Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Go Not Quietly

Sally Jacobsen wanted her retirement as a professor in the language and literature department of Northern Kentucky University to be remembered. She wanted to go out with a bang. And so, she told a bunch of her students to stage a counter protest against a display erected on campus by a group called Northern Kentucky Right To Life.

This display, near the University Center, consisted of roughly 400 crosses, which were meant to represent a cemetary for aborted fetuses. Although it is unknown for sure whether Jacobsen herself actually took part in the vandalism, she did admit to encouraging it, and as a result has been placed on leave until that day of her retiement.

She did admit leading a group of graduate srtudents to the area. No word as of yet on what action may be taken against the students who took part in the vandalism. Whatever it might be, they certainly have Sally Jacobsen to thank for this blight on their records, even though they realy should have known better.

And pro-choice advocates everywhere can thank her as well for this stupid stunt, which should be seen by them as a public relations disaster.

The ones, however, who really owe her a debt of gratitude are the very Northern Kenucky Right To Life group she so opposses. These are the same bunch of fanatics who once blocked the helicopter landing of Paul Patton, the former Governor of Kentucky, on the grounds of a Covington Catholic Church, necessitating his return to Frankfort. It would be hard to imagine anyone making this bunch look reasonable by comparison, but Sally Jacobsen-just one old fool determined to make a name for herself-has actually suceeded in making them look mainstream, if only for a brief while.


Rufus said...

Well, it won't be a blight on the grad students' records. We don't really have records for this sort of thing. I doubt the school will suspend them.

They'll probably keep her on suspension until her retirement, which is apparently at the end of this semester. The pro-choice people will probably stay pissed at her though. And, I'm guessing the conservatives will say that this old bat destroying a sign is equivalent to a cultural slide into anarchy.

Meanwhile, abortion will be illegal in Kentucky within a decade. So, some old crank trashing a sign seems pretty insignificant in comparison.

The Pagan Temple said...

Actually, it's not only their school records, the police are still conducting an investigation, so there's a potential that some of the students could be charged as well. It might not be that big of a deal, but still-

The way I understood the story, she was already due to retire. Evidently she decided she wanted to go out with a bang. I can understand that to a point, and those Northern Kentucky Right To Life People, as I said, are fanatics and I could see where they might move some people to violence. But it's not so much them I'm worried about, it's the casual observer who is somewhere in the middle ideologically.

Rufus said...

Well, it would be lame if they got charged for it. But, the thing with grad school is you get done and apply somewhere to teach lit, and they want to know if you've taught your own courses before and how that went and they want to read your dissertation. But, they don't really care if you got arrested during grad school. And if the school suspends these students it would be misguided to say the least. Most importantly though, universities don't generally keep records of these things, because with so much alcohol and youth present... you can imagine how many transgressions they deal with!

The Pagan Temple said...

I don't know if they will charge them or not, but evidently they are thinking about it or they wouldn't still be conducting an investigation. I mean, Jacobsen has admitted her role in it, as far as instigating it, and to accompanying the grad students to where the vandalism took place,though she herself seems not to have actually physically took part. So what else could be the point of any further police investigation?

And remember, this is Kentucky we are talking about. As much as I hate to think about it, they might not be so tolerant, so no, I wouldn't be surprised if they were suspended. After all, Kentucky Universities do to some degree depend on grants from the state. Take the University of Kentucky, for example, the state practicaly runs that institution to a large degree. And while Kentucky is not quite ready yet to go the route fo North Dakota on the abortion issue, it is still a very divisive issue. Our governer is Pro-Life, the lieutenant governor (a really scary fucking guy) is a Pro-Life fanatic, and a large percentage if not the majoity of the state legislature is Pro-Life, and that includes a good lot of the Democrats-who might not have retained office had they not taken that position.

It's not quite as bad as it was two and four years ago and up through the last couple of decades, but Kentucky is still very much a "red state"-and like I said, they play a large, large role in the states university affairs.

autogato said...

Oh my, how ridiculous of her. Yes, she certainly (and I say this with a great deal of sarcasm) has done a great deal to promote the reputation of Pro-Choicers as people filled with integrity.

This woman has just evidenced a triumph in her quest for stupidity. She has reached its vertex.

How can vandalism be the key? How can crime be the answer to this? If the pro-life people want to erect a symbolic cemetary in the name of their cause, then so be it. Such is their right to express themselves. Self-expression is something, in my opinion, that should be respected, even if I do not agree with what is spoken. Instead of criminal behavior, what not encourage open discussion, free thought, and more appropriate and effective displays of one's pro-choice position?

The Pagan Temple said...

Autogirl you took the words right out of my fingers. I could kind of see it if it were a permanent display, that would be way out of bounds, but I would be very suyrprised if that were the case here.

But to follow up on your suggestion, they could stage a counter protest by erecting a symbolic cemetary for all the women that have died in times past due to the unavailiability of safe legal abortions. They could have two sections, one for the ones that died from the pregnancies, another for those who died due to unsafe back alley abortions.

Or they could just laugh at the first displays, hold mock funerals in the middle of them and give speeches and sermons and the like attesting to the kinds of lives they might have lived if their mothers had not "murdered" them, how they would have lived drug addicted lifes in many cases of crime, poverty, and despair.

That would have angered the Pro-Life fanatics just as much and would still have gotten their point across in a way that would not have been as detrimental to their own cause, save to those who have already aligned against them anyway.

autogato said...

These are some very brilliant and creative ways to express one's opinion in response to the display. And as you put it, it would get the point across that would not be detrimental to the cause. And all completely legal. It would also demonstrate respect for the Pro-Lifers' first amendment rights, which hopefully they would in turn respect, despite disagreement with the pro-choice message.

Your ideas are very creative and wise. Have you staged such a display before?

The Pagan Temple said...

No, I haven't, and unfortunately it might not work as well as it might sound. When you're dealing with issues as divisive as this, you are dealing with people that are way too emotional and things easily get out of hand. All it takes is a handful of people on each side to send things spiralling out of control.

autogato said...

Ah yes, and then out come the police with the riot gear.

I wish humanity could respectfully listen before getting out of hand.

The Pagan Temple said...

Thing about it is, people get involvd in these kind of situations precisely because they have an emotional investment, otherwise it wouldn't matter enough to them to insure their involvement, so it's a catch 22.