the previous months there had not been a huge number of racist incidents such as those above. The BNP cause racism - they legitimise it - they say to people "it's okay to hate Muslims, it's okay to shout at Black people" and so people go out and do that.

Take another example: the British press is extremely racist with regard to asylum seekers. They claim that "millions" of asylum seekers enter Britain each year, when in fact the number is closeor to 90,000. They also claim asylum seekers are given free mobile phones and housed in nice areas of the country, when in reality asylum seekers live on £36 per week (about $60) and are housed in accomodation British families have refused to take. In the last year two asylum seekers have been murdered because racist whip up such hatred against asylum seekers that people are willing to resort to extreme violence against them.

One final example - in Oldham (a town in the north of the UK) last year, the police released some misleading figures about racist violence. They later admitted that their claim that white people were more likely to be victims of a racist attack than black people were entirely false. That didn't stop an increase in racist attacks against black people though - the release of that information incited racism against the black community.

I think racists are a threat. I think the BNP having won council seats in towns across the UK poses a threat to black communities in those areas. There has been a rise in racism in Burnley in the last year, after three BNP councillors were elected. I think people expressing racist views are dangerous - they incite violence and hatred.

Quote:
Political and controversial beliefs can be expressed providing it is the correct setting. The Graduation ceremony was not one. But in area's where political beliefs are allowed to be expressed, I can't see how you can restrict someone else's free speach or decide that one political belief is or is not deserving of certain types of behavior. All political beliefs here in the USA are treated equally in both the freedom to express and the reactions and behavior to that expression.
Okay then - you say that if political beliefs are permitted to be expressed then that must apply to all political beliefs, including extremists such as the KKK. How about this example - imagine a class studying 1960s US history. The lecturer decides to invite a person who supported the Vietnam war to speak - that's a politcal view, it's probably fairly controversial. So would it also be acceptable for that lecturer to invite people to speak who would speak in favour of segregation? Would it be okay to ask someone to speak and say that they believe black people to be inferior to white people? After all - both would be political views. According to your logic, if one political views is acceptable than all are acceptable - so how could you oppose someone who is pro-segregation speaking, even if they would be telling black students in that class that they had no right to be at this white university?
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Old 06-01-2003, 04:22 PM   #86
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Fizzing,

Its obvious that you believe that people who hold certain political beliefs should be stripped of their rights and put in jail, simply because of their opinion or belief. If simply having a belief or an opinion is that dangerous, than I suppose such action would be warrented. Of course, many a dictator has been able to come to power in various countries using such tactics, making political belief or opinion, and the expression of those beliefs and opinions a crime.

If a lecturer at a University wants to invite various speakers of political beliefs to come and talk then I think that is fine. I'm sure some University's offer classes where they study various political beliefs, even racists ones. Having a controversial speaker come in and speak would be one study aid in understanding the political beliefs of a group or individual. Of course, I think it would be appropriate for the Proffessor to mention that such controversial speakers would be coming to speak to the class through out the semester so as to give students who don't wish to deal with that the opportunity to switch to a different class. Do to the controversial subject matter, the students would have to right to know at the start of the term who would be coming to speak through out the term. Simply having a person come to speak that has racist views does not mean the proffessor or anyone in the class actually has any racists views at all.

When I was a child, I used to be angered when I would hear the KKK would be having a rally in town or marching. I'd be like lets get a baseball bat and a BB gun and show those hoods we don't want them around. It was actually African Americans though that convinced me that was wrong and that the KKK had every right to march because holding a political belief or opinion was not a crime and freedom of political belief and opinion is one of the most cherished values of our society.
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Old 06-01-2003, 05:15 PM   #87
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STING,
Please don't exaggerate my views - I don't want anyone "stripped of their rights and put in jail" because I don't like what they think. All I have said is that I believe that racists should not be given a platform to speak on a university campus, when they will use that platform to incite racism against black people. You say they must have freedom of speech, but what about the freedom of black people to go about their lives without fear of racist attack?

Personally I would be disgusted if a university lecturer invited a member of the KKK to address a lecture. So what if students were warned in advance? Would that make the speaker any less offensive? Would it be okay for them to talk about the superiority of the white race so long as black students knew not to turn up to that week's lecture? On a more pragmatic level, you suggest that students who don't like racism could switch to a different class, but what if that class was compulsory for some students?

I don't think an organisation which have murdered black people, which have burned down black people's homes, which have created a climate of terror for decades, have any business addressing a group of students. I would be disgusted at any lecturer who thought allowing a white supremacist to address a class was appropriate.
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Old 06-01-2003, 06:05 PM   #88
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Fizzing,

"You say they must have freedom of speech, but what about the freedom of black people to go about their lives without fear of racist attack?"

Your missing the point. There is a difference between speeking ones beliefs and attacking someone physically. Also, there cannot be a double standard when it comes to free speech.

I don't think a class that would involve such political controversy would be compulsory for students. If the students want to take the class for what ever the reason, its fine.

I find it strange that you would attempt to bar certain political beliefs and opinions from a Campus. I think a Campus is in fact the place where any beliefs and opinions can be expressed, then examined and debated.

"I don't think an organisation which have murdered black people, which have burned down black people's homes, which have created a climate of terror for decades, have any business addressing a group of students. I would be disgusted at any lecturer who thought allowing a white supremacist to address a class was appropriate."

If the person speaking has committed any crimes that you have mentioned then they should be in jail. But I'm talking about law abiding citizens who simply have a controversial and extremist opinion.

Your trying to ban political beliefs and opinions in a general campus setting. To me that is totally against what a University is for. Given the appropriate setting on campus and prior knowledge of the type of discussion, any political belief or opinion, no matter how controversial should be allowed to be heard, discussed and debated.

Students have the opportunity to learn for more from that process than if you simply banned certain political beliefs and opinions. Students become much more sensitive to the problems that minorities face when confronted with such controversial opinions and topics.

Allowing all political beliefs and opinions a forum for expression at the University helps students to learn about things and people that may not have been aware of before or been sensitive to. Many people here in the United States want to end affirmative action for minority's because they believe that racism does not really exists anymore. One way students and other people to learn that is false is by allowing such political belief and opinion to be expressed in the proper setting on a campus. It would show them that racism is actually still very strong in society and that affirmative action is still very vital to combat it.

Finally, banning political belief and opinion on a campus is a slippery slope. Once one thing is banned, no matter the difference in degree of the level of offensiveness, the door has been opened to banning other less offensive political belief and opinion.
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Old 06-01-2003, 06:58 PM   #89
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STING,

As I said a few posts back, I oppose the KKK/the BNP/other extreme racist groups speaking on university campuses because there is a corresponding rise in racism when such individuals speak on campus. While I respect freedom of speech, I also believe that black students have a right to go about their business on campus without being subject to racist harrassment. I do not believe Muslim women should be put in a situation where they are verbally attacked for wearing the hijab simply because some people would like to listen to a white supremacist speak on campus. I know of one university campus where a group of racists decided to hold their meeting in the meeting room next to a meeting of the university's Jewish society - and thoughtfully decided to hand out leaflets claiming the holocaust never happened and was all a Jewish conspiracy. Why should those students have to tolerate that?

Yes a university is a place for learning about political views other than one's own. However, in my opinion it should also be a place which is diverse, inclusive and tolerant and where there is no place for racism or any other form of bigotry.
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Old 06-02-2003, 12:07 AM   #90
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Fizzing,

"I know of one university campus where a group of racists decided to hold their meeting in the meeting room next to a meeting of the university's Jewish society - and thoughtfully decided to hand out leaflets claiming the holocaust never happened and was all a Jewish conspiracy. Why should those students have to tolerate that?"

Because diversity, freedom of belief and political opinion are very important. As soon as you start to restrict one persons freedoms in this regard, you start down the road of restricting others freedoms. You have to show toleration for views that may be offensive to you, provided that those views are expressed in the proper setting and do not break the law by engaging in certain activities.

I've never seen anything that would suggest that there is definitely a rise in violent action towards minorities when the KKK have a march or hold a rally here in the USA. Most of the violent action that does occur is actually against the KKK itself. The KKK have to march with a large Police escort, or potentially be mobbed. As much as I find their views distasteful and sick, it is their opinion and belief. Simply having a belief or an opinion is not a crime.

The way to counter racist view points is not censorship. The way to counter it is education and counter rally's and marches.
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