Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Don't Care How, I Want It Now.

So the protests at Gallaudet continue. Yesterday, the Gallaudet faculty joined the fray, passing several non-binding resolutions expressing their lack of confidence in incoming President Jane Fernandes. What struck me most was the following quote from a Gallaudet alumna included in the WaPo article:

However people feel about her, "whether the issues are valid or invalid, that doesn't matter now," he said. "This school will not move on unless she resigns."

What this person is saying, therefore, is that whether or not the students' protests were justified, they have created such a shitstorm that there is no alternative short of Fernandes's resignation. It doesn't matter if their concerns were utterly without basis in fact; students can achieve their goal of ousting the presence merely by throwing a monkey wrench into the works.

Cliff's Notes version of lesson learned: No matter what you believe, an effective way to achieve your goals is to force everyone around you to their knees, and eventually, you will win. Gallaudet students have apparently effectively employed a method of persuasion seldom seen beyond the six-year-old "Buy me candy" set: Sit on the floor and scream until you turn purple, and eventually the authority figure will sigh, roll their eyes, and give you exactly what you want.

While I'm at it:

To the protester whose t-shirt states that he was "dropped" by the D.C. Police while being arrested: Boo freakin' hoo. When you're being arrested, kid gloves are off. What do you want, a cookie? Maybe a nice fluffy down comforter in the back seat of the squad car? Gimme a break.

To the student with the t-shirt proclaiming that you were "arrested for peacefully protecting Gallaudet": I call bullshit. You were blocking people from entering the campus. Hell, man, even abortion protesters are required to let people into the Planned Parenthood, but in your zeal to "protect" Gallaudent you've prevented anyone whose views don't align with yours from even walking onto the campus.

To the Gallaudet administration: Grow some balls, already. You tried to have the gate opened and all it took was students forming a chain and saying "no" for you to walk away with your tail tucked between your legs? Get real. Civil disobedience is pretty much premised on the expectation of getting arrested, so since that's what these students claim they're engaged in, you should go ahead and have them arrested. As I suggested yesterday, you may also consider expelling them from school, thus granting you permission to label them trespassers and -- you guessed it -- arrest them.

Or, as long as you're so completely balls-free anyway, just give up and have Fernandes resign already. Just buy the damn candy for the baby already.


Cincy Diva said...

"Cliff's Notes version of lesson learned: No matter what you believe, an effective way to achieve your goals is to force everyone around you to their knees, and eventually, you will win"

They are just following this administration's example.

Dennis! said...

Although that may be true, the fact remains that the administration shouldn't have to dig in its heels. They're the ones with the power to pick the president in the first place. The students are exercising a muscle that was never granted to them.

Like the kid in the candy store, the parent has the right to decide whether or not to give in to the kids' demands... and usually we don't blame the parent for digging their heels in against the screaming child.