Oklahoma Politics: March 2015 Archives

University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds, writing in USA Today, about OU president David Boren's decision to expel two students and a fraternity for a video containing racist speech:

As a state institution, the University of Oklahoma is constrained by the Constitution. Among other things, that means that it must respect the free speech guarantees contained in the First Amendment, even if that speech is repugnant. Just because the university doesn't like what students say, thinks it's hateful, or worries that it will produce an unpleasant atmosphere on campus, doesn't grant it the authority to punish people for speaking. One would think that Boren -- a former U.S. senator who took an oath to uphold the Constitution when he was sworn into office -- would know better. Apparently not....

Boren's behavior was not only illegal -- and clearly so -- it was also a betrayal of the duty of fairness that he, as a university president, owes to every student enrolled in his university. To have acted so hastily, in violation of OU's own student conduct code, bespeaks a dishonorable willingness to throw students to the wolves in order to avoid bad publicity -- accompanied, perhaps, by the sort of generalized hostility to fraternities that seems all too common among university administrations these days. (That hostility, based on a general dislike of fraternities as bastions of "white male privilege," is itself racist and sexist, of course.)

As Reason's Robby Soave notes, OU administered lighter punishment to a football player who punched a girl so hard it broke four bones in her face than it meted out to the SAE fraternity for singing a song. After this assault, caught on camera, Joe Mixon was suspended from playing, but allowed to remain on campus, attending classes with other students as usual. No expulsion there.

In theory, universities are supposed to be the bastions of reasoned thought and fairness. In practice, you will seldom find a place where mob justice is more likely to prevail with the willing participation of the authorities....

The Daily Caller summarizes more incidents where student athletes received light punishment for violent behavior.

Owing to work and family commitments, I haven't had much time or energy lately for blogging. And although I won't be able to attend today's Republican County Convention, I do want to take a moment to endorse Ronda Vuillemont-Smith for County Chairman.

In a state where Republicans are overwhelmingly dominant, Democrats are not the chief threat to the implementation of Republican policies. The biggest threat comes from Republicans who wear the name but don't understand or adhere to the principles the party professes. They may simply be corrupt or self-dealing, or they may be liberals who have realized that registering Republican is their only hope of winning.

From Capitol Hill to City Hall, the actions and inactions of elected Republican officials have made the activists who helped them get elected wonder what, exactly, was the point of their exertions.

In such an environment, the role of party leadership must shift. When a party is a minority or just beginning to dream of majority status, you will gladly take any elected official who will bear the (R) after their name. But in our current environment, we need party leaders who will protect the Republican brand, who will be a voice for the grassroots party activists to counterbalance well-heeled lobbyists,

Ronda Vuillemont-Smith has shown herself willing to confront Republican elected officials when they need it. She's also shown herself to be a skilled and experienced organizer. That's why, if I were at this morning's Tulsa County GOP Convention, Ronda would have my vote.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma Politics category from March 2015.

Oklahoma Politics: February 2015 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma Politics: April 2015 is the next archive.

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