Issue date: 12/6/07 Section: Opinion
This fall Boise State University students were introduced to a new aspect of the Code of Conduct known as the “Statement of Shared Values.” This statement, which went into effect this semester, makes it clear that freedom of speech is an important value we share on campus, as well as in the U.S. more generally, but with freedom of speech comes responsibility. Quoted in the statement is P.M Forni’s ideal that “Being civil means being constantly aware of others and weaving restraint, respect and consideration into the very fabric of this awareness.” It is in this context that BSU makes the commitment to all its students by promising that “Boise State strives to provide a culture of civility and success where all feel safe and free from discrimination, harassment, threats or intimidation.” Some of the qualities that BSU will uphold under this framework are fairness, respect, and caring.
Although the Boise State administration took the time to craft such an admirable document one might wonder how it is that Chris Simcox, Founder and President of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, was invited to speak on campus. His vigilante organization is founded upon violent principles that target Latinos crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. According to human rights organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, since October 1994 there have been 10,000 people who have died crossing in order to work low-wage jobs in the U.S. or to reunite with family members. That figure reached record levels in April 2005 when Simcox founded his militia. Mexican deaths on the border are due to vigilante shootings as well as deaths related to people being forced to cross under more extreme conditions in order to avoid militias like the Minuteman. A lack of water, food, and extreme weather have contributed to these deaths as well as fear of vigilante groups detaining, harassing, and shooting them.
The Orwellian name of Simcox’s vigilante group likens them to the Minutemen, the Massachusetts militia fighting for independence (albeit independence dependent upon the genocide of the indigenous population in the Americas), perhaps hoping that the association will make them seem patriotic. Likewise their “civil defense” title obscures the fact that they are offensively attacking innocent people crossing the border. In fact, the Minuteman organization, like all such post-9/11 organizations, inverts and distorts reality to serve their own political agenda. Indeed, the Minuteman militia would best be likened to the Ku Klux Klan, an organization that was founded upon the intimidation, harassment, and lynching of African Americans. Indeed, the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose work yielded success in Idaho in 1999 when they shut down Richard Butler’s Aryan Nation compound in northern Idaho. That same organization has been dedicated to documenting and fighting legal battles of those affected by the violence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
By bringing Simcox and his ilk to campus we tread upon the safety of non-dominant students on campus. Simcox’s hateful rhetoric is not only intimidating, it also has a violent past and present to back it up. Would BSU deem it in line with its commitment to civility by inviting the Ku Klux Klan to campus? Or does the “Statement of Shared Values” only apply to the majority white student body? It is perfectly appropriate to discuss issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border on campus, but it should be done in an academic context with non-white scholars or artists who are capable of engaging with the facts and who use research rather than weapons to make their points. There is no room for hate-speech on a university campus, especially one that claims to value civil discourse and respect.
Marcy Newman is an assistant professor in the English Department at Boise State
Some responses I have received via email to this op-ed:
Your bigoted,ignorant, hate-filled screed against the
Minutemen and their non-violent protest of the
government’s failure to enforce immigration law was
Moreover, your repugnant view that only non-white
(i.e. pro-invader) “scholars” can set us straight on
this issue is nothing more or less than racism.
Do you force your bile down the throats of your
Dear President Kustra,
Are you aware that Boise State University employs an anti-white bigot as an assistant professor of English?
In a recent opinion piece (“Where is the civility?”) in the Arbiter, Ms. Newman stated, “It is perfectly appropriate to discuss issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border on campus, but it should be done in an academic context with non-white scholars or artists…”
So, according to Ms Newman, white people, who according to the US Census Bureau compose about 80% of the US population, have absolutely no right to discuss US-Mexico border issues! This is truly astonishing.
This anti-white bigotry seeks to silence those who would challenge Ms. Newman’s anti-white weltanschauung. Ms. Newman’s article constitutes hate speech, as she advocates the denial free speech rights to white Americans.
I hope that Ms. Newman will be reprimanded or terminated. She cannot be allowed to continue to create a climate of fear for white students.
You are a poster child for why middle-class Americans should not go into debt for a college degree.
Bar Whites From Immigration Debate, Says Idaho Professor
Ladies and Gentlemen of Boise State,
I am a 60 year old white male and I live in Los Angeles. I have a
Masters Degree in Business and have 8 grandchildren.
I have just read Newmans comments on a forum I visit occasionally and
I am outraged by her naivete and ignorance. Additionally, I am
wondering how anyone with such a stilted world view could achieve
success and tenure in an academic environment???
Does this woman ever read the news.
In the last 5 years I have had my home and car broken into 5
times….in each instance the preps were Latinos (identified by
witnesses) and in the two instances where the perps were caught they
I was forced to move to a safer neighborhood a couple years ago and
still that did not protect me from the latino scourge. My car was
broken into and the radio stolen last spring…..and as I have noted
My anger over Ms Newman’s comments is brought on by her PC worldview
and her self descrimination against whites….
Dear Professor Newman,
Please let me know by what factual evidence you claim Minutemen to have murdered by shooting any illegal immigrants crossing the border.
The Minutemen risk their lives to go to the border and watch and report illegal activity and bring attention to the lack of enforcement by our Federal Government. They are no more vigilantes than my neighborhood crime watch.
If you have factual evidence and not hearsay regarding this matter of Minutemen shooting I would be happy to learn the facts.Since you infer that thousands have died from shooting it should nbot be hard to provide proof of even a few .
While you are looking for the evidence you might like to look at some evidence of only a few of our citizens being murdered by illegal aliens.
It is perfectly appropriate to discuss issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border on campus, but it should be done in an academic context with non-white scholars or artists who are capable of engaging with the facts and who use research rather than weapons to make their points.”
Please explain to me why white Americans shouldn’t be allowed to publicly discuss this issue. Do we not deserve to be able to speak our minds in the United States, our home turf? This is especially puzzling considering the fact that the topic of discussion is non-citizens who’ve chosen to violate our laws to be here. Why should this issue be restricted to non-whites? Some of them tend to be a little biased on this issue, you know. And artists? Where did that s*&^ come from?
Were the Hispanic guys who attacked that Boston firefighter recently using research to make THEIR point? No. I’m pretty sure they stabbed the hell out of him.
Also , whoever said that the groups you named earlier in your piece use weapons at all? Unless binoculars and cell phones are considered weapons, they’re pretty much unarmed, just like the national guard troops stationed near the border in THAT flop of an operation.
You should leave commentary on this issue to people who actually know what they’re talking about.
A lot of us are sick of this game of blaming white people for all of the problems AND non-problems of the world. I’m not obligated to worry about somebody who, beyond my control, chooses to be stupid and cross a one hundred ten degree plus desert to be a day laborer. Not my fault, babe.
As an anti-immigration supporter I would just like to thank you for the comments you made in your article “Where is the civility? Chris Simcox crosses the line”, comments like these made by people like you are very helpful to the causes I support. I hope these and any similar comments you make in the future will get as much exposure as possible.
Dear Ms. Newman,
As a professor of English, perhaps you do not see how your standard of living can be affected by the flood of illegal aliens into our country. The minutemen are reinvigorating the American tradition of a civilian militia, a job perhaps our armed forces could undertake if they were not otherwise occupied guaranteeing the profits of oil companies. Before comparing the minutemen to such loathsome groups as Klu Klux Klan, you should document the truth of your aspersion.
Even more disturbing than the lack of facts in your argument is the assumption that intelligent minds cannot understand what transpires in the mind of someone with different skin pigmentation. If that is your belief, then perhaps you should consider a career outside academia. If indeed your rant has not already made your decision on this matter moot.
With as respect as I can muster,
Dear Professor Marcy, 12/9/07 A.D.
Are you a Jewish-American ?
Pax Christi et bonum !
Your commentary on “free speech” reads like a memo to the nomenklatura from Stalin’s politiburo. Do English departments exist only to disorient the mind with nonsensical postmodernist Socialist deconstruction, or do you actually teach English non-gibberish as well? Note: you should sit in on a logic class in BSU’s philosopy department, where you will learn that a conradiction means that you cannot affirm a statement (free speech) and then deny it (free speech for everyone but Chris Simcox, who represents the vast, overwhelming numbers of Americans who have long awakened from the Leftist propanganda inculcated by looney English departments). Do you realize you have endorsed your own dismissal from BSU?