officials decry acts
By Associated Press
6:27 PM CST, November 5, 2008
WACO, Texas (AP) _ Baylor University officials said they are investigating an apparent noose hanging from a tree the day Barack Obama was elected the nation's first black president. Campus authorities also responded to a barbecue pit fire where several Obama campaign signs were believed to have been burned, interim president David E. Garland said. "These events are deeply disturbing to us and are antithetical to the mission of Baylor University," Garland said in a statement Wednesday. "We categorically denounce and will not tolerate racist acts of any kind on our campus." On Tuesday afternoon at the world's largest Baptist university, some students notified officials that a rope resembling a noose was in a campus tree, Garland said. Campus police took the rope and are investigating.
"We believe that the incidents on our campus yesterday were irresponsible acts committed by a few individuals," Garland said. No students had been taken into custody as of Wednesday afternoon, Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said.
Ok, I hope that the delicate citizens of Jerusalem On The Brazos recover from the rope made into an apparent noose, and the outrage of Obama signs believed to have been burned. And whoever wrote that article with all those weak weasel words should be strung up with something resembling a noose.
I got two, count 'em, two phone calls from people wanting me to write something about this. Unbelievable.
One possible angle to take: the possible, apparent noose; the signs believed to be burned. Did something really happen or not?
Possible angle number two: We've had San Francisco sewage treatment plants named after George W. Bush. We've seen people drive tractors over Dixie Chicks CD's because of The Chicks' anti-Bush statements. A guy named Chad Morisette in West Hollywood hung an effigy of Sarah Palin in his yard for Halloween. The apparent rope that Chad used resembled a noose.
You can get more attention changing your own flat tire than you can with a flag-burning.
So....is burning campaign signs "protected speech" or not?
Angle number three: David Garland's statement that "these events are deeply disturbing to us....and are antithetical to the mission of Baylor University."
True Dat. The mission of Baylor University is to produce preachers for county seat Baptist churches, winning football teams, and alcohol-free tailgate parties for alumni. The kids don't need the distraction of politics.
Angle number four: Here's someone almost irrelevant to this story, but I found myself thinking about him a lot today after the phone calls. William Cowper Brann. Brann would've had a good time with this non-story. He woulda loved it. Would've had it three meals a day, plus rolled some of it into his cigars.
Brann was a journalist who published "The Iconoclast", one of the largest newspapers in the U.S. in the late 1890's. He was based in Waco, and spent most of his time giving Baylor University hell.
Baylor students once tied him to a tree (with an apparent rope) and horsewhipped him. There had been some unexpected pregnancies among the foreign exchange students, and someone in the Baylor President's family was thought to be the Baby-Daddy. Brann claimed that these female foreign "students" were nothing more than unpaid kitchen help, recruited by missionaries with the promise of a free education. Most of these young women came from South American Catholic families, and Brann remarked on the remarkable efficiency of producing two Baptists with only one Catholic as raw material.
At one point Brann was dragged by the neck through the streets of Waco (with something resembling a rope), and he later died in a gunfight with Tom Davis, a Baylor supporter.
Why did Davis shoot Brann? His motives were not clear. He had a daughter attending Baylor, and he had expressed his hatred of Brann on many occasions. He was also thought to have political ambitions, counting on his attack on Brann to win for him the sizable Baptist vote.
Fort Worth's Jerry Flemmons used to do a One-Man Show about the life of Brann called "O Dammit". Here are a few excerpts (all quotes from Brann) that demonstrate why Brann should have seen it coming:
I'll wager a scholarship at Baylor University that there are not in the entire Baptist ministry 100 men - not hydrocephalic - whose heads are big enough to fill a #7 hat.And people claim that bloggers use a lot of unnecessary invective, and are contributing to the decline of our political discourse! (Full disclosure: My three siblings all went to a Baptist college, I'm employed by Baylor graduates, but I went to a state school. Therefore, I've been muckraking stuff like this for a long, long time.)
The dreadful scandal at Baylor suggests that we do not hold our Baptists under water long enough.
I noticed in one of the local papers that "Dallas wants Baylor" $50,000 to $70,000 worth. Doubtless I'm a hopeless heretic, but I don't believe a damn word of it. Dallas doesn't want Baylor even a little bit. There isn't a town in this world that wants it except Waco. It is simply another Frankenstein monster that has destroyed its architect. Baylor spends no money here that is worth mentioning. Its students are chiefly forks-of-the-road yaps who curry horses or run errands for their board and wear the same underwear year round. They take but two baths during their lifetime - one when they are born, the other when they are baptized. The institution is worth less than nothing to any town. It is the alma mater of mob violence. It is a chronic breeder of bigotry and bile. As a small Waco property owner, I will give it $1,000 any time to move to Dallas, and double that amount if it will go to Honolulu or Hell.
Anyway, if you made it this far, I apologize for not coming up with a distinct point of view on the apparent rope resembling a noose and the burning of what some believe to be campaign signs.
It's a target-rich environment.