Wednesday, January 26, 2005

BS, PHD

At the U of O, That's Bull$#!*, Piled Higher and Deeper.

Thanks for the Memory to the Political Teen.

A few days ago I blogged over at Head West, Turn Right on the Yellow Ribbon Incident. This was the situation where the U of O ordered an employee to remove a yellow ribbon style "Support the Troops" magnet from the state vehicle he drives at work.

Apparently, the whole issue has blown up in the U of O's face, and it's not going away. According to a KEZI report, the school has been inundated with letters, emails, and phone calls. Their rationale is that "truth is, they're only against the ribbons (or anything for that matter) being displayed on state-owned vehicles (which is state policy)."

But as Kevin McCullough points out, that wasn't the original tune that was being sung by the President's office. In the original KEZI report, the rationale was, "Under state law... public employees can not use state resources to spread political messages." The U of O rationalized that the stickers were political. You can read my post at HWTR for my response to that.

Apparently, along with the public firestorm, a personal protest occurred. An anonymous U of O employee tied yellow ribbons up around Frohnmayer's offices. KEZI reported that the U of O would let them stand, but McCullough was contacted by the employee, who confirms that the ribbons have been removed.

This really saddens me. Since when was an appreciation for the sacrifices of those who defend our freedom a mere political statement? Furthermore, even if it WERE a political statement, McCullough mentions the UO employee pointing out the numerous bits of pro-Kerry paraphernalia allowed to be displayed on University property. Is it assumed that any yellow ribbon must be a sign of a certain unpopular political position? And if so, are they being selective in their enforcement of this policy? Or was the conservative UO student recently shown on thew school paper wrong when she holds a sign saying "Free Speech Isn't Just For Liberals"?

I've been a UO Ducks fan for a very long time, but I'm not sure I can be any more. I'm not sure I can proudly display my U of O beanie, or the shirt I bought when my late father and I watched them win the Holiday Bowl, if they cannot proudly display their support for our troops. If they decide a yellow ribbon and a yellow O can't coexist, I know which I must choose.

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