Colorado’s Incorrigible Professor

William R. Pierce, FrontPageMagazine.com, Sep. 7

Dear Dr. Morehouse [an official at the Metropolitan State College of Denver Equal Opportunity Office],

I’m a second semester student at Metro State. The background I bring to the college experience is rather unique. I have a background in commercial art and spent two years at The Art Institute of Colorado. My disposition is unique as I’m also a young and active Republican. Some of the greatest learning experiences of my life have come through honest and respectful conversations with those on the opposite of my beliefs. I consider myself to be a very open minded and a highly intellectually honest individual. The majority of my professors throughout my academic career have been liberal. Such facts have never lead to a problem. On the contrary I have earned the respect of these professors, an opinion that is mutual. However, on Monday, August 24, 2004, my rights as a student were blatantly infringed upon. I was a student in the 8:30am class of Dr. Oneida Meranto.

My knowledge of Dr. Meranto was limited. I had received the opinion of a friend that indicated she was very liberal; however, this was not a problem in the past and I did not anticipate one in this case. My perception of Dr. Meranto was not going to be formed for me. I pride myself on hard work. I figured going into her class, I would bring nothing less. I possessed no knowledge of Dr. Meranto’s previous controversies. She was simply a name on my schedule. I was aware of the basics of the Academic Bill of Rights as an issue, but was not aware of Dr. Meranto’s personal connection to the topic. Plainly stated, my opinion of Dr. Meranto didn’t exist. I walked into her class with an open mind and a healthy respect for her position as a professor. I expected the following seventy-five minutes to be no different than past experiences. I was there to learn and further my pursuit of a degree. I’m passionate about learning and was excited to return to the classroom after three weeks off. That zeal quickly manifested to fear.

Throughout her introductory lecture, she attacked Republicans. She inferred that we are incapable of thinking critically, and should therefore drop her class. She posed the question, why are most of us in the academic world on the left. She answered her question with the following: It’s because those of us on the left are those capable of thinking critically. This statement clearly indicates her belief that those on the right of the political debate are incapable and do not engage in critical thinking. I tried objecting to the statement as I’m never afraid to stand up for myself, but she continued to speak. It was not my intention to be rude and interrupt, but rather respond to such a false and inflammatory premise. She further communicated that those who are incapable of critical thinking, should immediately drop this class, because you will not succeed. This was a clear threat to any Conservative student sitting before her. She continued to reiterate these statements throughout her lecture.

Dr. Meranto then proceeded to relay her experiences of the last months, specifically in regards to the Academic Bill of Rights. She made no attempt to hide her anger and hatred towards the Republican students on campus. It was the most hateful and vehement lecture I’ve endured. Her speaking patterns often became screaming. She then conveyed her suspicion that the College Republicans had planted people in her classes to check up on her. It was clear that once she realized my political ideas that I would not be judged fairly. It must be made clear that no one had approached me about checking up on her. As previously stated, I approached her class with no preconceptions.

She stated that she has received the full support and backing of the School President and would be protected from any accusations. She stated that she was targeted simply because she was a female minority and in the minds of white America that made her dispensable.

The experience became very troubling to me. It progressed to the point of making me feel sick. Hiding my beliefs were not an option, nor should I ever feel such means are essential to excel as a student. Any goal is achievable in my opinion without one being required to compromise one’s core.

!<))meranto.JPG! The statements made by Dr. Meranto violated my rights. The consequences of her threats have forced me to drop this class. I’m disappointed and frustrated to find myself in such a position. The future goal of attending law school requires the highest academic discipline and achievements. Academic excellence upon my part is mandatory to achieve this goal. After one quarter of summer classes, I achieved a GPA of 4.0. I have every intention to maintain it. I fear that staying in Dr. Meranto’s class will inhibit this achievement. Her threats and anger created a hostile environment in which it is reasonable to believe that I will not be graded accordingly. Dr. Meranto’s intimidation has forced me to consider my options, a position no student should ever be forced to confront. Dr. Meranto’s actions and statements were highly unprofessional. It is due to this that I wish to file an official complaint with your office. No student, regardless of his or her political credo should ever feel the intimidation that Dr. Meranto presented during her introductory lecture. Such behavior will only damage the educational experience for future students. Such actions should not be tolerated. Thank you for your time on such an important matter. Please feel free to contact me for any follow up. William R Pierce

Oneida Meranto’s Racist Speech

Tom Elia, FrontPageMagazine.com, February 27, 2004

Our readers may remember Metro State political science associate professor Dr. Oneida Meranto, who was the subject of two previous FrontPage Magazine columns, each penned by different students of the professor. The students allege that Dr. Meranto, acting as a advisor to a student group, attempted to stifle the opinions of students because they were in opposition to her own, and that she acted as more of an political activist than as a professor in the classroom; that she illegally, and falsely, revealed private academic information about the students in public; and that she threatened legal action against both a student and the college’s student newspaper, The Metropolitan.

In one of the FrontPage articles, student Nick Bahl wrote that Dr. Meranto unilaterally dropped him from her class—even though he had passing grades and later received a “B” in an independent study project, threatened to sue him over taping a public meeting, and threatened to sue the school’s student newspaper for publishing a column penned by Bahl calling for Meranto’s dismissal. As a result of the threat, the school relented, publishing the column as a letter to the editor.

In the other FrontPage article, student George Culpepper wrote that Dr. Meranto, acting as an advisor to the group, threatened to throw campus Republicans out of a bipartisan student political science group and illegally—and falsely—maligned his grades in public, even though he had a “B” in the class before he dropped it. Since these allegations, Dr. Meranto has resigned as student advisor to the political science group at the school.

On February 24 Dr. Meranto gave a speech at a protest of the sexual assault and rape allegations surrounding the University of Colorado football team (the speech is printed below). As a result of the allegations—as well as his subsequent ill-considered comments regarding one of the alleged victims—Colorado’s head football coach Gary Barnett was suspended by the university.

What follows is this transcript of Dr. Meranto’s remarks at the CU Sex Scandal Protest on Metro State’s campus:

Oneida Meranto: Thank you Tom and thank you to the individuals that put this together. I want to say first of all that I’ve been given the great honor of being the poster child of David Horowitz’s Academic Bill of Wrongs and I wear it with pride.

We’re entering into a new era of victimization. I say this with caution because I never want it to appear as though we are overlooking or ignoring the real pain that is associated with people that have been more importantly, not more importantly, but certainly just as importantly, those individuals that have been wrongly accused of being sexually harassed. I have had the misfortune of being sexually abused and of being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment. So I think I can with all fairness come from both sides on this.

At the age of five I was sexually abused by a white man, of course no one believed me. This was the beginning of my personal quest to understand race relations in America. Lets flash ahead several years to just last year at this school where I was charged by a white man with sexually harassing him—I know you might find humor in this, and I did at first, but it’s not a very fun thing to go through.

This man was a faculty member. He had been accused of sexually harassing at least three other female students and this administration did very little in responding to these women’s allegations. Let me tell you, the very minute this man pointed his finger at me there was a full-blown investigation. It became very obvious that this faculty member who had failed to finish his PhD and had failed to renew his contract at Metro was pointing his finger at me and needed to redefine himself as a victim in order to justify why he had failed.

This man was a faculty member. He had been accused of sexually harassing at least three other female students and this administration did very little in responding to these women’s allegations. Let me tell you, the very minute this man pointed his finger at me there was a full-blown investigation. It became very obvious that this faculty member who had failed to finish his PhD and had failed to renew his contract at Metro was pointing his finger at me and needed to redefine himself as a victim in order to justify why he had failed.

Similar to the white students of last semester who charged me with ideological repression. Their complaints took the same immediacy as the sexual harassment charge did, the President’s Office kicked into gear to be sure that these white men’s procedural rights were not violated. They too failed to be good respectful students and like the white man that charged me with sexual harassment they too have made themselves victims.

I tell you these personal things because the mere gesture of a white person pointing a finger at a nonwhite person brings out the press, brings out the psychologists, brings out defenders of the white race even unknown to themselves; brings out the administration, at the same time I think we need to understand that the mere exercise of pointing a finger can destroy the future of the accused and bring notoriety to the future of the accuser.

Take a look at how we’ve rewarded white women or women in general that claim sexual harassment. They receive sympathy as they well should; they’re accommodated; they’re sometimes given their own talk shows; they receive a TV series; they write books; in essence they become famous. And if they join the reactionary right as Paula Jones did, they even get a makeover.

These false allegations against me by these two white male students have brought them the notoriety they crave and the jobs with their reactionary counterparts that they want.

To keep my experiences in line, both sides of them, don’t hang any of the players up in Boulder until there has been a fair trial. Don’t fire coach Barnett for doing what the administration has more than likely instructed him to do. It is the president that should be held accountable. Until we hold the president accountable, little change will occur.

Let me give you a few assumptions about race and rape. These two should always be intertwined as long as the parties are mixed race.

Now number one, nonwhite women can’t be raped. See we’ve been socialized at a very young age, even at the age of five, that we can’t be raped since rape is about power and since nonwhite women don’t have power our voices are automatically suppressed.

Two, nonwhite men whether black, brown or red, desire white women. There is a history to sex, power and race in America and I suggest you understand it. Obviously some white men in great power have a nonwhite partner, but overall we as a society still have in our minds an overall sexual connotation of nonwhites.

Let me give you an example. Nonwhites are closer to nature. Those that are closer to nature are more animalistic. Thus, animals are less capable of curbing their basic animalistic tendencies. The favorite movie of a white professor here on campus is “Black Robe.” Why? He said it was because the Christians taught the natives how to have sex in a more loving way.

Three, white people tend to equate race with being nonwhite. This prohibits whites from being able to see what it means to be white in a white society.

Four, making analogies between a nonwhite woman being raped and a white woman being raped makes us forget the differences and removes the race card. In other words, you can’t possibly understand rape without understanding race relations in the United States.

Five, whites are trying their darndest to demonstrate that they too are victims in a society where they dominate. Whites have failed to prove to us that they are not part of the privileged class. They have failed to prove that they have gained so much from subjugation and domination of nonwhites. They have failed to prove to us that they don’t have racist, sexist tendencies that just might be part of the very essence of their white skin. They have failed to prove to us that they too have not benefited from affirmative action legislation. They have failed to demonstrate to us that the reason for their poor grades is the flood of nonwhite professors. They have failed to take responsibility for their actions in this country where being white has its privilege.

So what do if you’re a failure and you’re white? You create a new kind of action. The kind that existed prior to 1965, similar to what has happened on this campus. White students get poor grades and instead of cracking the books and studying harder they blame the professors. File a grievance against a professor based on ideological repression. A white faculty member gets fired, can’t finish his PhD, doesn’t renew his contract, what does he do? He charges a faculty member with sexual harassment. The system isn’t broken; it was never fixed. The administration of these universities consists of individuals that lack the fundamental understanding of race relations in America. If any organization is going to try and organize and integrate a football team or draft the best players they must demonstrate they know race-sex relations in America. And herein lies the problem.

Bill 1315 that the reactionaries want to pass, and may indeed pass this week, wants to give the students the right not to take diversity training. In other words, these white students want the right to think as they have and to keep these racist and sexist ideas afloat. They can call it ideological repression, but it is still racist and it is still sexist. Bill 1315 is nothing more than a repackaging of race relations. The old southern white affirmative action of doing business. They want the right to be free of professors like me that force them to think, who demand that they be respectful to women, minorities and gays.

Bill 1315 will give them the right to say, as they have said to me in e-mails, “Let’s kill the f***ing commie bitch.” And by this president refusing to make a statement not condoning such behavior, he is in essence sanctioning it. If Bill 1315 does pass you can be sure of at least two things. One, there will be many more allegations against professors, and let me tell you what they’ll look like. You’re looking at them; they’ll be nonwhite, women and they’ll be gays. And two, there will no doubt be more sexual harassment not less, because some students, faculty, and administrators want the right to stay ignorant. They don’t want their say; they want their way. Thank you.

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