Letter: Outrage over student letter to Friley smokers

Dylan Bishop

I was disheartened and offended by the letter published today by Andrew Koehring about the group of individuals who hang out south of Friley Hall.

I am one of the people who stand there and converse with those people. It upsets me to read that a person with such ignorance could write such slanderous filth about people whom he has no affiliation or connection with.

I am most offended by the fact that he is allowed to threaten me and my friends in his article. From what I understand about the events that had happened that night, he had kneed my friend in the back of the head when he approached the stairs from behind her. I am told he had ample room to slip by them, and if he had not, he certainly would not have had any trouble asking them to politely move out of the way.

I am a bit outraged that Andrew could so blatantly emulate Hilter’s fascist theory and methods in his article only to have you publish it. I pay my tuition like anyone else and I do not believe in causing anyone trouble, but this has left a metaphorical burning cross in my front yard that I cannot ignore and I will not stand for.

His suggested “lebensraum” was a term made famous by Adolf Hitler as it was one of his political agendas that he had pushed as apart of Nazism. Lebensraum means “living space,” and when used in the following order that Andrew presented in his article, he suggests that a particular group is segregated. This coincides with Hilter’s theory of clearing Polish and Jewish people out of his jurisdiction by either segregation into concentration camps or ethnic cleansing.

I quote his article:

“So if violence isn’t the answer, what else is there? Of course — segregation! We need to provide a separate but equal space for stationary people because I dont want them diminishing the purity of my mobile race. Used to be that there was an entire campus sized place for people to sit and smoke. We all had plenty of lebensraum and life was good.”

I am offended at his tasteless satirical attempt to evoke a response to his opinion about students smoking on a sidewalk had to involve Nazis. To make racial connotations to a group that I myself am included in feels like a personal threat. I will not stand for being threatened with violence. I will not accept the fact that a coward would suggest “punting” someone into the street. His spineless threat of a “no-holds-barred street brawl” angers me even further.

If you want an ignorant imbecile like him representing your paper, then that is your prerogative. But it would be against my ethics to allow a coward to publish threats of violence to a group with which he has a disagreement.

If he has a problem with us, he can talk talk to us. I would be more than happy to hear what he has to say to my face. We don’t care who wants to hang out with us. Anyone is welcome!

I will go on record to say I am a firm believer of the freedom of speech and freedom of press. I believe that it is not only socially unacceptable, but an act of cowardice to use a publication to voice a threat and a racist rant. His rant accomplishes nothing but offending the very people he threatens in his article.

This is not his world. He does not get to decide where people congregate. Unfortunately, fascism is not our form of government in this country and he has no political power here. He cannot tell people what to ingest in their bodies or where to sit or stand. As much as he wants to write like Hitler, he will never be Hitler.

In regards to Andrew, I hope he finds whatever it is in himself to man up and apologize to my friend who was half his size and has a case of juvenile arthritis. I am not seeking an apology from him, as I know he is an ignorant fool who can only make weak statements with words of no substance. He probably believes he is the good guy. That’s his belief and that’s fine. I will say that I am disappointed that you would let such an ignorant idiot represent you. I am also disgusted that you publish threats and racist theories.