When tolerance and diversity isn’t so much a two way street.

Madison Bollweg is a self-described conservative student at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, and was recently asked to write a column about her experiences. Sad to say that as opposed to an intellectual give and take on one of our state’s campuses of higher education, her experiences seem to mirror what people are seeing across the country:

As I headed off for college, it never crossed my mind that being a conservative at a private university in South Dakota, a primarily red state, would have its struggles. I was wrong. It all began as I started working as an intern for the state party doing small jobs here and there, as well as some small speaking events.

A common question I would get was, “Where do you work?” I would respond with, “I’m an intern for the South Dakota Republican Party.” The most common response I would get back is, “How could you ever support them? They are racists and white supremacists.”

The first couple times I heard these remarks, I was in awe and completely shocked. I always thought that those people were jealous and to never let what they said get to me. Then it started to become name-calling, losing friends because of political affiliation and being known as “the conservative woman on campus.”

Read it all here.

That seems really unfortunate. But it gets worse.

Because you also get the aftermath in the comment section which at times drips with hatred and intolerance simply because of Bollweg’s political affiliation.

If people want to demand greater tolerance and understanding.. shouldn’t they be willing to give it themselves?

39 thoughts on “When tolerance and diversity isn’t so much a two way street.”

  1. I have just read the article and the comments that went with it. Appalling! Any school that tolerates the level of intolerance shown here is nowhere I would send my kid. This kind of intolerance starts at the top. Maybe that is what happens when a “Christian” college becomes a “university”. There is nothing universal about Augie.

    1. I can’t tell who’s the bigger snowflake- you or Maddie. She was asked to write an opinion piece. She wrote something and it was put out for comment.

      If you aren’t ready for the good or the bad, don’t write the piece, or at least don’t be so ignorant that others may disagree with your “beliefs”.

      1. The problem with your comment is a lacking of understanding of the context. She was asked to write an article about her experience as a conservative. As I read the column, she was not complaining, just telling her experiences. She was surprised that attending a “Christian” “university” in a red state would have such a liberal bend. She also talked about losing friends from people who are “tolerant”. At no point does she complain about the comments in the comment section.
        I try to be tolerant of people who have views different from mine. So far in the comments to Maddie, she has been attacked for being pro life instead of pro baby murder. She is attacked for supporting a President who has less prejudice in his whole body than you do in your pinky finger. She has even been threatened with physical assault. This is not being a snowflake. An example of a snowflake is a person who takes a day or two or few off from his studies because the presidential candidate you supported lost.

        1. Then she needs to wake the hell up. Augie has been a bastion for Liberal students for DECADES. It’s widely known:
          – USD is the party school unless you want to go to law/Med/B-school… or really get a good grad degree too;
          – SDSU is the Ag and Pharm school and sports:
          – Dakota State is where you want to go for Cyber/computer programs;
          – West River / DWU is for the rodeo and average athletes go
          – LAT is where people get good South Dakota jobs because of a great 2-year degree program

          So what is she lost friends who don’t have similar beliefs. I wouldn’t be friends with someone who doesn’t believe the holocaust didn’t happen. Or someone who doesn’t believe that all people have value. It’s called being an adult. Too many parents cuddle the hell out of their kids now-a-days.

          How are you going to feel after Trump loses in November? Will you need a few days?

          1. Augie is where you go if you want to be in a choir / performing Arts, if you were good at sports in the AA / As / maybe Bs, or went to Lincoln High School.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I will tell you that my kid was seriously considering going to Augie next year. After reading this, I can say with certainty that will NOT happen. The tolerant left is anything but tolerant or respectful. If they want to play the game that I as a conservative have to own Trump’s actions, then we can play it the other way as well.

    Apparently Augie is turning from a good Christian university to the liberal left. We are OUT. Real dollars just avoided your campus President Herseth.

    1. Actually, I don’t think it’s so much about Herseth Sandlin. The year she was defeated, if I recall correctly, the hard left was trying to primary her because she wasn’t far left enough for them.

      At this point, that kind of groupthink is what passes for the Democrat party nowadays.

        1. I don’t blame Herseth Sandlin, although she could do more to combat left wing hypocrisy. Some on this thread are too young to recall, but shortly after September 11, 2001, Democrats handed out “Coexist” bumper stickers. These folks demanded hateful Bush voters eschew xenophobia by exhibiting tolerance and embracing diversity. Some, like Andrew Sullivan, asserted that extremist & jihadis don’t deserve tolerance. Some, like Christopher Hitchens, said tolerance is bad when it forgives the crimes of Islamic fanatics — who bomb cities, drive trucks through holiday crowds, destroy world heritage sites, burn Coptic Christians in their churches, gang rape women accused of promiscuity, stone to death young girls for reading books, and throw gay men off cliffs for “crimes against Islam.”

          Labeled Islamophobic, this view was rejected by “progressives,” who mounted soap boxes to proclaim that ALL human beings and ALL viewpoints deserve respect, even the sickening views held by Islamic misogynists and homophobes. Democrats insisted that we should not label all Islamicists evil just because some profess intolerant views. Global cultures are different, dems patiently explained. We must respect all humans, because ALL LIVES MATTER. A lofty principle: one quickly discarded by today’s rioting mobs, twitter vigilantes, and hashtag activists – solipsistic fools allergic to facts and ignorant of history.

          Some may remember Code Pink protest signs denouncing Michelle Obama’s friend as “BusHitler.” Consider what the left said about John McCain in 2008. They called him a fascist. A warmonger. A racist neo-Nazi white supremacist. That’s their tactic. Unwilling to participate in civil debate, they spew hatred, demonize moderate Republicans, & claim Donald Trump is “literally Hitler” if not worse. But those high-minded coexists stickers? Yep. Still right there, slapped on the Prius.

          1. You really can’t use John McCain or Trump as an example…

            The President called McCain, a POW Veteran a loser because he was caught. Yet, when offered the chance to leave his captors early, he actually stayed, because it was first in, first out.

            The President had how many draft deferrals? 5, four for college and one for bad feet. Bone spurs, I believe.

        2. re: blue dog democrats – after kerry lost to bush in 2004, the democrats purged the party to prepare for the scorched earth war they have waged since then. the victims included the conservative southern leadership conference, and the blue dogs, who linger in name only.

  3. I am an Augie grad admittedly from several years ago. However, i am in a position to contribute to what was once a fine institution. I won’t. Augie will never see another dollar from me. They also continue to keep Nesiba on the payroll despite his inappropriate actions toward women or at least one woman.

  4. Wow, as an Augie alum the evil and rage in the commentators on that post in the Augie Mirror is disappointing and sad. Not the same place it used to be. The market will decide if the new product is what families want for their students.

      1. The market where there are competing products, i.e., a private school that is unwelcoming to conservatives or a private school that welcomes conservatives. It’s not that hard.

  5. Herein lies the rub.

    “You have been seen parading around campus, supporting a person who is KNOWN for his racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and pedophilic remarks, and expect respect?”

    Your “leaders” disrespect everyone who isn’t lining up to kiss their behind. I don’t respect that nor the people lining up to do the kissing. Whining about being a conservative in South Dakota is beyond laughable.

    1. I imagine it only took a few moments to look through the Democrat playbook to come up with the name-calling.

      It’s not the conservatives burning down buildings, attacking people in cafes.

      Nobody is whining about being conservative. You have a faulty imagination.

      1. Another group of self-pitying conservatives mistake accountability for persecution. You all publicly endorse people who treat others as less than human and expect to be given a free pass. Actions have consequences, and if you don’t like them then rethink your life.

      2. Yeah… we saw the radical conversation fraction in Charlottesville last year with tiki torches chanting anti-Semitic sentiments.

        And before that, they were wearing robes and hoods in Skokie.

        Let’s not forget, both sides have people who don’t agree with the mainstream members of both parties. In congress for example: the House Freedom Caucus or the Republican Study Committee, the New Democrat Coalition or the Blue Dog Democrats (I think it’s just Collin Pederson at this point).

        Each group has fringe identifiers that try and shift the parties radically. This is why people say past presidents couldn’t get elected in their current parties- the parties have shifted radically left AND right.

    2. I really don’t know what you are reading. There is no way this young lady has paraded around campus supporting a person who is KNOWN for his racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and pedophilic remarks, and expect respect?” I believe she is supporting President Donald Trump, not Hiden’ Biden who is known for making comments about the races of people working in convenience stores and stocking shelves so he can hide in the basement. To be fair, I am not so sure Hiden’ Biden has done anything that is ableist or homophobic–yet, but he has certainly shown sexism, not to mention sexual predator tendencies, and pedophilia. Maybe if he quit telling young girls he wants to see them in four years and not fondle little kids and smelling their hair it would not be so obvious.

    3. Wow, what a stupid post. Who is the quote from? Is it your own tripe or something from your dark masters on the left?

      Despite the Democrats continual attempts to paint President Trump as racist, it is Joe Robinette Biden who supported segregation and segregationist, and he is the one who said that, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or for Trump, then you ain’t black”. Only Democrats have the raw hatred to vote in a corrupt, senile old man with a socialist America-hater as VP.

  6. Commenters on this website: The INSANE left is crazy, full of COMMUNISTS who HATE AMERICA.

    Also commenters on this website: This poor girl had people not want to be friends with her! So much for tolerance.

    The head exploding double standards continue unabated.

  7. Being tolerant doesn’t mean you have to tolerate the intolerant. I won’t be tolerant of someone who believes their feelings are on equal footing with actual facts. That being said, I don’t have to tolerate idiots threatening violence or harm to others, either. That’s also intolerant.

  8. I lost a lot respect for Augie. After Clinton lost, students were told they had a right to be sad and that they could leave class, go back to their rooms, and curl up in their blankets. I wondered then what students are learning at that campus and which professors are leading that charge. Children are sent to college to be trained for a career, not to become babyish, w liberals.

  9. What is going on with these Christian Universities that are allowing a bunch of Left Wing, God hating, abortion loving people to infiltrate and dominate the culture? Yes I know some of you Left Wingnuts will complain about this statement but, this is a private university based on Christian values and if Universities want to survive and continue to be supported they need to snuff this stuff out. If that is leadership then they need to clean house. The replys on the blog from the students is deafinging and I am a bit shocked.

    1. What is going on with these Christian Universities that are allowing a bunch of Left Wing, God hating, abortion loving people to infiltrate and dominate the culture?

      …I too wish these students would behave like you.

  10. Augie is becoming another public university, and I don’t support them at all. When you get too far off the track you lose your way, and it will take Augie finding their way onto the track to get any credibility as a Christian school back.

  11. Sooooo grateful my daughter and son did not go to Augie. It has proven to be time and time again, a radical unaccepting school.

    BLM is a self-described Marxist organization – unfortunately, schools like Augie are not taking the ideology head-on and discussing its merits or lack thereof. BLM has not assisted any minority communities this “woke” violent around. In fact, it has taken the donations and fed them back (via ActBlue) into the liberal progressive politicians who oversee the poorest, most hopeless Black communities in our nation. The same places where folks like George Floyd died in the street. As far as I can surmise, the only thing BLM does for my community is exploit our deaths for $$$$ to fuel their agenda.

    Since the woke Augie students hate everything white and racist, perhaps they should help Maddie and her team with the little grave sites all over the university. If they had an actual clue, they would demand that the racist white organization Planned Parenthood be brought down like one of the many statues they have destroyed across the nation. Considering the most likely cause of death in the Black community occurs under the satanic eye of dead ole Margaret Sanger and her Negro weed killing Planned Parenthood that should be high on their list….but it’s not…..because this has nothing to do with Black people.

    And if they were educated, they would have HUGE issues with Crime Bill Biden, his segregationist history, his ties to the southern Democrats, and his continuous racial gaffes that occur almost every time he opens his mouth. But they don’t….because once again…this has nothing to do with the Black community or any other minority group.

    What an absolute shame that this is not a place of ideas but instead a place of Marxist brainwashing.

  12. I thought this what pretty well known at this point, but tolerant societies cannot tolerate intolerance. It is a paradox, yes, but the gist of it is that tolerating intolerance allows intolerance to grow, which, ultimately, will eradicate tolerance.

    That might not apply here, though, right? She could be a very tolerant person and it is not good to chastise somebody before you know their true beliefs. But she does work for the GOP, which has, on a number of occasions, supported intolerant policies or, more accurately, policies that impact communities or groups in ways that manifest themselves intolerantly. If you’re going to go up to bat for a group that your colleagues view as antithetical to their way of life, then you should expect some blowback. It’s probably the same feeling you all get whenever you meet somebody who says the work for the SDDP or if you ever came across a Pelosi staffer.

    Main takeaways: if you’re going to work in politics, you’re going to take some heat. Nobody deserves to be threatened. People can try to shut you down. At the end of the day, its a marketplace of ideas: if the GOP really has the right stuff going on, they should win out in the end. If the Dems have it, then they should win.

    But this holier-than-thou reposting of a column as if it represents a martyred saint of your faith is unhelpful.

    I held many beliefs in college that my professors did not agree with. I attempted to defend them. Sometimes I did well, and I got high marks. Other times I did a poor job defending my views and got low marks. Never, though, did I feel as if my views themselves were to blame. Same applies here, she’s just got to get a better understanding of what she believes in and find a better way to advocate for those beliefs. But it isn’t her fault if other people don’t agree. The same is incumbent upon them.

    1. Solid post with thoughtful points. The only thing I’d add: Pat is strategic with this stuff. Feeling victimized is powerful sauce. It creates a sense of cohesion among those who consider themselves victimized and, as we can see lately in American politics, voting against something is often a better motivator than voting for something. It is tough to do so, however, in a state that is absolutely dominated by republican politics (and Pat makes a great effort to remind us all that democrats are vanishing here). So, you need to find a subpopulation that makes those in power feel like the status quo is threatened by a faceless mass of “communists” and “leftists” who threaten a way of life they have become accustomed to. Enter universities. They are a useful foil here.

  13. The thing the conservative student on campus must remember is, Democrats have been mad at Republicans ever since we freed their slaves.

  14. This is unfortunate a student feels this way. I graduated from Augie in 2008. I have spent more time back on campus than the typical alum. I have been on boards, participated in panels, mentored a student, and been part of an internship. Augie is a very inclusive environment. During my time at Augie I was part of the College Republicans, but also the Voices of Choice. I see that as Augie at its finest, being able to happily be welcomed into each group.
    I’m a Republican and I’m very proud to be part of the Augustana family.

  15. here’s a takeaway or two: augustana is no different than any other liberal arts school in the country right now. they do well, what they do well, in the strong areas of their curriculum and requirements. they are serious about their fiduciary responsibility as an educator. however, will this kind of online exchange happen here at sdwc every time the topic of intellectual freedom comes up? most certainly. the whole notion of taking on campuses over the issue of intellectual freedom in the ways it has been done, is always like stepping into a crazy cat lady’s house, and getting one cat to obey while fifty others are destroying the place. you have to separate the cats entirely and change how they live.

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