The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Clash of the Mustangs and the Ignorant

            The clashing of ideologies is a big thing for us kids at SMU.  We don’t like any sort of diversion from “the norm”.  This is why when I first heard of the anti-gay vandalism against a professor at school, the news didn’t really surprise me.  I get a sense of the consensus of our student body’s lack of openness to new ideas, just as Professor Hansen does; yet he’s honest about his views and therefore is going to be a very easy target.  Just how much courage does it take in order to take a sharpie to someone’s door when no one’s looking? Hmm?

            I read “Kanye dejà vu” after an angry friend told me about it.  Mr. Wellman seems to think it’s a BIG leap that the vandal could have been a Bush supporter. 

Well, we’re all at the college level here, we should be able to construct the premises to arrive at the conclusion Professor Henson came to:

            1.  Prof. Henson’s door was nice and non-vandalized. 

   2.  Prof. Henson wrote a critical article about Bush.

            3.  The Bush Library kids got mad.

            4.   The word f****t was written on Prof. Henson’s door.

            Therefore, some lil’ Bush supporter with a marker took out his aggression towards Prof. Henson, while also wanting to express his views of homosexuals.

            Get real SMU, that it is a blatantly logical argument.  And Prof. Henson noted that not all Bush supporters are like that, just some of those straggly ones from the hill country looking like they stepped out of Deliverance.  I bet it was one of them who wrote that on the door.  NO, Rich, good-looking, Juicy couture-clad kids can’t be like that-.

            I also read Prof. Henson’s article “Gays, the new Jews?” and I hate to say it folks, but it seems to me that maybe a tiny portion of all the millions of dollars we pump into this school for tuition has actually gone to some use in the hiring of Prof. Henson and giving him the platform through which to express his “wacko” views to try and wake people up from their apathetic stupor.            

            Today I came across the reply to that article, “Gays, the new Jews?!?” by Mr. Joel L. Sartain.  I love how he opened his opinion piece with how tolerant and accepting our local straight community here is of gay persons and doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, but then goes on to claim that homosexuality is a “deviant” behavior, and that if gays feel unwelcome somewhere, then they should just pick up and move!  How tolerant and laid-back and accepting of you, Mr. Sartain.  You’re right; we will not see a gay person take office when people like you already forecast that such things are impossible.  You are just repeating what you have been told by your parents and Sunday school teachers, people like you are the reason women couldn’t vote back in the day because the popularly accepted view was that it wasn’t our place.  Refusing to accept progress and difference in human behavior is where oppression stems from.

            And the real problem isn’t just with the young straight men that have publicly expressed their disgust with Prof. Henson, it’s everyone who just sits around and takes this close-mindedness and just flow with the tide while swallowing whatever is fed to them.  No matter how bad it smells.

            Are you guys tolerant of gay people who never speak about it or express it in anyway and stay locked up in a dark closet?  Do those gays not offend you?  How much of themselves do they have to hide in order for you to be okay with them?

            If “flamboyancy” is a problem with you, then maybe you’re not as accepting as you originally thought, Mr. Sartain. Professor Henson has a point of view that should, and is being heard. If that bothers you somehow and makes you uncomfortable, that does not mean that something is wrong with him or that he needs to “tone it down.”

            One out of every 10 young men are gay. That’s 10 percent. In case you can’t figure it out, that means that, statistically, there has to be at least a handful of gay Mustangs here at SMU, and a whole lot more than that, who are not willing to come out to a bunch of intolerant, close-minded individuals just to be told that they are sexual deviants.         

We need to celebrate diversity at this school so maybe we can get a little more of it around here (Did you all think you applied to Brigham Young, Salt Lake City?). When everyone looks alike and talks alike it gets bland. And if gay men don’t bring color and festivity and diversity to a community, then who does? I know homosexuals are a very small part of the population, but I know they do exist. 

Maybe the guy who wrote that angry word on Prof. Henson’s door has a secret crush?  Repression hurts you in the end, you know.

There are so many Human Diversity and Cultural Formations classes required to be studied by us Mustangs, and I thought they were intended to educate our students and to give them a perspective outside of white, straight, Christian, Republican, Bush-lovin’, foot stompin’, intolerant suburbia! Earth to mustangs-if you were enthralled to come to SMU because you saw that episode of Walker Texas Ranger, and you want to assert your manhood-you’ll be disappointed to discover that once you step outside of University Park, Dallas is actually a city, where sometimes cowboys have a hard time quittin’ each other.

Despite the fact I also come from a Christian-Republican-Bush-lovin’ household, I can read Prof. Henson’s pieces and digest the information for myself and make up my own mind about it.  I don’t need to throw up walls with signs that support Bush and think that gays who voice their opinions are unacceptable.  What I find offensive is the response Prof. Henson has been receiving after the incident.

Professor Henson, there are students here who DO respect your opinions and do not find anything at all wrong or deviant about your “behavior.” And for anyone who is of a different persuasion than one of unwavering acceptance of those different from them, then maybe you need to reassess what’s going on in your own mind.


Sara Snyder is a sophomore cinema-television major. She may be reached at [email protected].

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