Thursday, February 12, 2004
After the packed UMC gathering, at least 50 students supporting affirmative action marched from the rally through the snow, carrying protest signs with colorful slogans. Many taped their mouths shut to promote what they called their "silent voices" on the issue.For some reason this leads me to recall a P.J. O'Rourke quote:
The pro-affirmative action students announced that they wanted to keep the protest march "100 percent respectful" and then marched to and surrounded the GOP and EOA bake sale table, which was stationed at a kiosk outside the Hellems building.
"We didn't want to make conflict," said freshman Shantel Campos, an affirmative action supporter who marched through the snow with her mouth taped. "This is a publicity stunt [for the College Republicans and EOA]. It's not the right place for a dialogue."
College Republican Chair Brad Jones disagreed with the students' description of their intentions.
"[They call it] open dialogue if it's sponsored by their group," he said, arguing that campus liberals only want free speech when they condone it.
Pro-affirmative action students arrived at the bake sale at about 12:45, with some removing the tape from their mouths to join the verbal conflict.
A shouting match ensued amid TV cameras, reporters, bystanders and members of each group who had gathered in a cluster near the EOA table.
"This is mob activity..." said Jones. "Why is [UCSU diversity director] Kerry Kite ripping down a sign for a sanctioned event?"
"How come," I asked Andy, "whenever something upsets the Left, you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever something upsets the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom waving a six-inch American flag?"
"We have jobs," said Andy.