Just a joke

Hud points to a double standard: A University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point faculty member can write a humor column calling for the murder of Republicans and dismiss those who feel offended as unable to take a joke.

The column, which (Pat) Rothfuss pens under his own name and describes as “about 80 percent stupid humor,” is an outlet for an almost fictionalized, crazed version of himself as the perpetual student, he said. Irreverent advice from past columns, which are published in The Pointer, UWSP’s student newspaper, has included everything from corporate America to voodoo and prostitution.

But a group of students from the UWSP College Republicans organization wasn’t laughing Nov. 4 when a post-election Rothfuss column included phrases like “punching smug-looking Republicans in the mouth” and “key every car you see with a Bush bumper sticker.” The column’s premise was that Rothfuss was drunk while writing to himself, and it suggested, “why don’t you go on a killing spree? I pet you can take out fixteen for sisteen republicans beofre they gun you down. Duke, youd’ be like a heroe.” (sic)

Here’s a copy of the column with a Republican response:

Imagine how Republican students feel in Rothfuss’s classes.  Diversity and freedom of expression are not promoted in an environment in which a teacher advocates the killing of those who vote differently.  (But don’t worry Republican students.  It’s all just a harmless joke!)  Imagine the reaction if Rothfuss had substituted another campus minority group for “Republicans” – gays, women, Jews, African-Americans, for example.

I thought the column was funny. I read it as making fun of hysterical Democrats threatening suicide because their guy lost. But it does seem awfully sophomoric for a lecturer in English. And he’d never get away with it if he were conservative.

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