Sunday, April 13, 2014

Suppressing Dissent Chapter 2: Our Tinpot Dictator Tries and Fails

“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Some important additional information about the administration's most recent attempt to stifle free expression on this campus. On April 8, Safiyah Edwards of the Office of Meetings and Events sent the following memorandum to Paul Gomberg:

You might notice two things: first, the administration believes it should be able to approve the content of presentations on this campus. Their argument is apparently that Paul booked the room under "false pretenses," even though his request gave notice that the topic was subject to revision. I am sure if the topic had changed to a forum on the greatness of Wayne Watson the room would not have been cancelled. Second, the final sentence of Edwards' memorandum prohibits Gomberg (or anyone else) from holding the forum "on the campus of Chicago State University . . ." I guess it is alright to have Louis Farrakhan or Bakri Osman Saeed appear at Chicago State, but it is not alright to have a forum on the excesses and misdeeds of the Watson administration. Really?

However, the event went off as scheduled, although in a new venue. For that we have Dr. Rita Kucera to thank. In the finest tradition of collegiality and respect for free expression and academic freedom, Dr. Kucera took steps to ensure the event's success. Thank you Rita.

Of course, not everyone is pleased that the event occurred. Our Lilliputian dictator in the Cook building is reportedly "hopping mad" that he was unable to suppress the forum. Nevertheless, he provided a textbook example (if somewhat ineffective and inept) of repression. Thanks for underscoring our point so well.


  1. "resend the confirmation or rescind the conformation"?

    1. Our money is on "rescind." A number of our administrators have considerable difficulty with English.

    2. To say the least. Which makes having a "writing statement" for tenure-track candidates all the more offensive.

  2. Kudos to Rita Kucera!! The forum was a great success, nearly one hundred people attending. Many whom Watson and company were trying to silence were given a voice, including Willie Preston. Now we should all turn up at Willie's court hearing May 6th.