Provo Businesses Blacklist BYU Students Who Protested Cheney

April 29, 2007 at 7:37 am | Posted in American politics, Bush Administration, BYU, Cheney, freedom, Mormon, Religion | 12 Comments

I’m not surprised, but Provo businesses are blacklisting students that participated in a protest of Cheney, courtesy of Joe Vogel:

Now BYU Alternative Commencement has received an email from a local businesswoman named Denise Harman, who claims that all BYU students participating in activities against Dick Cheney are being tracked by local businesses. “Many businesses are noting the names involved,” she says.

Why are business tracking the names of soon to be graduating students? “You are being tagged as trouble makers and added to massive ‘Do Not Hire’ lists,” says Denise Harman, who hires hundreds of graduates every year.

She adds curtly, “Just thought you should know that activities have consequences.”

Indeed they do. How utterly childish. Shows you that residents of Provo have a stronger allegiance to one man than they do to democracy or even free speech. I wonder, if a day comes when those protesting rules against Mormonism get blacklisted what they will say…


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  1. I presume these would be Mormons, largely, blacklisting other Mormons. Or is the non-Mormon segment of Utah’s population strongly right-wing as well?

    Of course, if those doing the hiring are actually doing this, then they’re probably not the kind of people that intelligent potntial employees would want to work for anyways, and it will end up being a win/win situation all around: those on the blacklist will end up working for better employers, and those using the blacklist will end up hiring the servile brain-dead robots that they’re looking for.

  2. Oh, and I do find it interesting that your blog is this only one who has taken up this discussion so far. There were plenty of other blogs who discussed the Cheney visit who haven’t, as yet, raised this issue.

    Is this really still a big secret, are you that far ahead of the curve, or is this going to be a hot potato issue that most just won’t want to comment on?

  3. Actually, there’s at least one Utah blogger that’s already been talking about it. He says he heard the report on NPR, but there doesn’t seem to be too much concrete on the issue yet (i.e. nobody has seen this list, nobody knows where it came from, etc.). Right now it’s in the rumor realm. If true, it’s cause for firing whoever leaked the petition to the public. Totally inappropriate.

  4. Possible correction to the initial story

    From above link:

    UPDATE: I have just been called by BellSouth and informed that the woman who sent the email threatening to not hire BYU graduates protesting Dick Cheney DOES NOT work there. The woman claimed in her email to hire hundreds of graduates every year and her email included the bellsouth name, but apparently this was her provider, not her employer. I apologize for the confusion and ask that no more complaints be sent to BellSouth since they apparently have nothing to do with this. Thanks.

    Sounds like an email went out from someone with the same level of maturity as some of the folks who berated the protestors from their passing cars …

  5. The petition may not have been the only source for gathering protester names. At least three different cameramen were taking individual pictures of each of the protesters and their signs and asking for their names. One of those three also asked each protester he videotaped to spell their entire name on camera. This is normal practice for a reputable journalist, but this particular individual evaded giving me HIS name and organization when I asked him for it, which is NOT normal for real journalist.

    I was out there with my sign: “Women Veterans Against The Iraqi War” representing not just myself, but my sister, who served in the Navy, my brother, who served in the Reserves, and my father, a Vietnam Vet who served two tours there and put in 20 years in the Army. Each of them are also opposed to this unnecessary war, but couldn’t make it to Utah for the protest.

  6. It’s great to read that you were out there, JStraight. Sad for the country if there are Americans going around videotaping protests for any other reason than to document them for public consumption. Creepy. Sounds like maybe there are questions to be asked of the guys with the recording equipment before anyone starts talking with them. If they can’t give a name or organization they work for, that seems like good reason to draw the entire crowd’s attention to them.

  7. Thanks Chino.

    I just spoke to the woman in Louisiana who’s email started this firestorm. She said her son, whom she hasn’t seen in a year and a half, was the one who actually sent the email. She wants people in Utah to know, though, that the email wasn’t sent as a threat to the young BYU protesters, but as an ADVISEMENT to them. She said she was saddened that the student protesters mistook what was said in the email as a threat and asked that, if I was going to write about our conversation, that I make it clear that the email was simply cautioning them to be careful in this day and age what they put in the public realm.

    She said she has worked for large companies, such as Myspace two years ago, (she’s retired now) that keep huge databases of info on everyone, and just wanted the young students to PLEASE be cautious about what they say and do in this information age — that every bit of info on them is put in these databases, where even years later, some former activity of theirs could end up being seen by a prospective employer who politics are different from theirs.

    She wouldn’t release her son’s name and contact info for confirmation purposes, though, nor did she answer whether she had given permission for him to use her email address (she only said she hadn’t SEEN him in a while, which is not the same as whether she had COMMUNICATED with him lately.) When questioned, she did say that he is not a student at BYU, but that he was a college graduate. She didn’t answer my question about whether he was a BYU graduate, though, and I didn’t push it.

    The whole conversation she was being VERY careful about what she said and stated that BellSouth, the national media and an attorney have already contacted her about this.

    I think, though, that she probably helped compose the email, because she was the former info management employee, not her son, and spoke knowledgeably about searchable lists and databses that are available to companies for a price. Also she never said “my son was worried that…” — It was always “I know that….” or “I wanted them to…”

  8. I’m not so much concerned about the guy with the video camera as I am the dude listening to my phone calls without a warrant or any judicial approval.

    But, I was happy to see a bit of upheaval and political action at BYU. Keep it up!

  9. Daniel, the post you linked has a disclaimer that points out that the author of that post found out after writing it that this is possibly a hoax:

    I have just been called by BellSouth and informed that the woman who sent the email threatening to not hire BYU graduates protesting Dick Cheney DOES NOT work there. The woman claimed in her email to hire hundreds of graduates every year and her email included the bellsouth name, but apparently this was her provider, not her employer.

    My guess is that no Provo businesses have blacklisted anyone and that noone will have any kind of consequences whatsoever from signing any kind of petition or participating in the protests.

  10. Hopefully, your guess is correct, but in a country where stuff like this is apparently happening, we should appreciate the concern that is generated when stories come out that fit the MO of the bunch that currently runs the place.

  11. hey everybody

    thank you for your comments. I’m glad to hear that it seems only one deranged person is behind this.


    Thank you for sharing your experience. I think we all wonder what those cameramen were doing taking down full names and all. Maybe it is just someone doing a documentary on an actual protest at BYU, or maybe it is something more sinister. Either way, free speech is still not as easy as it should be in a place of higher learning such as BYU. I’m glad President Hinckley has allowed protests, but he and the rest of church leadership have a long way to go to break the bond between church members and the Republican party.

  12. The entire intermountain area is this way. Blacklisting is banned in most of America but not in mormon-dominated areas. I blew the whistle on Barrick Goldstrike Mines and the Wells Rural Electric Company because they hire mainly friends and relatives of the area’s ruling clique. You can read all about it at redneckaffirmativeaction dot blogspot dot com. Thanks for being a Real American.

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