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Would Peterson excuse Nazi symbols? 

San Luis Obispo

If I had a swastika displayed on the Cal Poly campus, would that be tolerated by Horticulture and Crop Science Department head John Peterson? Apparently this administrator is having difficulty discerning the crucial points between “free speech” and “hate speech”.

I am ashamed of my alma mater and embarrassed for this community. These students are adults—not children.

Given the racist and gay-bashing content of these students’ display, I am deeply disgusted and frankly angered by Mr. Peterson’s tepid reaction.

His simple, stern talking-to is an insufficient and patronizing approach, which perpetuates a climate of irresponsibility and unaccountability.

I have called Mr. Peterson and hope others in the community will do likewise. Mr. Peterson’s office phone numbers are 756-2279 and 756-1237.

Please join me in supporting a meaningful and appropriate response to this hate-speech incident. Community service at local GALA or campus GLBT, Muslim, or other minority support centers comes easily to mind.

Or, we can just pretend it doesn’t matter, because we are not the immediate targets.

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