The Larimer County Sheriff is taking heat from student leaders for the so-called offensive material of a speech he gave last month.
The opening remarks of Jim Alderden’s speech at the U.S. Marine Corps Ball on Nov. 12 included what he labeled “appropriate” bumper stickers that alarmed Muslim advocacy groups on campus including one that said “U.S. Marines — Travel Agents to Allah.”
The quotes, Alderden said in a phone interview, did not reflect his own views, but are commonly seen as bumper stickers on Marine Corps bases and were meant to give a “lighthearted” mood to the conversation.
“This is another example of political correctness run amuck,” he said.
But, Mohamed Jefri, the assistant director of the Associated Students of CSU’s Department of Diversity and Outreach, said the content of the speech might cause international students to think negatively about CSU.
“He put it on his Web site and called it appropriate, and that really hurt.” Jefri said, adding he could not speak on the behalf of student government.
His speech, Alderden said, was addressed to families of Marine Corps soldiers who are fighting in the war, and said the bumper stickers have been blown out of proportion.
“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all the terrorists killing our soldiers are Muslim,” Alderden said.
Alderden, a publicly elected official responsible for the safety of the community, is entitled to his own opinion but it’s inappropriate for the Sheriff to promote hate or violence, Jefri said.
To address the concern surrounding Alderden’s speech, ASCSU Sen. David Ambrose has drafted a resolution that, if passed, will ask for a clarification from Alderden.
“ASCSU is the voice of the students — all kinds of students, all minorities.” Jefri said.
Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.