Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, November 10, 2006

"Students consider legal action against professors"

WSU College Republicans Pro-Fence Demonstration

Due to censorship, YouTube video is no longer available. See video below:

From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Shouting matches erupted at event organized by the WSU College Republicans

By Erin Madison, Daily News staff writer

A Nov. 2 demonstration at Washington State University has caused some heightened tension across campus.

Members of the WSU College Republicans are considering taking legal action against two professors who made strong comments to the students, said Dan Ryder, a WSU student and College Republicans executive.

The College Republicans held the demonstration to show their support for a proposed fence or wall along portions of the U.S./Mexico border. They erected a chain-link fence on the Glenn Terrell Mall to illustrate their stance on the matter.

Various student groups held a counter-protest. They set up an altar for the Dia de los Muertos — Day of the Dead — and both groups handed out information about immigration.

A number of yelling matches broke out between the College Republicans and the counter-protestors.

At one point, John Streamas, assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies, allegedly called Ryder “a white sh--bag.”

Ryder is considering taking action against Streamas. He’s still deciding if he’ll pursue it within WSU’s legal system or with external authorities.

Streamas admits to using the phrase, but it has to be taken in context, he said.

Streamas said when he first arrived at the demonstration site, someone connected with the university said something “extremely racist” to him and left. He was angry, but didn’t direct the comment at any particular student, he said.

“They took that so personally,” Streamas said.

Streamas said the College Republicans didn’t consider how much the fence would offend the WSU community.

The College Republicans claimed they wanted to open a dialogue, Streamas said, but most of the people on campus who are “pro-immigrant” saw the fence as restricting dialogue.

“I don’t think they understood how insulting that fence was,” he said.

Streamas likened the fence to a confederate flag or a swastika. Anti-immigration policies usually overlap with racism, he said. As an example, he used the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which excluded all Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States for 10 years.

Raul Sanchez, director of WSU’s Office of Human Rights, said Ryder’s case may come before his office because the professor allegedly used a racial expletive.

About 10 minutes of the demonstration can be viewed on YouTube.com.

The clip shows someone who claims to be a professor get angry with the student who is recording the video and demanding to see his student identification card.

Daniel Schanze, political action chairman of the College Republicans, turned the video camera off at that point. He said he wasn’t sure if he had to show the man his ID card.

Schanze also intends to take action against the professor.

Sanchez didn’t believe Schanze’s case would come to his office because it didn’t involve racism, but he said he’d have to hear the facts from one of the people involved before he offered an opinion.

“I know that tensions were high down there, or at least emotions were high,” Sanchez said.

If anyone is feeling harassed on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender, Sanchez said he would like to talk to them.
I don't have much to add to this. There is A LOT of activity going on, some of which will become public, some that won't. More video will be posted soon. I suspect this story will soon garner regional/national media attention.

Meanwhile, where is Pullman's "paper of record," the Daily Watermelon? This is the SECOND story the Daily News has done on the border fence brouhaha, as well as an editorial. The Watermelon only published one desultory story that wasn't even posted on their online version. The editor may not want to publish the rantings of a old-fogey townie about Wal-Mart, but my gosh, this is a big story directly involving WSU students and faculty. I imagine they were hoping the story would disappear, and now that it hasn't, I'll bet they are concocting a smear piece on the CR's.


The Red Knight said...

When the CR's planned to have this little shim-dig I honestly did not believe it would draw so much attention to the bitterness and dysfunction of certain individuals and groups at WSU. And let me tell you, we really have to give them a hearty cheer. Without their hateful language, all this would not have been possible: Without them, we would not have had a nice video to wet our whistles with, the WSU Office of Human Rights would have less to do, and The Daily Watermelon would have fewer important issues to ignore. They are the kindling that stokes our FIRE, and they deserve a round of applause.

I'd also like to thank all of you bloggers that have supported the CR's and provided lots of little tidbits. Though I myself am not legally involved on a personal level, it is annoying to see how one-sided an issue can become at an institution of higher learning.

Uncle Bubba said...

Mr. Sanchez has shown his PC correctness by publicly bringing people up on the carpet for much less benign incidents than those that have occurred here. OK Raul, let's see if all people are treated equally under your tutelage.

April E. Coggins said...

Go CR's! You are to be congratulated for following through. It's not easy and can feel uncomfortable. You are changing the direction of thought and freedom at WSU. You may not see it, but future students will enjoy the freedom that you are fighting for now.

WSUCollegeRepublican said...

Tom said, "I suspect this story will soon garner regional/national media attention."

WSUCollegeRepublican says, "FIRE, Defending Individual Rights in Higher Education and YAF, Young America's Foundation have been contacted."

Scotty said...


Students for Academic Freedom might also be another source for assistance in getting your message out.

WSUCollegeRepublican said...

WSUCollegeRepublican thanks you for that tid bit of information. This has become a very serious matter for a number of individuals... WW III has broken out behind closed doors.... You want that Radio interview Scotty....? WSUCollegeRepublican happens to know a high ranking WSU College Repulicans that would love to tell you some inside information....

Jason said...

Just out of curiosity, did any of the College Republicans (or supporters) write letters to the editor to the Daily Evergreen?

The Red Knight said...

Yes, Jason. I did, at least, but the Daily Evergreen failed to publish it.

Scotty said...

You know Scotty wants that interview. Scotty tried to get it set up for last Monday.

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

“They took that so personally,” Streamas said.

Oh, oops! That was actually directed at the trees and the bricks! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

What a loon. Now that he's been caught, he's squirming. You gotta love how he tries to make wrong+wrong=right by first make the false claim that the fence was an emblem of hate, with which he attempts to justify his slur. I've heard some weak excuses before, but that dog is limping on four lame legs.

I'm so looking forward to watching those CES jerks get drawn and quartered. It's about time that WSU's very own Center For Marxist Racism gets its due.

Jason said...

To the red knight, would you mind posting your letter to the editor here, I would like to read it.

The Red Knight said...

Jason, my letter to the editor was actually posted on this blog about a week ago; but since you asked, I'll put it here:

"It is with a high degree of disappointment and distrust that I write this letter regarding an increasingly violent wave of discrimination and close-mindedness against members of a political group at Washington State University. The WSU College Republicans has been working for several weeks to present a demonstration on illegal immigration to the WSU campus. It was designed to be tactful and reasonable presentation concerning the facts about uncontrolled immigration into the United States. Unfortunately, the WSU CR’s has been forced to reconsider their plans as a result of certain altercations with overzealous individuals in the WSU community.

Ever since the CR’s plans were approved by WSU Campus Involvement, members of the College Republicans have been met with malicious comments, threats of destruction of private property, and physical assault on at least one occasion, by WSU students. The College Republicans have repeatedly been belittled and slandered by several faculty members and multicultural organizations, and have been accused of being racist despite our desire to make it clear that we are not anti Latino nor anti immigration, but anti illegal immigration. Regrettably, our group has been targeted with hate and violence even before having the chance to speak our views. Some dedicated members of the College Republicans have even spoken with leaders in the Comparative Ethnic Studies department in the hopes of reaching an understanding, only to be stonewalled. It is because of this lack of willingness to hear this side of the issue of illegal immigration, and the possibility of further violence as a result, that the WSU CR’s has decided to postpone this presentation until some of these issues can be resolved.

Washington State University has been attempting for several years to increase the on-campus tolerance of multicultural and multiethnic groups, and improve this school’s representation of such groups. The student body and administration has frequently been accused of having a less than appropriate level of tolerance, and these actions taken in an attempt to frighten and silence the College Republicans serves only to fortify this negative opinion. The high degree of discrimination expressed toward the College Republicans, and in some cases criminal abuses, only goes to prove just how intolerant certain members of the WSU community can be."

Jason said...

Thank you for reposting that red knight.

A question of clarification, because I've heard two versions of this, what happened with the incident of physical abuse.

Origionally I heard that a CR was punched in the face, and later I heard that someone who saw said that a CR was on his cell-phone making racist comments and was hit with a newspaper by someone who heard what they are saying. Now I'm the first to say that ANY physical violence is unacceptable, and I don't condone either action, I just want to know what actually happened.

The Red Knight said...

Jason, thank you for your open dialogue. About the claim of physical violence, however, I'm going to have to disappoint you. First, I was not there when it happened and do not know the full story. I just know what I was told by the subject, and according to him it did not involve a straight-out punch to the face, nor did it involve a simple newspaper.

Secondly, because the legal case in this matter is pending, I do not believe it would be appropriate to give any more comment before decisions have been made.

Jason said...

Okay, that is completly understandable, I wonder then if you could do me a favor. When the legal mattered has been cleared up would you mind posting the results on this blog please, thank you and I am sorry that the CRs were physically assulted in whatever mannor happened.

Bobkatt said...

Keep up the good work. It seems that too many Americans have decided that defending our borders and our sovereignty is too much trouble or that it's just O.K. to apply only the laws that you agree with. It's going to be the younger generation such as your self that will decide the fate of this nation and you that will have to live with the consequences. I am ashamed of my older generation that seems to have dropped the ball on this one. How did we ever get to the point that some of us can rationalize this invasion. Remember there are thousands of brave young Americans risking their lives for this country every day and I pray they have a country to come back to. It's not about race, it's about laws. Enforce them or lose them.