On Wednesday, April 17, former U.S. Rep. Allen West posted threatening-sounding messages on his Facebook and Twitter accounts suggesting that Florida Atlantic University students had harassed his wife, Angela Graham-West, a trustee at the school.

The post read, "I... have no issue with the insidious and incessant personal attacks by the left against me. However, I am warning you, end your harassment of my wife Angela. The students from Florida Atlantic University who have gone to my wife's office, stalked her at the FAU Board of Trustee meetings, and sent letters to her company headquarters, end it now. This is not a threat, it is a promise that if Angela calls and tells me of one more incident, you will face me, the side of me that you do not want to see. My wife Angela is an American citizen, and if you believe that you can intimidate her to surrender her freedoms, you are mistaken. Those left-wing groups and lawyers associated with these individuals supporting their antics, I recommend you disassociate yourself. How dare you animals attack my wife and her professional reputation. This is your one and only advisory notice."

He also tweeted, "To FAU students stalking my wife at Bd of Trustee mtgs, end it now. If u believe you can intimidate her, u are mistaken. Nxt time u face me."

Allen West and Angela Graham-West
House Photo / FAU
Allen West and Angela Graham-West

That afternoon via phone, Graham-West explained what prompted her husband's messages. "This all started out as an internal thing," she said. Several weeks ago — before the cancellation of a controversial deal for FAU to accept $6 million from private prison operator GEO Group in exchange for stadium naming — two male students "with some group called 'Owlcatraz' entered my office talking about all kinds of crazy stuff, like how I should resign from the board."

Stop Owlcatraz is the name of a group that opposed the GEO deal. Graham-West is a financial planner who works at a Raymond James & Associates office in Fort Lauderdale at least a dozen miles from campus.

Graham-West, who was a business professor at Kansas State University, said the men told her secretary "a story" to get past the front desk and entered her office uninvited and without an appointment. "This was about the GEO deal. I tried to explain that every corporation has a history, you know." She said she talked about how "Nike, Volkswagen, all have histories. They started getting riled up." She described the two men as "zealots."

She said they asked, "You think you're as tough as your husband, don't you?" and "All you want to do is bring back Jim Crow!" (to which she responded, "How can we? We're black!").

Graham-West says she felt threatened. "All logical arguments come off the table when you start to intimidate people. I'll discuss A through Z, but I'm not willing to listen to strangers tell me what they want me to do. There is no way that you can violate a person's space and then have a logical discussion... There are civilized ways of going about meeting with people."

After about 45 minutes or an hour, she said, a business associate came in, saw it was not going well, and interrupted. Her company's internal security then asked the intruders to leave. She says that she did not get either young man's name and that when they left, one "took the door and slammed it so hard it almost broke the plate glass."

She thought the confrontation was over, but then last Tuesday, at a board of trustees meeting that was open to the public, she saw one of the students in the crowd. "That's called stalking," she said. She alerted campus security but did not file an incident report. "Police were there and tried to escort them out."

That night and the next morning, her boss and co-workers received emails presumably from the same two men. "It's becoming a three-ring circus," she said.

She declined to provide a copy of the email but said it suggested she should be fired and let go from the board of trustees. The students alleged they had been invited into her office and accused her of becoming aggressive and saying that people who owned Volks­wagens were Nazis. She said the email had an ominous tone, saying, "You can't threaten us, Angela." She did not know why she and no other trustee was targeted for protest.

Given the bombings in Boston and recent campus shootings, Graham-West said she was unnerved. "They could have done anything. They could have shot me. I just come with a pencil, a pen, and a briefcase." Graham-West seemed frustrated that "a small group of students got their way. Whatever the repercussions for other students — higher tuition, less gifts given out — this was decided and run up the pole. The squeaky wheel did get the grease."

Asked if the students might have considered their efforts part of a tradition of nonviolent protest on college campuses à la Martin Luther King Jr., Graham-West said, "But none of us knew — I didn't know — who these people are. I'm busy trying to do the right thing, volunteering... Six-million-dollar gifts don't grow on trees." She said it's not peaceful protesting "if you push your way in."

Graham-West said she would not discuss the underlying issues with anyone "if you don't conduct yourself in a rightful manner. What is it called when you make someone feel afraid for their life? It's called assault. Attempting to assault somebody through intimidation. After that happened, [discussions] were off the table. Stalking, intimidation, all that — it takes logical arguments off the table."

So when her husband spoke out for her on Facebook and Twitter, she said, "He was just saying, 'If you've got something to say, say it to me. We'll have a man-to-man talk.' "

Graham-West did not want to discuss GEO Group's business practices or the recent controversy involving Professor Deandre Poole in which he asked a student to step on a piece of paper with the word Jesus on it.

Asked how the university might move on from the recent string of bad publicity, she said, "I don't know... I'm bereft of ideas. I've come to the university to educate. That's my passion. All of this is distracting from the main beauty of acquiring knowledge." Which is something the letter-writers could use a bit more of, she said: "They should be spending more time on learning how to structure sentences, not ruining my career."

On Wednesday, students involved in the Stop Owlcatraz movement released a statement that read, "The FAU administration should issue Allen West a restraining order barring him from all FAU campuses, and should release a statement affirming their commitment to students' and the greater FAU community's rights to public safety and free speech.

"Allen West alleges students are 'harassing' his wife, Angela West. Members of the Stop Owlcatraz Coalition, in February and March, met privately with most of the members of the FAU Board of Trustees, including Angela West. As public officials and the trustees of our university, they have a duty to be accessible and accountable to the constituencies they serve.

"She agreed to a March 18 meeting at her Raymond James office in Fort Lauderdale. At that meeting, Angela became rude and aggressive, and students walked out of the meeting as she began yelling at them.

"Students attended yesterday's Board of Trustees meeting to hear the President and all the Trustees, not just West. There, she harassed FAU students and instructed two FAU police officers to question them about the meeting (they refused to do so). Allen and Angela West are harassing and threatening FAU students, not the other way around."

Allen West, through a representative, declined to comment.

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24 comments
simkatu
simkatu

Nobody "pushed" anybody to get in her office.  The students were invited in after talking to the secretary.

Not only is Mrs. West a creep, she's also a liar.

combatt007
combatt007

or What? What you gonna do, you scum bag! No wonder why you were a one term....  got fired from the military, got fired from politics.... get a life you Negro Rambo size idiot!

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

if angela graham west had any INTEGRITY she would resign her position with FAU immediately and if not the school administration should take action to have her removed from her office

using FAU as a basis for her husbands publicity stunts is not only DISGRACEFUL but the reason she should leave FAU and let the WESTs take their dog-and-pony show elsewhere

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

this is a HOAX....................notice none of the real names are used or else the WESTs would be sued

some clown like WEST will do anything to get attention since he is no longer an elected official

or else just file your reports / complaints with the proper authorities and let law enforecement / school administration take it from there = the reason the WEST camp cannot get proper authorities involved is that the WESTs are not credible

blaiddroog
blaiddroog

i think it's only stalking if you are threatened. you know, like firing a gun next to someone's ear.  if this woman married that lunatic then she went begging for all the scorn and ridicule that comes her way. i find it hard to believe that a school would consider taking money from any right wing private jail corporation. that sack of shit sitting in the governors mansion,should be rotting in a taxpayer funded prison. next year will most likely finish that turd's term of office.

hankfromthebank
hankfromthebank

Black conservatives upset libs  as much as conservative women. ..Mrs West is both..

rev.moonshine
rev.moonshine

You "kids" better watch out.  Allen West believes in torture!

rev.moonshine
rev.moonshine

Except for the rare child prodigy, FAU students are all adults - mostly young adults - but they are not "kids."

Far too many people continue to treat young adult college students like children.  If you treat them like adults, they will act more like adults.

Peggy104
Peggy104

Awe, they can't take anyone disagreeing with their mission!  He's a sicko and should be in a mental institute if you ask me....but no one has....can't take that man, so glad he was voted out of office!

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

So the Wests are all upset because people dared to stand up to them..Yeah, I think we are lucky we got that criminal out of office.  Time for him to enjoy the last seconds of his fifteen minutes and just go away.

123att
123att

Allen West and Angela Graham-West

LWBulldog
LWBulldog

It's disgusting how these bleeding heart liberal left wing progressive socialists try to get away with murder. They have no respect for anyone or even the Constitution. They are so consumed with their own voices and the hell with anyone else who disagrees. I notice how "well" the country is doing under this philosophy. GO Allen and Angela.

simkatu
simkatu

@LWBulldog So now being invited into someone's office to communicate with them is the equivalent of murder?   Speaking your mind is now called disrespecting the Constitution?

Luckily the country is doing much better now.   Stock market has doubled since the end of the Bush/Cheney recession.  Unemployment has dropped from 10% to 7.5%.   

saranya
saranya

@LWBulldog "try to get away with murder"??? If I recall correctly, Allen West tried to do something close to that. FAU students have not harmed anyone. 
Your arguments are flawed by mixing the West-FAU student issue in with national party politics and further polarization of political philosophy, which isn't really what this article is about. 
If you are pro-West, are you also pro-him threatening students? If so, why?

Peggy104
Peggy104

@LWBulldog You are as blind as them!  This country is doing much better then the mess Cheney and Bush got us in.....it may not be as cushy with all the banks habnding out millions and millions to people who couldn't pay it back much less make a mortgage payment. I'm so sick of these Tea Party so called Republicans they refuse to ever have a discussion, it's their way or the highway!  The "real" Republicans work with everyone to resolve issues and don't act like fanatics like these "Mules with blinders"  Maybe you should open your eyes and your mind a bit and learn some real facts instead of what Fox or Rush feeds you!  There are always two sides to every situation and bullying is not one of them!  Allen West and his followers are bullies!

krs0
krs0

@LWBulldog Yeah, his reverence for the First Amendment is nothing short of amazing.  The man is an insane asshole, I wonder if that's why you like him.

riverrat69
riverrat69 topcommenter

@LWBulldog Asshole Allen already went, now he can take his wife with him.

rev.moonshine
rev.moonshine

@riverrat69, I think is is important, as an adult, to choose to behave like an adult regardless of how others behave.  Allen West might act like an a-hole adolescent, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse to justify someone else's immature or inappropriate behavior.

I encourage you to set your ethical standards higher than those of Allen West.  If you lower yourself to his level, you'll be no better than him.

LWBulldog
LWBulldog

@Peggy104 @LWBulldog  the ONLY bullying that has been done is by you liberal progressive Democrats. I have been a life long Democrat and I have never seen anything quite like what you all have done to Allen West and now his wife. Take your own advice.

LWBulldog
LWBulldog

@krs0 @LWBulldog  Personal attacks aer what you liberal socialists do best. Get an intelligent argument.

Peggy104
Peggy104

@LWBulldog @Peggy104  Ha!  So if someone has his or her own opinion then it's bullying....first I heard of that one!  Allen West first of all had no business butting in to his wifes business and trying to gain publicity for his own benefit.  She sounds like a strong enough and intelligent enough women to stand on her own two feet!  The "liberals" as you say are far from bullying..we don't tell people how to think or what to say....we have opinions and stand by them!  We don't brainwash people, we respect people who think for themselves and see the whole picture!  Sounds as if you need a lesson in Civics and history!  Our country was formed by differing opinions and it was how our constitution was drafted.  No one called one another names or  start rumors.  We are a people created equal and respect that in one another,  that's why so many immigrants came here to settle and build this great country.Allen West is not like that,he's a very angry man it seems!

riverrat69
riverrat69 topcommenter

@LWBulldog @krs0 You mean like this one...Speaking about Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

"the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives." "You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!"  

Asshole Allen at his best.

 
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