By Allan Wall, June 25, 2020
Oklahoma State University, located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was founded in the 1890s to become the “Princeton of the Prairies.” It has a great academic tradition, specializing in agriculture and engineering. It’s also my alma mater.
OSU was also the scene of a recent outrage illustrating the growing disregard for freedom of speech in American universities.
It started when OSU football coach Mike Gundy was photographed on a private fishing trip with his sons and the photo showed up on social media.
The outrage was sparked by Gundy’s fishing attire – an OAN shirt.
OAN stands for One America News, and is also called One America News Network (OANN). It was founded in 2013 by Robert Herring.
What sets it apart from the much larger media behemoths such as CNN/MSNBC/ABC/CBS is that OAN doesn’t have the same leftist orientation.
Full disclosure: At the 2019 Writers’ Workshop, sponsored by US Inc., OAN correspondent Jack Michael Posobiec III, was a member of a panel discussion on Big Tech Censorship. (See here.)
Star OSU running back Chuba (Choo-ba) Hubbard saw the photo of Gundy wearing the OSU t-shirt and tweeted, “I will not stand for this. This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable. I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE.”
Chuba was soon joined by other players.
Gundy could have met with the players privately and explained to them the importance of freedom of speech in an American university.
Instead, Gundy dutifully followed the typical script we’ve been accustomed to hearing. If you violate the PC code (even unknowingly) you buckle under, apologize, and promise to do better.
(It bears a certain resemblance to the “struggle session” as practiced in Soviet Russia and Communist China, in which an offending Party member was publicly humiliated and promised to do better.)
The next day, Gundy appeared in an apology video. (Watch here.)
Quoth Gundy in the video: “I had a great meeting with our team today. Our players expressed their feelings as individuals and as team members. They helped me see through their eyes how the t-shirt affected their hearts. Once I learned how that network felt about Black Lives Matter, I was disgusted and knew it was completely unacceptable to me. I want to apologize to all members of our team, former players, and their families for the pain and discomfort that has been caused over the last two days … I sincerely hope the Oklahoma State Family near and far will accept my humble apology as we move forward.”
Sorry Mike, as an OSU alumnus and an American citizen, I don’t accept your groveling “apology.”
The so-called Black Lives Matter movement is a communist political movement. As American citizens we have every right to question it and if we so choose, to disagree with it. (See Not Your Grandparents’ Civil Rights Movement.)
Another characteristic of the “Struggle Session” is that it’s never enough.
On June 19th, OSU received a letter from the Black Alumni Association which continued to criticize Gundy, and set out a list of demands for the OSU administration.
That’s how it usually works.
And, rather than defend freedom of speech, OSU President Burns Hargis tweeted that, “We will not tolerate insensitive behavior by anyone at Oklahoma State.”
That sounds totalitarian. Who, after all, defines “insensitive behavior”?
Whatever happened to freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech?
Or, do these things not apply when football is involved?
On June 20, President Trump held a rally in Tulsa Oklahoma. Don’t believe the Mainstream Media, I was there and it was a great rally.
OAN sent a delegation to the rally, and they distributed OAN t-shirts, the kind that got Gundy in trouble.
OAN reporter Chanel Rion was there, sporting an OSU t-shirt. (My son got a selfie with her.)
In contrast to the guys who run OSU, she defended freedom of speech. In an interview with the Oklahoman, she said “I think that they need to allow a university to have open discourse. Open discourse is the foundation of a healthy society.”
Chanel repeated her previous offer to Gundy and Hubbard to meet with them and dialogue reporting that, “We reached out to Gundy and to Hubbard and we asked if they would sit down with us and interview with us to discuss why exactly Hubbard and the rest of the team believe that OAN is ‘disgusting.’ We’d love to have that open discussion.”
Good proposal, but Gundy and company haven’t taken her up on the offer. It would just be too much for the aspiring totalitarians at Oklahoma State.