Saturday, May 10, 2003

Whoever is stealing these Daily Cals must sleep in fairly late. Wednesday through Friday when issues were stolen, whenever I walked through Sproul between 9:30am and 10:00am, the newspapers were more than plentiful. My advice to potential trouble-makers: get up earlier.

Speaking of which...these thefts are an obviously an obstruction of free speech, and are counterproductive to the message that the thieves want to send. Let the readers see what is so terrible about the Daily Cal instead of deciding for us. Don't weaken your argument by hiding the evidence from the campus.

Also speaking of which...My opinions of the Gray article and the Kim Jong-Il were pretty well represented by the students who wrote into the Daily Cal under the headline "Daily Cal Should Not Buckle to Detractors." The consensus seems to be that Jong-Il is indeed a funny looking dude who just happens to be Asian. As Jessica Ham so insightfully noted in her editorial, "And heaven forbid a cartoon would be drawn with slanted eyes. If anyone else has a better way to draw Asian people, please share it with us. Should we just draw a stick figure with a sign above its head? Or maybe we should just draw everyone to look white. That wouldn't be racist at all."

Similarly, Michael Gray is a campus personality who broke the law and just happened to be African American. I absolutely agree that in general America's legal system unfairly targets non-whites, or more accurately, targets crimes prevalent in poor communities that "just happen" to be far and away non-white (for example, by prosecuting drug use with more fervency and severity than tax fraud). But publishing a picture of a football player because he was arrested is not such an example. Remember when the Daily Cal published a pcicture of arrested protester Mallory Moser? Was that unfair? She was an athelete, she got arrested, she had her photo published.

This oversensitivity is taking power away from those who have a legitimate argument about racism and sexism in our society: It is present, more common than most assume, and deinstitutionalized in such a way that it cannot easily be quatified or identified. However, publishing facts about a campus figure or drawing a caricature no more distorted than any cartoon of a white politician are not racist.


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