The hotel management described what took place in a press statement afterward: "Unfortunately, when escorting meeting attendees out of the hotel through a private entrance, staff were then rushed by a mob of protestors, throwing employees to the ground. The mob became increasingly physically violent when forcing themselves into the meeting room where the press conference had already ended, filling it over fire-code capacity. Madison police arrived on the scene after the protestors had stormed the hotel."
But the outrageous behavior didn't end there -- and it wasn't just students but also faculty who engaged in disgraceful conduct. Later the same day of the press conference, Clegg debated UW law professor Larry Church on campus. The crowd booed, hissed, and shouted insults, continuously interrupting Clegg during the debate.
Having used Facebook to organize the flashmob, students and some faculty extended their use of social media and tweeted the debate live. Even with Twitter's 140-character limit, you'd think participants would be able to come up with something more substantive than the repeated use of the label "racist" to describe Clegg and his arguments against racial double standards, but hundreds of tweets exhibited little more than hysterical rants and personal attacks.
Perhaps the most offensive tweet was posted by Sara Goldrick-Rab, an associate professor of educational policy studies and sociology. After announcing that she was "Getting set to live blog this debate between a racist and a scholar," she tweeted that Clegg sounded "like the whitest white boy I've ever heard." The only racism in evidence came from the defenders of the university's race-based admissions policies, such as Professor Goldrick-Rab.
You'd think that a responsible university would denounce the intimidation and lack of civility by its students and faculty. Instead, Vice Provost Williams told the student newspaper, "I'm most excited about how well the students represented themselves, the passion with which they engaged, the respectful tone in how they did it and the thoughtfulness of their questions and interactions."
It appears that not only are the university's admissions policies deeply discriminatory, but also that university officials applaud name-calling, distortion and outright physical assault.
Linda Chavez is the author of "An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal." To find out more about Linda Chavez, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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