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Colorado College Suspends Student for 2 Years. His Crime? Telling a Stupid Joke.

Guilty of 'abusive behavior,' 'disruption of college activities'

LaughingDreamstimeAdministrators at Colorado College—a private school languishing under a veritable tyranny of political correctness—have banned a student from campus for two full years because he made a stupid comment about black women.

The joke, to be sure, was tasteless. Someone posted “#blackwomenmatter” on the anonymous commenting app, Yik Yak. In response, student Thaddeus Pryor posted, “they matter, they’re just not hot.” It was a troll-ish, mean-spirted thing to say, but not exactly a hate crime.

Pryor was eventually identified as the author of the offensive joke (it’s not clear how), and brought before Senior Associate Dean of Students Rochelle T. Mason. Pryor admitted responsibility, but maintained that he was joking. The next day, he received a letter informing him that he had been found guilty of “abusive behavior” and “disruption of college activities,” according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

His punishment? Suspension from the college—for two full years. Pryor is not allowed to set foot on campus until August 28, 2017.

As a private institution, Colorado College is entitled to such an absurd overreaction. But the college also makes a promise of unfettered free speech to its students, and banning Pryor for his joke clearly violates that promise, according to FIRE:

Although Colorado College is private, and not legally bound by the First Amendment, it has repeatedly stated its commitment to freedom of expression. Yet Colorado College receives FIRE’s poorest, “red light rating for its speech codes. In fact, Colorado College’s Abusive Behavior policy—one of the policies Pryor was found guilty of violating—was named FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month in November 2011 for banning any act “which produces ridicule, embarrassment, harassment, intimidation or other such result.”

“In an academic climate that has become increasingly censored, the expression of a preference, in my case even a joking preference, is being squashed with impunity,” said Pryor. “A two year suspension during which I am prohibited from studying elsewhere is unwarranted and unreasonable. I made a six word comment that I freely admitted to authoring, thinking honesty was the first step to helping the community get past the incident. I support constructive discipline, but I believe the school’s reaction neither educates me on my act of insensitivity, nor benefits the community, nor consoles offended students, to whom I am extremely sorry.”

The college’s censorious actions send a clear message to students and faculty that they can be punished for failing to self-filter—a terrible blow to free expression at a campus that already possesses knee-jerk anti-speech sentiments (see my reporting on Colorado College students trying to get a pro-gay film banned for not having enough transgender characters).

I reached out to Rochelle Mason with my concerns, and will update this post if she responds.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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  • John||

    It is not their "right to do this" anymore than it is my right to stop paying my mortgage. Colorado college promised free speech to its students and its students relied on that promise in choosing to attend there.

  • ||

    Colorado [C]ollege promised free speech to its students

    Apparently it also promised that it'll sanction any act “which produces ridicule, embarrassment, harassment, intimidation or other such result.”

    Caveat emptor and all that jazz.

  • BearOdinson||

    If this comment produces ridicule, embarrassment, harassment or intimidation, then that says alot more about the reader of the comment than the commenter himself.

    Of course, ANY act (are words even acts?) could produce any of these things. So contractual obligations don't mean anything.

  • ||

  • Zeb||

    Well, I'd be embarrassed to attend a school which would suspend someone for something like this. So I think some administrators need firing.

  • ||

    Prosecutorial discretion.

  • Kivlor||

    I actually wonder if they had the "right to do this" even if they are private, and regardless of their promise as per the Hillsdale College lawsuit. If they receive federal monies, the feds can impose rules on them, if I remember correctly. It may not apply to 1A issues, I can't recall the whole thing, just the basics. It's possible they could be in trouble, if the feds decided to do anything--not that they would.

    Of course, if they refuse any federal monies--ie funds from Stafford loans or Pell Grants--then the feds can't be involved.

  • unperson||

    and how long before they start hanging whites in public for saying things like this? I say 10 years, tops.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I am not surprised that Rochelle Mason reacted to strongly to his comment.

  • ||

    Crusty...wouldn't?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I think it's a strong "would"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Of course I would - depriving the student an opportunity to receive an education at another institution is deplorable act, which is my biggest turn-on.

    However, she does not seem to possess many of the traditional qualities that the majority of you close-minded folks find alluring, which is why I posted a photo of her. I did it for you!

  • ||

    Has he ever said that?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    He hates hot chicks.

  • ||

    That doesn't answer my question.

  • Zeb||

    He actually did the other day when I asked if he would be OK after seeing all of the plum female cops in tight pants with guns on their hips in San Ber'dino the other day. I guess female pigs is a bright line for the Crusty one.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Crusty:
    Turn ons- tiny faces; shaving eyebrows off and drawing them back on like clown

    Turn offs- mental and bodily hygiene

  • toolkien||

    Messa a' tinkin' she'a reminds me'a somebuddie, betcha betcha...

  • Microaggressor||

    If only he'd said something less violent/triggering, like #killwhitey we wouldn't have this problem.

  • PapayaSF||

    +1

  • BearOdinson||

    It isn't even a dumb or racist joke. It is simply his opinion on the physical attractiveness of black women.

    So will they suspend anyone for any of the following comments as well?
    "Ew, old guys are ugly!"
    "I am a total boob man!"
    "Not really into Asian guys"
    "I only date taller men"
    "I like women with a little meat on their bones"

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Well, I've heard some activists say that it's wrong for, say, a lesbian to say she wouldn't want to be with a trans woman (you know, with a penis). So all that and more, yes.

  • BearOdinson||

    So I can't wait for when they suspend students for something like:

    "Can't stand twinky bottoms".

  • commodious spittoon||

    Do what now?

  • pan fried wylie||

    aka the crust on a twinky. gross. i cut mine off before serving like a civilized person.

  • pan fried wylie||

    *polar opposite of the muffin top

  • ||

    Good list.

  • Loki||

    "Ew, old guys are ugly!"

    "Old guys" are some of the biggest promoters of TEH PATRIARCHY, so micragressing them is A-OK.

    "I am a total boob man!"

    Any comments about what female feature one finds attractive is PROBLEMATIC unless the person saying it is a beautiful, empowered lesbian womyn or transgendered female.

    "Not really into Asian guys"

    Again, guys are part of the PATRIARCHY, and Asians are honorary white people for SJW purposes, so no problem here.

    "I only date taller men"

    See explanations above about old/ Asian guys.

    "I like women with a little meat on their bones"

    This one's a tough one. On one hand you're judging womyn by their physical characteristics, but OTOH you're saying you like "real womyn" instead of skinny womyn. But on the third hand, you're body shaming skinny chicks... Final ruling: PROBLEMATIC unless being said by a lesbian or transgendered female.

    /SJW tardo

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    AuH2O, P Brooks? I'm holding you guys responsible for this salad spinner of fuck.

  • Je Suis Reason (Fmr. AuH20)||

    You're tough but you're fair.

  • IceTrey||

    So why can't he transfer?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    They won't let him take classes for credit elsewhere for the next 2 years. I'm guessing they also won't release his transcripts, seeing as how they're assholes.

  • ||

    They have arbitrary power over him, and they are going to abuse the shit out of it, because they can, and they decided that he was going to be their target.

    This is a big lesson in why to never put yourself in a position where people have arbitrary power over you.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • toolkien||

    Can agree to a point, depends on where it goes from there....

  • IceTrey||

    Not releasing his records for classes he paid for seems...illegal.

  • Anomalous||

    Yeah, don't you have the right to your transcripts under the Buckley Amendment?

  • Je Suis Reason (Fmr. AuH20)||

    I think they can not honor the credits if he tries to come back (he's gone), but if he started at some local community college and then transferred I dont see how Colorado College keeps, say, UT Austin from honoring credits acquired at local community colleges

  • DJF||

    Was he already on Double Secret Probation?

  • B.P.||

    "...anonymous commenting app, Yik Yak."

    Apparently not.

    And how can the student be prohibited from studying elsewhere during his suspension? Will Colorado College refuse to transfer his credits or something?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    This is an editorial from the independent school newspaper with some information on another student who was also suspended.

    Henriques, who was expelled permanently, posted on Yik Yak a screenshot from an episode of South Park of a character featured on the Wheel of Fortune who incorrectly answers a “People Who Annoy You” question with the letters N_GGERS displayed. The correct answer was NAGGERS. His other post, “RACE WAR,” was a reference to a South Park episode during which a character ran down the hall yelling “RACE WAR.”

    An unknown person revealed to the administration Pryor and Henriques’ association with the posts, whereupon the administration scheduled individual meetings with Pryor and Henriques

    I thought ENB's recent post on Yik-Yak was pointless, but apparently the kids take it very seriously.

  • ||

    An unknown person revealed to the administration

    I was watching an old(ish) BBC show about the Third Reich. Apparently, the GeStaPo burned most of their archives before the end of the war, but for some reason their archives in Würzburg survived. Apparently, there was a grand total of 28 GeStaPo officers for an area containing about a million people (Würzburg and its environs): the GeStaPo wasn't spying on the populace, the citizens were inundating the GeStaPo with denunciations, and the officers were busy running down the leads provided by people spying on each other.

  • Rhywun||

    FWIW, Würzburg and its environs is only about 150,000 people (I have lived there).

  • ||

    I1930s.

  • ||

    OK. Maybe the show writers meant Gau Mainfranken, of which Würzburg was the 'headquarters'.

    Or they were full of it.

  • Rhywun||

    Makes sense. Everything was done by Gau then.

  • Zeb||

    Well, you can't maintain an authoritarian police state without the cooperation of a good part of the public.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Can I buy stock in Yik Yak? I've found that with social networking companies, there's a direct correlation between stock price and retardation coming out of the users.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    There are levels to 'free' in free speech.

    There's "free" and then there's "free-free".

  • ||

    It's a pretty good joke. Not only, but especially, in hindsight. Apparently one is now obligated to find black women hot. Not to mention that criticism of the self-indulgent and hysteric variants of "Xlivesmatter" is prohibited. Speaking of which, note the increasing exaggerations. It won't be long until all black women are called "Survivors".

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

  • PapayaSF||

    I've read an earnest SJW post that it was "discrimination" for a man to not be attracted to fat women, and that things needed to change to end that injustice.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I thought John was single-handedly doing justice in that department.

  • ||

    Frankly, that's at least more consistent. It's egalitarianism, distributing preferences evenly, or even abolishing all preferences (the absurdity should be obvious). (Just consider heterosexuality versus bi - and homosexuality. Femininity and manliness in relation to heterosexuality [is it just about "anatomy"?]. Transfer of goods in such relationships.)

  • Zeb||

    It is discrimination. But most discrimination is perfectly reasonable and not bigoted. Anytime someone picks one thing over another for some reason, that's discrimination. There is a word (well a few) for people who don't discriminate in who they choose for sexual partners.

  • ||

    Crusty?

  • Idle Hands||

    you little slut.

  • Idle Hands||

    a "Crusty Juggler"?

  • Long Woodchippers||

    The I would claim it discrimination if any woman was not attracted to ME

  • ||

    The switch between group and individual, the connection of "group rights" and individual rights hasn't been worked out yet.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Uh, no, if you find black women as a group hot, then it's a creepy racist fetish.

  • WTF||

    So, Robert DeNiro has a creepy racist fetish?

  • ||

    "As a group", right. What, finding black women hot when there's a group of them, but not individually? I responded to the need to interpret. Try "The average black women is not hot.".

  • ||

    Then proceed to "compared to the average white woman, the average black woman is not hot", and to "there are many more hot white women than hot black women". Look at how the joke is combined, (1) black women's lives matter + (2) black women are not hot. On its face, (1) is a completely useless statement, since it's obvious that lives matter. So the phrase as well as the campaign is an exaggeration. (2) can match that, as an exaggeration. It's the same structure, infused with irreverence and social observation (society does find white women hotter*), that makes the joke good.

    *Interpret. Consider black super models, advertising, escort services, prostitution etc.

  • Zeb||

    What if you just find the hot ones hot?

    Doesn't seem too different from a focus on redheads or big tits.

  • RBS||

    redheads or with big tits.

    Fixed.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    If you ask what percentage of certain groups of women I find hot
    1. Indian/Paki
    2. Euro
    3. East Asian
    4. African

    I like "white features" with a ruddy complexion.

    Jessica Lucas on Gotham, OMG she is freaking gorgeous. But the does sort of look like a white woman with dark brown skin.

  • ||

    Go, "intersectionality"?

  • Lee G||

    His real crime? Not genuflecting sufficiently when called out on his transgressions.

  • ||

    It was a troll-ish, mean-spirted thing to say, but not exactly a hate crime.

    Why even have this qualifier in there? It wasn't a hate crime, AT ALL. As BearOdinson said, it was just an opinion on the type of women one person is attracted to. And it's not even mean-spirited, depending on how you look at it.

    "They're just not hot. They're gorgeous."

    "They're just not hot. They're smart, too."

    Stop giving credit to people that over analyze everything for the slightest connotation of racism, sexism, whatever.

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    That's Robby for ya... he has to socially signal his condemnation for badthink even when writing about it being protected.

  • ||

    I really hate it when people signal that they don't like assholes.

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    I don't see it as much different than if there were a cop abuse article talking about how the cops beat the ever loving shit out of a guy, but the writer decided to spend a sentence or two talking about how the guy was an idiot because he said "piggy piggy oink oink" and mooned the cops.

    Of course this kid was being an asshole. However, this article isn't about that.

  • ||

    Do you find that this joker is an asshole?

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    Yes, as are most college students. It's par for the course at college.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    "Asshole" is totally subjective. That this is a reaction to an attempt to inject levity into the a hashtag is telling.

  • ||

    He's trolling Yik Yak for cheap laughs, so...yes.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    He's trolling Yik Yak for cheap laughs, so...yes.

    Who in their right mind would post absurd statements on a website just to illicit a cheap laugh?

  • Swiss Servator||

    *begins to narrow gaze....self-realization strikes...sheepishly leaves room*

  • ||

    Why, the joke addresses a social truth (white women found more attractive), addresses the overreach of "blackwomenslivesmatter", reveals suppression of speech, and does so succinctly. Watch this, by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK98XzEM97Y (Patrice O'Neal, Elephant in the Room)

  • ||

    32 minutes for the first one. That's way better than usual.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    That's not ok.

  • WTF||

    I larfed.

  • Free Society||

    LEAVE ROBBY ALONE!!!!!!!

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    That's really stretching to to suggest that that is what he meant. Not that it matters.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Speaking of overanalyzing...

    Hyperbolic understatement and emphatic word selection are speech patterns, often used ironically to denote frustration/elicit humor.

  • Zeb||

    I'd agree with trollish, given the context. He wasn't just saying "I don't happen to find black women attractive". But "mean spirited" is not obviously true.
    It was just a somewhat lame attempt at a joke.

  • Free Society||

    Don't you dare criticize Robby's qualifiers! Epi's anal cavity can only take so much butthurt.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    It was just a spur-of-the-moment juvenile joke. Anyone who has never made a joke like that, or snickered at hearing one, is not human. The joke is about as racist, mean, or trollish as "He who smelt it, dealt it".

  • Loki||

    Someone posted “#blackwomenmatter” on the anonymous commenting app, Yik Yak. In response, student Thaddeus Pryor posted, “they matter, they’re just not hot.”

    Does "anonymous" mean something different now?

    Also, no hattip for "Sevens"?

  • ||

    I appreciate the general concern, Loki. But I'm pretty sure we noticed this incident independently.

  • Loki||

    I know, I'm just bustin' Robby's chops.

  • ||

    Someone should inform Trump of this.

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

  • Crusty Juggler||

  • ||

    Sounds like they did Thaddeus a favor.

  • Loki||

    see my reporting on Colorado College students trying to get a pro-gay film banned for not having enough transgender characters

    *sits back, pops some popcorn and gets ready to enjoy the shitshow as campus progtards eat each other*

    On a somewhat related note, I'd hate to think of what would happen to me in college today. I once had my ".plan" file on my UNIX account as Brody's "cousin Walter" story from Mallrats

    Someone fingered my UNIX account and saw it, and complained. I got called in to the Dean of Students office and asked to explain. I told him it was quote from a silly movie, and I didn't think anyone would ever see it anyway, since you have to specifically "finger" someone's UNIX name to see it. He told me I should probably go ahead and remove it since it could give people the wrong impression of me (which I did), and that was the end of it. No expulsion, no suspension, nothing. Now I'd probably be expelled and never be able to set foot on a colleg campus ever again.

  • ||

    This is because the people who gravitated to the position of power, the ability to do this to people, did so because they want that power. They are doing this simply because they can, because they enjoy it. They will just wait for someone to poke their head up above everyone else's and become their next target. This kid poked his head up and came to their attention, and so they attacked. It's what they do.

  • Loki||

    the people who gravitated to the position of power, the ability to do this to people, did so because they want that power

    Yeah, I lucked out in that the Dean at my college seemed almost more annoyed that someone had taken the time to complain about someone's idiotic .plan, and now he had to waste his valuable time informing some college kid (me) that there are humorless scolds out there, so be more careful about what kinds of jokes you make, etc.

    Of course, being a Vietnam vet who spent a couple of years in the Hanoi Hilton might have given him a different perspective than most of kinds of shitheels that usually seek such a position.

  • ||

    Well?

    Are they hot or not?

  • Free Society||

    Generally... no. Fact. Science.

  • Zeb||

    I don't know. Too bad Playboy is stopping with the nudie photos. They could do a "Girls of BLM" issue.

    Sorry, was that a joke that would get me kicked out of Colorado College?

  • SugarFree||

    Yes. And don't use "BLM." I looks too much like "bowel movement."

  • Free Society||

    "bowel movement" actually sums up the movement itself.

  • Zeb||

    I always think Bureau of Land Management.

  • Free Society||

    I've never met a BLM that wasn't a disingenuous piece of shit.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    Oh, the things Clive Bundy would have to say about BlackLivesMatter...

  • ||

    OMG! OMG OMG! He doesn't find us hot! How dare he! Rosanna get me my pad! New demand!

    In addition to wanting a fair wage, free condoms for rapists, and clementines from Florida (because those from Morocco fall under cultural appropriation), we DEMAND every girl has a right to a date with the male picking up the tab.

    Signed - NO - Sincerely, The Social Justice Warrior Committee On All That Is Fair, Diverse And Beautiful.

    PS: If you disagree we will destroy you.

  • Drave Robber||

    free condoms for rapists


    Stop giving them ideas. No, keep giving them ideas. The more ridiculous the better. :)

  • Zeb||

    The Moroccans appropriated them from the Chinese anyway.

  • ||

    no mean no Rochelle. back the fuck up.

  • Drave Robber||

    On topic: he should have explained that he found black guys hot, and no one would dare touch him.

  • ||

    So, would he be in more or less trouble if he'd said something along the lines of; "They matter, but you couldn't get me drunk enough to have sex with them."?

    "They matter, but you'd have to violently assault me before I'd rape one of them."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    A two year suspension during which I am prohibited from studying elsewhere is unwarranted and unreasonable.

    Wait, what?

    I realize they have all gone completely insane there, but what in the fuck does that mean? Do they really think they can keep him from taking his (dad's) fifty thousand dollars per year to another school?

  • Je Suis Reason (Fmr. AuH20)||

    Guess it's time to call the ol' alumni asssociation. Meant to do it the last time we popped in reason.

    Props, assholes

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yes, my pretties. Speed your own demise. When this particular bubble bursts, it will be deliciously devastating.

  • DWC||

    Telling an offensive joke is beyond the pale, but this...this stuff is just being inclusive.

    http://justnotsaid.blogspot.co.....react.html

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Also- if "Snitches git stitches" was ever apropos, this would surely qualify.

    Whoever narc\ed on those guys should get his (her) arms pulled off.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    By Chewbacca?

  • Mongo||

    Black chicks aren't hot?

    What a fag.....

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If I had ever actually given any money to those retards, I would be on the phone right now, demanding a refund.

  • ||

    Patrice O'Neal, Elephant in the room, stand up comedy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK98XzEM97Y -- Highly relevant, watch the first 10 min, at least.

  • Old.Mexican||

    Someone posted “#blackwomenmatter” on the anonymous commenting app, Yik Yak. In response, student Thaddeus Pryor posted, “they matter, they’re just not hot.” It was a troll-ish, mean-spirted [sic] thing to say[...]


    Yeah, that could seem very mean-spirited and trollish. Or maybe just not accurate. Or a matter of opinion. The outrage this sparked speaks volumes about those who feel outraged and much less about Mr. Thaddeus Pryor. It tells me there are simply too many humans seeking for things to feel outraged about.

    “A two year suspension during which I am prohibited from studying elsewhere is unwarranted and unreasonable."


    I would ask for my money back, Thaddeus.

  • biljay||

    Time for white men to boycott colleges and learn online.

  • ||

    That'll just end in more white men playing more video games.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I refute it thus!

  • Notorious UGCC||

    (the picture is great, but the article will trigger you)

  • Entelechy||

    Mean spirited trolls don't matter: they're just not hot.

  • The dude Colorado||

    This is no real injustice. I know Thad personally. He is a very popular outgoing young man who is definitely a bro's bro. I once had a black date to a party both of us were at and he said something to the extent that I had jungle fever. It didn't make me particularly happy considering that I have never been with any woman strictly because of the color of thier skin. I liked them as people first. I doubt that Thad even now understands the impact of words. There are too many beautiful black women who have low self esteem because of idiots just like Thad. People who defend Thad by saying that he has a right to his opinion are wrong. Can you not think of a single attractive black woman? I doubt. Let's call a spade a spade. He is a racist and you are likely one too for defending him. There are hot women of all races and if one race doesn't do it for you there is likely something wrong with manhood. Thad enjoy your two years of lifting weights, man whoring, and ego boosting. I know one of your close friends is likely to flourish now that he has been removed of your shadow.

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