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  • A

    a not-so-proud grizzlySep 12, 2023 at 9:38 AM

    I’m not at all opposed to inviting controversial figures to campus, but in the case of the Snyder event, it’s terribly insensitive to our neighbors in Flint. Imagine the parents of children who will suffer life-long impacts from lead poisoning must feel when they learn that the man most responsible for such a horror is being given a public platform on our campus. Anyone who says that this is a chance to hold him accountable is either being disingenuous, or less likely, very naive. The event will probably consist of two former governors who share similar political views responding to carefully vetted softball questions lobbed underhand from the audience. Hardly “convening a conversation”, and not at all civil.

  • A

    anonymousSep 11, 2023 at 7:19 PM

    The criticism here misses the point. This isn’t an event about the Flint Water Crisis, it’s an event bringing two former governors to OU (from each party) for an open discussion. If you are frustrated by Snyder, go ask him hard questions. Better yet, ask the OU leadership to support your efforts to hold an event about the Flint Crisis. But, it’s antithetical to the idea of a university to shut down speech because it’s by a person you don’t like. Many feel that the current governor made disastrous and immoral decisions about nursing home patients during the COVID crisis. Does that disqualify her from being at OU? What about Joe Biden….could he not speak because of his border policy or bungled situation in Afghanistan? We have hosted Lech Wałęsa on campus before. He is a Noble laureate, but also has what many (me included) believe to be regressive views about LGBTQ issues. Should he not come back?

    I don’t dispute the concern about Snyder’s record, but the idea that a university is contributing to “whitewashing” because it hosts an open dialogue is a disingenuous claim. Cancelling is the easy play; engagement with those we dislike and with whom we disagree is the hard one. The best thing we can do is hold people to account for their decisions, not let them off the hook by failing to engage.

    • L

      Lily MendozaSep 12, 2023 at 1:38 AM

      I think your comment missed what the letter is asking for, which is not for cancellation, but inclusion: “The issue here, however, is Oakland University’s stance in hosting such an unholy actor unchallenged [key word here is “unchallenged.”] It would be quite a different scenario were the panel populated not by a Democratic governor from a previous century, but by actual community representatives, especially of color, who fought against those policy initiatives…. Were the panel composed of actors like these… the panel might be worthy of the verbiage.”

    • J

      Jeffrey InskoSep 12, 2023 at 8:14 AM

      I would just point out that nowhere in this piece is there a call to shut down down speech or to cancel the event or anything of the sort. Nowhere. It’s plainly a critique of “civility” talk and a call for a MORE open form of dialogue, one the event as envisioned is not designed to foster.

    • Y

      yousefSep 12, 2023 at 9:02 AM

      well said.