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Praise For UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow

November 22, 2015

Once again we see how important it is to have the right person in charge.

That is the case with University of Wisconsin La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow when dealing with an image of a Confederate flag that was displayed over the entire grill of a semi parked on campus grounds.  Construction work was underway and the semi was sparked in a visible location.

It would seem to many, myself included, that in 2015 this symbol of hatred and worse would have been long ago thrown into the trash.  That it keeps appearing is troubling. It is, after all, a racist symbol.  That it was front and center for the shooter in the racially motivated slaughter of nine African-Americans at a Charleston, South Carolina church this year is just the latest argument as to why it is not something to be allowed in our society.

As such, the students who felt troubled and threatened by that image of the flag being so blatanly presented had every reason to bring it to the attention of the place they attend for higher education.

That is when Chancellor Joe Gow did the right thing.  He made sure that the safety of his students and the climate of learning at the university was front and center.

Campus officials requested that the flag be removed and the trucker did so.

The question that came to my mind was why anyone would place a huge image of the Confederate flag on a grill of a truck?  The very fact it happened underscores what many college students on campuses around the nation are making quite clear.  Racism very much still exists.

But also in the mix are those who stand up to the words or images that are only meant to harm and say NO.  That is what Gow did.  He should be applauded for the firm commitment to making sure his kids are safe, his campus a site that is aware of how those attending feel, and knowing that education is best attained in an environment free of symbols of hate.

We often find time to point out when someone does something wrong and it makes news.  Lord knows this blog is filled with such posts.  But we also need to let the light shine on those who make a positive difference.

That well-deserved light today is on UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow.

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