My Son's Open Letter to University of Washington Regarding Hate Speech & Harrassment

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by J. Brannagh, May 23, 2013.

  1. J. Brannagh

    J. Brannagh Mostly Lurkin' ;)

    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    This is an Open Letter My Son, Brendan Walsh Wrote to the University of Washington regarding Hate Speech and Harrassment on campus...

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/bren...he-university-of-washington/10152844357180497

    Hello,

    I am writing about Jed Smock ( http://www.brojed.org/ ), a man who has been harassing UW students on campus under the guise of preaching religion. Ordinarily I would write preaching off, as each person has a legal and moral right to their opinion and the ability to express that opinion. However, I feel that in this case it has gone too far. Jed Smock has surpassed expressing his ideas and crossed into the territory of hate-speech, discrimination, and sexual harassment.

    While I have seen Mr. Smock displaying signs reading "NO HOMO," and "You deserve Hell," I understand that it is not my place, or the place of any individual or institution to deny someone's right to express these ideas, however hateful. This is not what I am writing you about; Mr. Smock's language and aggression transcend passive sign-wielding.

    I have heard Mr. Smock yell out, condemning music being played at a student-run booth promoting African American cultural awareness as "Jungle Music" and threatening hell upon "homos" and "lesbos" among UW students. I have also heard him make sexually inappropriate remarks towards my peers, responding to objections from female students by objectifying them in return, sexualizing them, and accusing them of pursuing sexual interest in him. I have witnessed all of this visibly disturb my classmates and I cannot stand by and simply observe his inappropriate behavior.

    On the UW page citing policies towards Non-discrimination and Affirmative action, ( located at http://www.washington.edu/admin/rules/policies/PO/EO31.html ), the University of Washington claims that its policy "Prohibits discrimination or harassment against a member of the University community because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or military status." Later on in the page, harassment is defined as an act that "could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment,” and sexual harassment is defined as "unwelcome and unsolicited language or conduct that is of a sexual nature." No matter who this code is meant to apply to-- students, staff, or citizens-- it serves as an acknowledgement by the University of Washington of its responsibility to protect its students' sense of safety and security against harassment.

    Because many students do not have a choice but to walk through red-square, and thus are necessarily subjected to Mr. Smock's harassment, I believe I am justified in claiming that Mr. Smock's acts are actively creating an intimidating, hostile, and offensive work and learning environment for its students. I also believe the University of Washington has a part to play in condemning this conduct for the safety and well-being of its students.

    I have personally witnessed discrimination and harassment against members of the University community, namely its students, because of their race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity from this man. I find this unacceptable and I think it is reasonable for me to expect the University of Washington to take some form of action to protect its students against a real, threatening outside force. That being said, I understand that the power of the University of Washington is limited because of Mr. Smock's legal rights to free speech. However, when Mr. Smock stops speaking, and starts committing sexual, racial, and gender-based harassment, I can no longer understand how it could be in the best interest of the University of Washington to ignore the issue.

    With respect to your moral, personal, and legal limitations, I ask that you please do all you can to help resolve this issue for the well-being of all University of Washington students.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,
    a concerned UW student
     
  2. Loading...


  3. Gardenlady

    Gardenlady Active Member

    Messages:
    7,232
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    This is a fantastic, well-argued letter. You should be extremely proud of your son! :)

    I hope he is successful in trying to get this hate monger off campus. This guy may have freedom of speech for his hateful words, but many times these obnoxious proselytizers cross the line from just plain obnoxious to threatening. Sounds like this guy is way over the line!!! :furious:
     
  4. J. Brannagh

    J. Brannagh Mostly Lurkin' ;)

    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thank You so much for your comment! I am Extremely Proud of my son!

    The students are pretty much up in arms about it at this point. Apparently he does the same thing at Western Washington University too.

    Here is a youtube video of him [video=youtube;_OzZaSxaQ_s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OzZaSxaQ_s[/video]
     
  5. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

    Messages:
    30,906
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You raised an incredible young man!

    He has a huge fan!:rockon:
     
  6. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

    Messages:
    14,189
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    That video is outrageous. I wish what they are all saying could be understood better. It sounded like the man said he is a prophet. He's carrying around a staff and seems to be making very inappropriate sexual talk that doesn't make much sense. What a nuisance. Hope the letter helps.
     
  7. animlzrule

    animlzrule New Member

    Messages:
    1,309
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you for posting that J. Brannagh! I love seeing examples of what our younger generations are doing to continue the momentum of squashing hate and bigotry! Congratulations on raising such a well spoken, socially conscious young man.
     
  8. J. Brannagh

    J. Brannagh Mostly Lurkin' ;)

    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thank You All for your Support and your compliments!

    I feel very lucky to have him for our son. We have two wonderful, considerate children. We are very fortunate.
     
  9. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Congratulations on raising such a fine young man!

    Yes, we have freedom of speech. But we also have a right to pursue an education without being publicly assaulted.
     
  10. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Active Member

    Messages:
    4,457
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Has your son sent a copy of his letter to any of the newspapers or local television stations?

    Re: The video

    The man appears to be quite disturbed to me. Students are interacting with him and nigh on to taunting him. They need to ignore him and give him wide berth. Sometimes disturbed individuals become violent as we know all too well here at websleuths.

    If he is on University property, while he does have a right to free speech, he likely does not have permission to exercise that right on University property. So your son was correct to inform the University of his presence and ask for his removal.

    The right to free speech does have it's limitations. Not being allowed to yell "Fire" in a crowded theatre is only one of them. What you say, where and when you say it, and who you say it to can all add limitations to the "freedom".

    It is an interesting subject.
     
  11. pferrin

    pferrin New Member

    Messages:
    2,903
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wow what an amazing and articulate young man. I am so proud for you.
     
  12. J. Brannagh

    J. Brannagh Mostly Lurkin' ;)

    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thank You All for your Support!

    An excerpt from his letter was in The Daily yesterday which is the UW Newspaper. He and a number of supporters are trying to get the word around to do anything they can to have him stopped.

    I sent in a copy of the letter to the Seattle Times as a story idea.. hoping they would want to do a piece on it. No word yet.

    I totally agree AlwaysShocked... there are limits to free speech... the movie theater example is the best. He is going beyond the bounds of free speech.

    I read a post from a student that the University Administration and Campus Police were observing him yesterday also. Hopefully they will decide that he should Move On.
     
  13. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree. He acts like a crazy person, possibly an unmedicated schizophrenic? If he were doing this on a public street in many major cities he would be seen as one of the random crazies and people wouldn't mess with him.

    The school needs to quietly and politely usher him off the property. Having the students argue with him and such just seems very very wrong especially if the guy is mentally ill.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice