Thursday, April 07, 2005

Screw you, whoever you are 

Reader JW sends along the case of a faculty member having a mini-meltdown having a mini-meltdown at Colorado State-Pueblo.
The incident occurred toward the end of a class, when Forsyth announced a pending campus talk by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo.

Victoria Watson, the student who made the complaint, accused Forsyth of talking about "lazy, bitter Mexicans who don't deserve to be here."

Watson, whose father is from Mexico, said when she got up to leave, Forsyth said, "Screw you."

Forsyth has denied her allegations. Interviews with other students found no one to verify Watson's allegation that Forsyth had referred to Mexicans as "lazy."

According to a copy of the investigative report, other students described Forsyth's behavior and tone of voice as "enraged, belligerent, screaming, upset, lively, angry and passionate."

"There was general agreement that Professor Forsyth was pounding on the desk, waving his arms or slapping the copy of the immigration booklet while he was speaking," the report stated.
So Professor Forsyth blew a gasket, but nobody could be found to say it was a racist gasket. Still, for some that wasn't enough. A faculty member was quoted as calling university president Ron Applbaum racist. An exchange of emails to the campus ensued, quoted in the Rocky Mountain News thusly:
� Excerpt from a letter to the community from Colorado State University-Pueblo President Ronald J. Applbaum: "Unfortunately, some individuals would use the terms, racism and racist, loosely in a pejorative framework to express their disapproval of anyone making decisions or expressing social or political perspectives which are inconsistent with their own. However, saying it's so doesn't make it true no matter how many times you repeat the same expressions."

� An excerpt from a response from David A. Sandoval, a professor of history and Chicano studies at CSU: "My prediction is that before it is over there is going to be physical violence on this campus, just as it happened at East High School every year for a number of years (where racial tensions bubbled over in the 1980s). And you will be responsible because of your failure to do what was right. . . . If it sounds as if I have no respect for you, that is true. I lost respect for you when you failed to remove a racist from the classroom and subjected a student to a continuation of a very bad situation."
$1 will get you $6 that Sandoval is tenured.

Prof. Forsyth has called in his lawyer. Prof. Sandoval, no doubt, will argue that this intimidates and is an abrogation of his academic freedom. And you wonder why some are pushing legislation to address free speech on campus?