SCOTT DREYER: Joe Cobb, Peter Volosin, Luke Priddy Tell Roanoke College Women Swimmers: “Shut Up And Obey The Males!”

According to my calendar, October 6 is “National Diversity Day.”

To quote Joe Biden, “Not a joke!” (I could also quote Biden with “travedy,” “trueinternationalunderpressure,” or “trunalimunumaprzure,” but I digress.)

So it’s ironic that on “National Diversity Day,” our topic is a letter attacking yesterday’s press conference at Hotel Roanoke hosted by ten brave members of the Roanoke College Women’s Swim Team.

(The letter originally had three individuals as signatories. Joe Cobb, Peter Volosin, and Luke Priddy. All are Democrats on Roanoke City Council, and white, openly homosexual males.

Four groups also signed on: Roanoke Diversity Center, Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition.

How ironic: the “Diversity Center” trying to enforce uniformity by silencing folks expressing differing opinions. And Planned Parenthood with “diversity”? Its racist roots are seen in this outrageous claim from 1939 from founder Margaret Sanger: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”)

The Oct. 5 letter was entitled “Hate Has No Place in Roanoke, Virginia.” Basically, the letter writers, rather than engaging the women swimmers on the issues, go straight to that favorite shortcut of the Left: name-calling.

Right from the headline, the insinuation is clear: not only are all the Roanoke College women swimmers “haters,” but all their supporters and allied organizations are too.

Of course the writers don’t come out and say that in black and white. That would be too blunt. The approach is veiled, but it’s still an unmistakable smear job.

Attacking the organizations that supported the women swimmers, the writers dismissed them as “a national conservative organization with a documented history of anti-transgender activism,” “a national anti-transgender hate group,” and “a U.K.-based far-right hate group.”

Having gotten warmed up, the writers then took direct aim at “12x NCAA All-American athlete Riley Gaines, and former NCAA swimmer Paula Scanlan,” who spoke at the event.

The text continues: “Gaines and Scanlan each achieved national notoriety for making personal attacks on a transgender college athlete. Gaines has traveled the country lobbying for anti-trans legislation at the state level, including laws banning transgender students from participation in school sports at the K-12 level, as well as restrictions on students’ use of bathrooms and other facilities.”

On the subject of “personal attacks,” those who wrote the diatribe are clearly experts.

As far as the “restrictions on students’ use of bathrooms and other facilities,” part, just ask the Loudoun County, VA dad whose daughter was sexually assaulted in a girls’ bathroom in her school by a boy wearing a skirt.

The writers wind up with: “We, the undersigned, as residents of the Roanoke Valley and members of the local community, denounce the presence of national anti-transgender hate groups and speakers, (….)” 

By this point, I think most of us can see through it. In their attempts to shut down speech and intimidate anyone from daring disagree with them, the Left loves to label most everything they don’t agree with as “hate.” Perhaps most notorious for this is the benign-sounding “Southern Poverty Law Center” (SPLC), with its dishonest “Hate Map” where they target a variety of groups that don’t dance to their tune.

Still, the intimidation, “cancel culture,” gaslighting, shaming, etc. have all taken a toll. Many have been cowed into submission and silence.

Against that backdrop, the courage of these female swimmers is remarkable and refreshing.

To my knowledge, the Roanoke College women are the first group in the country that has largely brushed off the hateful attacks and are standing together as a group, speaking up for their own rights.

Just like the one little boy in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” who pointed out “The king is naked,” once one person starts stating the obvious, the entire façade of lies can quickly fall.

So, with some college girls speaking up, no wonder Cobb, Volosin, Priddy and some others got panicky and felt the need to shut them up.

  • At the Oct. 5 press conference, women were clearly in charge, calling all the shots from start to finish. The only men I saw there were some other observers, members of the media, and some I guess were boyfriends, brothers, dads, or grandfathers.
  • One male absent yesterday was Del. Salam “Sam” Rasoul, (D-Roanoke), who as reported here voted against the “Fairness in Sports Act” last February. That bill passed the GOP-led House of Delegates but the Democrat-controlled Senate killed it. Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke), for whom Luke Priddy was a former aide, was one of the no votes. (The entire VA General Assembly is up for election again this fall, so women’s sports are on the ballot too.)
  • Cobb, Volosin and Priddy were not observed there Thursday. In added irony, Cobb was interviewed on TV slamming the press conference saying we need more “dialogue,” but when he could have been there to “dialogue” with the swimmers and their parents in person, he was M.I.A.
  • Also, one member of the audience approached me immediately after the conference and showed me the text of the letter. So, clearly the letter was not written “in response” to the press conference or what was said there, but was written in advance.
  • WSLS-Channel 10 touts itself as “Working for You.” To their credit, they posted the entire, hour-long conference to their YouTube page, so observers could hear it all from the women directly, without going through a third-party media “filter.” However, they also posted both a video and written segment giving the “attack letter” a platform, and even included a link and told their viewers to go there and sign it if they wanted it. So: is Channel 10 broadcasting news, or engaging in political activism? I have asked the station manager and reporter how often they urge their viewers to sign petitions, so stay tuned.
  • In that same Channel 10 segment, they quoted Volosin as dismissing women athletes who don’t want to compete against males as “selfish” and said the women need to “train harder.” (Yes, he really said that.) Knowing many in the media often skew quotes, I have also asked Volosin if he has any clarifying comments.(No response.) Gaines caught wind of Volosin’s remarks and is calling him out, on “X” / Twitter, a post which as of Oct. 7 had garnered over 826,000 views.
  • Now, to put the cherry on top of this “Diversity Day.” Did you know, the Roanoke College President, Athletic Director, and Swim Coach–those directly overseeing the ordeal the swimmers endured–are all males? Plus the three City Council members behind the letter, and the Channel 10 reporter suggesting viewers sign the “Hate has no Home” letter?

Are you seeing a pattern?

Diversity, anyone?

–Scott Dreyer

Scott Dreyer at Bryce Canyon
Scott Dreyer M.A. of Roanoke has been a licensed teacher since 1987 and now leads a team of educators teaching English and ESL to a global audience. Photo at Utah’s iconic Bryce Canyon. Learn more at


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