Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Big City Coffee’s tort claim against BSU shows lawmakers aren’t doing enough

By • March 28, 2021

Everyone in Idaho – especially lawmakers, the governor, and members of the State Board of Education – should read Sarah Jo Fendley’s damning $10 million tort claim against Boise State University, which she filed Thursday.

Members of the House of Representatives should certainly read Fendley’s complaint before they vote on a budget for Idaho’s colleges and universities, which would pluck a measly $409,000 from BSU’s budget as punishment for its continued institutionalized bigotry.

If they do review the 12-page document, state representatives will see that Boise State officials have more than a passing interest in leftist indoctrination and race mongering “diversity and inclusion” rhetoric. The school’s leaders have become activists on the government payroll, using their positions to execute on critical race theory. This ideology teaches that  America is irredeemably racist and such racism is the foundation of the country’s political and economic systems that therefore must be dismantled. That includes ending our nation’s longstanding systems of law and order, capitalism, private property, and constitutionally-protected rights.

Idaho Freedom Foundation research has proven that this radical thinking is, in fact, baked into the school’s entire system. Fendley’s complaint notes that the radicalism permeates from the university’s highest levels, where documents reveal that BSU’s leadership egged on an extremist wing of student activists to act as thugs to make Fendley close her campus business, simply because she supports law enforcement. Fendley’s support is personal, not racist, despite woke student claims to the contrary. Her fiancé, police officer Kevin Holtry, was critically wounded in the line of duty and remains paralyzed from the waist down. BSU employees knew this but did nothing to sideline the students.

Fendley’s complaint relies on meeting transcripts and emails to document abhorrent behavior by BSU students and staff, including Francisco Salinas, assistant to the vice president for equity initiatives. Salinas fed students’ imagined grievances about Big City Coffee and suggested that taking a stand against this business could lead to a “revolution” in which the school could judge vendors based on political positions. He told students they could compel Big City Coffee to “fund students and employees to attend a conference regarding race and discrimination,” or even hold “Big City Coffee accountable by providing scholarships to marginalized students.”

Later at a hastily-arranged meeting, school officials ambushed Fendley and her fiancé with the students’ nonsensical complaints, according to the complaint. Fendley says she asked the school to “back her up in the face of unfair criticism,” to which Leslie Webb, one of BSU President Marlene Tromp’s top advisers, replied, “That’s not going to happen.”

While 18 college students who worked for Fendley at the campus coffee shop lost their jobs, no one in BSU’s administration lost theirs. In fact, nothing seems to have stopped Boise State’s staff from waging war on America. Even now, Boise State employees are organizing to figure out their next steps in pursuit of their social justice agenda. Salinas, who also serves as president of Boise State’s Professional Staff Association, recently sent around an email calling for more leftist planning and organizationing in the face of criticism from the Legislature.

The Legislature’s contemplated budget cuts are barely a blip. The $409,000 represents a rounding error for the school’s total budget of more than $600 million. If lawmakers accept the budget, BSU will be able to continue to promote radicalism. Nothing will change. Groups like the Inclusive Excellence Student Council, which led the crusade against Big City Coffee, will continue to get public money. The left-leaning, recklessly biased National Public Radio will continue to broadcast from BSU’s campus. Identity politics will prevail. Diversity and inclusion programs will continue, and students will again be divided by groups based on race and gender into victims and oppressors.

And bear in mind, while the topic of most of the conservation has been about Boise State, the proposed budget, Senate Bill 1179, does nothing to punish the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, or Lewis-Clark State College for similar activism, including the promotion of Black Lives Matters’ Marxist views.

Lawmakers should read Fendley’s complaint, examine what’s happening on our state’s college campuses, and decide if they’re really doing enough, or anything at all, to save America from home-grown radicalism. Or, if they’re actually helping fund that which is destroying not only small businesses like Fendley’s, but also the entire fabric of our country.

Wayne Hoffman is the President of the Idaho Freedom Foundation


Tags: Big City Coffee, Boise State University, Idaho Freedom Foundation, State Board of Education, Wayne Hoffman

4 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Big City Coffee’s tort claim against BSU shows lawmakers aren’t doing enough

  1. Our state legislature holds the purse strings. They are the only ones who can put a stop to using our tax dollars to fund these destructive radical ideologies. STOP USING MY MONEY to destroy my freedom!

  2. I completely agree with you on this. S1179 is barely a slap on the wrist for this egregious lack of judgement. I wouldn’t want to support it if that was the only thing in there. There is also a clause (Section 6) that says schools cannot use state funding for Social justice classes or programs and they must itemize the expenditures and report any such classes or programs. The legislators HAVE to pass a budget – they can’t do anything else until that’s done. If they keep dickering, other very important bills won’t get passed. There was a bill introduced right before they adjourned called the Critical Race Theory Prohibition Bill. I’d like to see the legislature move on so they can pass other more important bills, like this one and H0300, the Small Arms Protection Act. I know it seems I’m giving in. But with the short time left in session, I’m just picking my battles.

    1. If the legislature doe not pass the Critical Race Theory Prohibition bill you will only encourage what you’re trying to eliminate and even make matters worse in terms of more students in lower grades being indoctrinated.

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