I listened to and watched Palin's CSUS speech once, though. I was disturbed at her mean girl attack on the two kids who came across the evidence of evidence tampering and document destruction on their campus, that is now bringing the State of California to review its policies toward foundations created to support their higher education campuses. Here's what Palin said in her speech about Stanislaus students Alicia Lewis and Ashli Briggs:
Students who spent their valuable, precious time diving through dumpsters before this event in order to silence someone ... what a wasted resource.
A suggestion for those dumpster divers: instead of trying telling people to sit down and shut up ... spend some time telling people like our president to finally stand up.
Alicia and Ashli did not dive through a dumpster, order the silencing of anyone, waste resources or tell somebody to sit down and shut up. For all Palin knew, they were in the audience. What weird personality trait compelled Palin to make that totally inaccurate and personally spiteful set of comments?
What the two students went through over the course of the spring and early summer was endure being caricatured at dozens of right-wing blogs around the country. The articles tended to be inaccurate, some worse than that. The comments toward them and toward California legislator Leland Yee, who made the non-transparency of CSUS's foundation an issue were far worse:
Leland Yee is a little flower-print-dress-wearing 7 year old girl, a big pussy with absolutely NO testicals at ALL who wouldn't know what a MAN was if one tossed him outta the damned barbeque. What a leg-warmer-wearing wussy, a bunny-faced little slip of femininity parading around in a suit, ready to FREAKIN WILT at the FIRST little nasty word that gets thrown over the transom.
That's one of the nicer comments about Rep. Yee. Racist? Check. Homophobic? Oh, Boy.
The vitriol directed against the two students was awful too:
It is a sadder day when parents send their children to school to study, only for them to develop into common thieves and buglers.
Always thought there something very fishy about these two sluts’ claims of finding the documents in a “trash can”. It just didn't make any sense.
and (I love this one):
This is the same crapOla those left wing bloggers and others in Alaska were pulling on Sarah with 18 frivolous law suits. Everyone of them were dismissed as total bunk.
Just like their pot smoking dem parents. Dumpster diving runs in the family...
Note that the term dumpster diving appeared at right-wing hate blogs like freerepublic back in April, with Palin adapting the term later, and in her late June speech. That blog went on to publish personal information about the students and their families, and to allow hateful, sexist comments to remain posted. I'm not going to print them. It wasn't, by far, the only blog to create a threat-laden environment for the activists.
II. Today, the web site Politics USA published a long thoughtful interview with Alicia Lewis. The interviewer, Sarah Jones, has been covering the Stanislaus affair. It makes for a very interesting read. For starters, Lewis doesn't appear to be a flaming liberal. Her interests and degree are in political science, and she's just entered the masters program there in public administration. Lewis answered Jones' complex questions in rather straightforward simplicity, for the most part:
Alicia Lewis: At the time we found the documents our intention was to find out what the heck was going on a closed campus day. All we knew was that our campus administration has been under constant criticism for decisions and actions it has made in recent years plus we had a tip from an alarmed source making us even more concerned that something fishy was taking place. We did not know it would lead us in the direction of anything concerning Sarah Palin.
When I heard what Palin said about those that found the documents I was immediately furious. I know both myself and Ashli Briggs have consistently stated that this was an issue about transparency and have advocated that changes be made in the CSU system regarding how donor money is handled.
Regarding the threat level the two students have endured, Lewis had this to say:
Alicia Lewis: I have spoken with the Senator and he has shown such kindness regarding this whole situation. All of us are still on the same page regarding the senate bill (SB 330) that we want to see passed in California in order to prevent mishandling of funds in our CSU/UC system. I am always going to be slightly concerned that some crazed supporter of Palin will say or do something however, I can’t let that stop me from advocating for the school system which I am a part of.
There's no evidence whatsoever that when Palin went to college she did anything to advocate for the school systems of which she was a part. Most of her profs don't even remember her.
As a university educator, I'm always happy when students see themselves as part of their system, and encourage that. These are incredibly difficult times for the hundreds of thousands of college and university students in California's schools. Lewis and Briggs are an inspiration. They are also our future.
Good luck Alicia and Ashli! I'd be proud to have you as my students.