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“Make America Great Again” – in Russian.

The conversation:

UCM Police Officer: Hello.
Me: Hi, how are you doing?
UCM Police Officer: Pretty Good. What’s your connection to UCM?
Me: I teach here.
UCM Police Officer: You teach here?
Me: Yeah.
UCM Police Officer: Okay. I, I don’t understand your sign.
Me: Uh, it’s actually, it’s Russian.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: And, so I’m being sarcastic. It’s in Russian. So, it says “steladt Ameriku velikoy snova”.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: So, translated, it’s, “make America great again”. In Russian.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: So, it’s being sarcastic.
UCM Police Officer: Okay. So, ten four [into radio], um, so, did somebody give you permission to, to be out here holding your sign?
Me: [turn around, pat the bronze Bill of Rights First Amendment Plaque on the base of the flag pole].
UCM Police Officer: I understand that.
Me: Uh, huh.
UCM Police Officer: But in order to put signs out on campus you still have to go through the, the Union. There’s an office over there.
Me: Oh, really?
UCM Police Officer: Yeah.
Me: Well, it’s kind of interesting, ‘cause when I started doing this…
UCM Police Officer: Uh, hm.
Me: …the president of the university…
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: …came up to me…
UCM Police Officer: Uh, hm.
Me: …and we talked, and he’s like, thanks for doing this.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: So, are we getting like, is there a policy problem, that we’re getting like a disconnect?
UCM Police Officer: So, apparently that is.
Me: Yeah.
UCM Police Officer: So, do you have an ID by chance?
Me: Yeah.
UCM Police Officer: Okay, can I see it?
Me: Uh, do you need to see it?
UCM Police Officer: Yes. Just so I know who I’m talking to [inaudible].
Me: Okay. Um, but I’m actually under no obligation to show you my ID, am I?
UCM Police Officer: Well, you’re a UCM employee, right?
Me: Yeah.
UCM Police Officer: So, anybody here at UCM that a Public Safety officer asks for an ID…
Me: Okay. Fair enough. Okay. [hand over UCM ID]
UCM Police Officer: Do you have your driver’s license?
Me: [hand over driver’s license]
UCM Police Officer: Uh, typically like if people want to put signs out and things, like I say, they go to the Union. [wind noise] Trying to remember what office it is. But, basically they just have you fill out a form and then [inaudible].
Me: And, and I understand in certain…
UCM Police Officer: [responding to radio] I’m sorry, go ahead.
Me: What’s, what’s kind of interesting, ‘cause it’s, like, inconsistent.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: ‘Cause there’ve been Public Safety people that have come by and seen me…
UCM Police Officer: [reading driver’s license number into radio] I’m sorry. I had people talking.
Me: Yeah, yeah. I understand. So, it’s like, so, it’s kind of interesting, ‘cause it’s kind of inconsistent because I’ve been out here probably for a couple of weeks.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: And so, Public Safety people come by, walk by, see me, they’ll walk by.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: Whatever. Ignore me.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: And, so, it’s kind of interesting to me. In, you know, the president of the university knows I’m out here. Other people in the administration, in the university know I’m out here…
UCM Police Officer: [into radio] Go ahead. Okay.
Me: [….] Uh, as long as I’m not interfering, you know, making noise or anything. It’s like, it’s like [gesturing to empty quad] is there like anything going on here that I’m disturbing?
UCM Police Officer: Right. Well, the, kind of what normally happens [crosstalk]. Um, let’s say you weren’t associated with UCM. [crosstalk] and you want to have your signs.
Me: And I understand that, too. [crosstalk]
UCM Police Officer: Basically what we ask is that you move to sidewalks along the [wind noise].
Me: Yeah, and that kind of thing. Yeah. [….] I did his here fourteen years ago.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
UCM Police Officer: Like I say, you’re being peaceful and all that, [crosstalk] so I don’t really have a huge issue. I just needed to find out what was going on.
Me: Yeah. Oh, I understand that. Hello.
Second UCM Police Officer: How’s it going?
Me: Good. Good.
UCM Police Officer: Typically what they ask that you go through the Union. [to second officer] Do you know the office over in the Union that like approves signs on campus and stuff?
Second UCM Police Officer: Not off hand.
UCM Police Officer: And, um, but they basically authorize it and, and say it’s okay.
Me: Yeah, and, and I understand that. And, but, it’s my understanding is that nobody can really disapprove.
UCM Police Officer: Okay.
Me: You know, other than, especially since, you know, I’m not sitting here with a megaphone screaming at the top of my lungs and, you know, interfering with classes to be able to hear and stuff like that.
UCM Police Officer: Right. Yeah. Like I say you’re not shouting or…
Me: Nah.
UCM Police Officer: …or disturbing the peace. You’re just holding up signs.
Me: Yeah.
UCM Police Officer: Okay. What I’ll do, like I say, I got your name and everything and, and we’ll just kind of go from there.
Me: All right. Awesome.
UCM Police Officer: All right. Well, try to have a good day and enjoy this nice weather.
Me: Yeah, actually, it’s a little cool.
UCM Police Officer: It’s a little chilly, I agree.
Me: Yeah.
UCM Police Officer: Yeah, so, okay, all right, we’ll talk to you later.
Me: All right. Take it easy.


A conversation at the flag pole (March 3, 2017)