A Disgrace

Once again, violence and intimidation have ruled the day.

I thought we were past this. After SDS and its anarchist friends were roundly hammered in the media after last spring’s protests, I thought the overwhelming negative reaction from the rest of campus would cow the radical left into giving up violence and intimidation tactics.

I was wrong.

Some unknown radical leftists recently placed fliers around campus attacking Youth for Western Civilization. On the fliers, they posted the home address of YWC faculty sponsor Elliot Cramer. They didn’t explicitly threaten anything as far as I know, but somehow I doubt those who posted the address  intended for anyone to go to Cramer’s house for tea and crumpets.

YWC president Nikhil Patel sent him an email informing him of this. Cramer’s response was “I have a Colt 45 and I know how to use it.”

As a result, Holden Thorp asked him to resign as faculty sponsor of YWC. YWC now has 30 days to find a new sponsor.

Cramer says the comment was a joke. Thorp says “this just isn’t something we joke about.”

Here’s what is at stake here.

Cramer says that he felt threatened by the publication of his address. He has every right to feel that way. The Tancredo protests showed that these radical leftists are willing to use violence against YWC. And Cramer has every right to defend himself in his own house if he or his family are threatened. If he clearly warns other people of his intentions, all the better. That way, they can’t claim that they weren’t warned.

Chancellor Thorp should immediately apologize to Professor Cramer, offer to re-instate him as YWC’s faculty adviser and make it clear that the university should not have asked a professor to resign from a position just because he stated his intent to defend himself if attacked in his own home.

This is a disgrace.

17 thoughts on “A Disgrace

  1. Jonathan Pattishall Reply

    Slow down Chris.

    You're absolutely right that whoever published these brochures was out to intimidate Cramer. That's a tactic, ironically, taken from zealous anti-abortion protesters who publish the names and addresses of abortion doctors, and "encourage" pro-lifers to go give them a piece of their mind. It's a disgusting tactic that is meant at the very least to lead to verbal harassment, and at the worst to violence. When I saw the brochures in Davis I was shocked myself. Whoever printed them is seriously morally culpable, even if the act itself isn't illegal.

    But you failed to mention in your post that Cramer also sent the email with the gun "joke" to Haley Koch, who has no demonstrated connection to the publishing of the brochure. And considering the recent developments in her court case, the act of sending her that email could well be regarded as a threat itself. Do you not think that sending an email with a comment like that to your known political opponent who has just had a court case thrown out against her could be seen as intimidation? If Cramer shoots a trespasser on his property who intends to harm him, then that is self-defense. Sending that email to Koch, however, is nothing of the sort, and it was totally unnecessary for his stated purpose of making her aware of the brochures. It was a stupid move, and in heated political climates a professional can't make a move that stupid with the word "gun" involved.

    • cwjones Reply

      It is true that Koch had no demonstrated connection to the publishing of the brochure, but she did have a major role in the violent protests last spring.

      Let's look at it this way. I have written a lot of things on CRdaily about the YWC/SDS controversy. If people from one side or another started posting my home address in a threatening manner, and I sent out an email to leaders from both sides announcing my intent to defend myself if threatened, am I intimidating them? You bet. Is it wrong for me to do so, given the circumstances? I don't think that it is.

      • Jonathan Pattishall

        You really don't think it's wrong for an adult to intimidate a college student who has not been proven to have any connection whatsoever to the publishing of his address? I think that's called an over-reaction. Cramer has a good right to be upset. He doesn't, however, have any business trying to intimate anyone but the people who have directly intimidated him.

      • cwjones

        I'm pretty sure that Haley Koch is also an adult, so I don't see what Cramer being an adult has to do with any of this.

      • Jonathan Pattishall

        Koch is an adult by a legality. Cramer is a mature and respected member of the community. He has social leverage that a 22 year old does not have. Surely you, as a young person, know you don't have the same standing in the University community that your favorite PWAD professor has. Therefore, it is unbecoming of someone of his age and prominence in the community to behave the way he did to a person so young. He was being unprofessional, very clearly. Thorp made the right decision to ask him to step down.

        I have no problem with Cramer intimidating the dick heads who threatened him implicitly. I don't even have a problem with him out right threatening them. Those people, whoever they are, have asked for it. But Koch cannot be tied to this (yet, at least), therefore Cramer is acting like a juvenile to bring her into this.

      • cwjones

        I'm just speculating here, but it's possible that Cramer thought that Koch would pass the message on to whoever the threatening people were. As far as I know, Cramer didn't name anyone in his email, he just said he would defend himself. And it wouldn't be a bad bet that Koch knows some of these other people, whoever they are.

      • Jonathan Pattishall

        Even if Cramer thought Koch would know who to pass the message along to, it is a very unprofessional move to make a joking threat to someone on a hunch. I don't see what's so hard to understand about this. I know you sympathize with Cramer: he's in a tough spot. But he made a very serious misstep by intimidating someone who had just been legally exonerated of wrong doing in a connected event and who had no proven connection to the event in question.

      • NJR

        Koch has been legally exonerated of disturbing the peace. That doesn't mean that she has no connection to the event. Considering the fact that she was one of the leaders of the protest surrounding Tancredo, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that she knows or has connections with the those who distributed the posters.

        Intimidation? Give me a break. He Cc'd Thorp and Koch. Was he intimidating Thorp as well? While it wasn't the brightest thing for Cramer to do, Thorp has just shown his true colors with his response. He doesn't like YWC because every time YWC is involved with something, UNC looks bad because of the morons who smash windows with bricks. He'd like nothing better than to remove YWC, because people like Koch will always cause trouble.

        Instead of tracking down the people who put the posters up, Thorp simply tells Cramer to step down so that UNC will stop getting so much bad publicity. He can't control the little Marxists that UNC has spawned so he's trying to get of a group that has done nothing wrong.

    • Elliot Cramer Reply

      I did not feel threatened and I did not say I felt threatened. I have sent MANY friendly emails to Haley which I will soon add to my website along with other relevant documents. YWC is NOT a hate group as I have gone to great trouble to demonstrate. They have benefited financially from the actions of these stupid SDS fascists. Keep up the good work, boys.

      Yours for free speech

      Elliot Cramer

  2. ShannonS Reply

    The entire situation between YWC, mysterious-brochure-distributors, Cramer and Chancellor Thorp is a FAIL.

    Chancellor Thor has a responsibility to ensure the faculty underneath him are not crazy murderers. But that does not mean firing them because of a short simple e-mail with little action or evidence of intent of action. And again, I buy that Cramer was JOKING, but he also overstepped the bounds by forwarding this e-mail to Haley Koch. Above all, though, there is NO REASON (and should never be any reason) for a group to distribute the home address of a professor on brochures…ridiculous…

    Sidenote: anyone who knows Nikhil, I find this situation comical. He has the dry sense of humor that very few people understand. And if Cramer was talking to Nikhil…

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