Monday, May 02, 2005
My experience with [SCSU "Dept. of the 3.7 GPA" Professor Tamrat] Tademe ... came to my office last fall, with members of the Support the Court committee. He alleged that the Chronicle was racist, homophobic, xenophobic and did not cover enough diversity on campus. We welcomed his band of cronies to our office for a discussion to deny their allegations.A few notes: First, this parallels the story I had from the Support the Court's visit to the St. Cloud Times. It's the act of besieging the office of the newspapers that interests them, so that it inflames their own supporters to expend more energy on their causes. Nothing got done. Second, this tactic of claiming prejudice against females because you tried to speak while they were speaking is a meme around campus. I watched it in meetings here with alarming regularity. Maybe this explains the Left's newfound love of filibusters? Lastly, "preaches in class"?? I mean, nobody does that here, do they?
Before the meeting, I did my homework by counting up the large number of articles we had published in our first few months on diversity, GLBT issues and racism. I also dissected the homecoming court article for traces of subjective reporting and could find none. I even prepared a spiel about how the commentary and opinion pages are opinion, not news (something that most people don't seem to understand).
The "meeting" did not go well. It basically consisted of a group of about 10 professors and students yelling at me. The two times I attempted to interrupt their endless banter to defend the paper, one professor pointed out that I had cut off a female both times, alluding that I have prejudice against women.
Tademe made vague claims about the paper, which were not true, deniable by hard facts.
If I took anything away from the incident, it's that people who claim to be the most tolerant are often the most intolerant. This man came to my office, spewed a bunch of hate at me and made false accusations to my face.
So why should I believe the other information he preaches around campus, in Atwood or in class? How about the other professors on campus? Or the reports that claim St. Cloud is a breeding ground for hate speech?
Student government at SCSU, meanwhile, continues to be a charade. Their advisor, said to she had "never seen a body so divisive among itself. It really hasn't served you well." One of my students who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate notes the student government intends to join up with the United States Students Association, which has made "gender-neutral bathrooms" on campuses an issue.