Fliers offensive

Oct 252005

On Oct. 20 the CSU Collegiate Farm Bureau distributed the pamphlet "Public Forum: Does CSU's Future Hang on Referendums C and D?" The image on the front of the pamphlet was of a lynched individual. One must wonder what backstage decision making or ignorance went into the production of such an offensive image?

Lynching (Named after Colonel Charles Lynch who lynched Tories during the American Revolution) is an offensive, deplorable, violent, despicable, and usually racist act that is part of the U.S.A.'s and Colorado's history.

From 1882-1968, it is estimated that 4,473 lynchings took place in the U.S.A. Sixty-eight of these lynchings took place in Colorado (http://www.law.umkc.edu/ faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingsstate.html) and even in Fort Collins.

Many consider the brutal 1998 murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas as lynching. Byrd, an African American, was savagely beaten by three white men and then chained to the back of a pickup and dragged for three miles. Even today, the U.S. Army's School of the Americas teaches lynching, as one of a multitude of forms of torture, to soldiers from Central and South American countries to use against the citizens of their countries (We know this through former U.S. Army instructors who now protest against the SOA).

The CSU Collegiate Farm Bureau's use of a lynching image was wholly inappropriate. Furthermore, the USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services' minimalization of lynching as affecting only African Americans in the historical past in their response to the Collegiate Farm Bureau's pamphlet is insufficient. I encourage students, staff, faculty, and citizens to report this incident, as I have done, to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in Denver, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Robert Koehler

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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