University of Arizona student Dean Saxton’s “You Deserve Rape” sign has proven to be one of the best if/then paradigm examples this year. If you hold up a “You Deserve Rape” sign during a “sermon,” then you will probably piss people off.
Saxton, or Brother Dean Samuel as he’s known on campus, is a controversial figure who regularly delivers “sermons” at the UA Mall in front of Heritage Hill and the Administration building.
The same day as a sexual assault awareness event (also, April is the month for that), Saxton took to his spot with a simple message: “if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you’re probably going to get raped.”
“I think that girls that dress and act like it,” Saxton said, “they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.”
Several onlookers confronted Saxton personally over his controversial display, and many more wrote, emailed or phoned in complaints to the Dead of Students Office.
There’s just one problem: That pesky First Amendment.
Since Saxton has never threatened or targeted anyone in particular, there’s not much they can do to shut him up.
“We find it to be vulgar and vile,” said Kendal Washington White, interim dean of students. “However, it is protected speech. He has yet to, at this point, violate the student code of conduct.”
“I think if he’s trying to, you know, get people to know God, I think he’s just doing it wrong,” said sophomore Paola Gonzalez. “It is free speech, but I still disagree that he should be able to call other people names and we can’t call him names. He shouldn’t be able to call us names, either.”
Here’s a pretty good video of a UA student who documented the incident. He says he has been following Dean Saxton drama for some time, and promises a “best of” video at some point in the near future. You get a sense that most people don’t really take him seriously.
Check it out. Start around the 1:00 minute mark: