Letters to the Editor: April 1, 2015 

Free speech

Recently, late at night, the University of Oklahoma (OU) released a statement that conflated the SAE story with the Joe Mixon story and announced with a straight face that this was not a double standard. They took great pains to say that Mixon was kicked off the team for a year and also given community service.

There seems to be very little follow-up to that statement. Perhaps the Oklahoma press does not wish to hurt OU President David Boren’s feelings?

Well, I don’t care about his feelings. I believe that statement was pure hogwash, and I think Coach Barry Switzer would agree. The university should not have conflated these incidents, as they are apples and oranges.

Mixon is a highly recruited student athlete who committed a crime. The Cleveland County court system dealt with that after the university gave him the slap on the wrist. Mixon is back on the team. He continues to attend classes.

These two alleged frat-boy racists committed grossly intolerable, offensive free speech, which apparently Boren decided they were not entitled to speak, so he allegedly expelled them from campus. Where was their due process?

I do not agree with what they said, but I do agree that in the U.S., and especially at a state university, they have a right to say it.

Mixon was accused of committing a crime. He allegedly assailed a female student. The frat boys exercised free speech. Mixon is still attending classes; the frat boys were expelled.

No double standard here looks pretty damn equal to me.

— John W. Hilmes Oklahoma City

All-American opportunities

This is in regard to the article “Future investment” (News, Education, March 25, Oklahoma Gazette) by Ben Felder.

Programs like DACA are important for our nation’s future. Even as a Republican, I agree that the money spent on these programs is well worth the cost.

DACA and other programs like it are an investment. The money spent will not be money that the government will never see back. These programs allow people who’ve grown up in the United States to get educations and legitimate jobs and, more importantly for the government, pay taxes.

While DACA looks nice from a humanitarian point of view, it is also great from a fiscal point of view. The student featured in the piece, Kenia Hernandez, and many others like her will now take legitimate jobs and pay their taxes, something that they would not have done if they had taken an “under the table” job that plagues the illegal immigrant community.

While I am not sure just how much the government spends in regard to DACA, it can’t be more per person than the amount of taxes they’ll pay to our government over their lifetime.

DACA, when broken down to its core, is just a two-year work permit and a blind eye to possible deportation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It’s an extreme benefit for those who want to follow in the spirit of the program, and it does not allow those who would abuse the program to take advantage of it, as a felony or serious misdemeanor can mean expulsion from DACA protection.

These immigrants, who have lived here since they were 16 will be, or already are, as American as you or I.

They deserve some chance to show they can be productive members of society, and if they can, that benefits all of us in the end.

— Christopher Hartman Edmond

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