WSPA-TV photo of airplane banner: Its time for transparency--Do Right BJU.
Notably, WSPA is in Spartanburg. There has been no local coverage of this event in Greenville, as can be expected.
I missed the cool banner, which flew around Greenville for two whole hours on Friday, May 4th. Here is the accompanying press release from the formidable folks at Do Right BJU:
May 4, 2012, Greenville, SC -- Over the past four years, a growing group of Bob Jones University alumni have connected through social media, combining efforts to call on their alma mater to “do right.”Since they are already so mad at me, I will increase their ire by printing this entire press release.
In 2008 under “Please Reconcile,” BJU alumni petitioned President Stephen Jones with 508 signatures asking for the institution to apologize for its past racist actions, statements, and beliefs. That effort resulted in Bob Jones University’s official Statement on Race.
In 2011, BJU alumni focused their attention on the topic of abuse -- mental, spiritual, physical, and sexual -- when in Spring 2011 the national media covered the Ernie Willis trial. In 1997, Willis, a 38-year-old married New Hampshire man and member of Trinity Baptist Church of Concord, NH, forcibly raped and impregnated 15-year-old fellow church member, Tina Anderson. Willis was convicted in May 2011 and is currently serving his 15-30-year prison sentence.
Chuck Phelps, then pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, testified in the trial that he had relocated the minor victim to Colorado and had failed to file a written police report for the 1997 investigation while allowing Willis to remain in the congregation. When BJU alumni discovered in November 2011 that Phelps still retained his board membership at BJU, over twelve hundred alumni signed a petition calling for Phelps’ resignation. On December 2, Phelps resigned.
During these events Christopher Peterman was a BJU political science major. He had a minimal number of demerits and was enjoying his Senior year. When he heard about Willis’ trial and BJU’s tacit endorsement of Chuck Phelps, Peterman was moved to action. He organized the first campus student protest in the history of Bob Jones University.
While Bob Jones University publicly promised that no retribution would occur against any student involved in the protest, alumni were skeptical. Under-the-radar administrative harassment had occurred for decades. Nine days before graduation Christopher Peterman was expelled on trumped-up charges. Was the BJU administration seeking revenge for his conscientious dissent?
With petitions, protests, and even planes, BJU alumni are gathering to insist that their alma mater immediately "do right" towards all employees, students, and alumni. See DoRightBJU.org for the call to action.
Go Suppressive Persons!