Skip to comments.Anti-illegal immigrant column stirs up college
Posted on 02/20/2005 2:54:22 PM PST by occutegirl
CHULA VISTA A college newspaper opinion piece calling for a crackdown on illegal immigrants has critics calling it a racist incitement to violence.
Campus journalists, many of whom disagree with the piece politically, say they stand by First Amendment rights to publish unpopular opinions.
Reaction to the commentary has been strident.
Protesters posted abusive fliers on the door of the newspaper's office. The writer of the opinion piece and the newspaper's faculty adviser said they have been threatened or harassed.
-------------- Student Nathaniel Pownell's opinion piece in The Southwestern College Sun on illegal immigration states, "It is time to burn the leaches (sic) off our society and crack down on the people who flagrantly take advantage of America's wealth and prosperity."
------------- Students For Community Action, a campus socialist group, and MEChA, a campus Chicano group, have called for a retraction and apology from the Sun for publishing the commentary.
"We feel he crossed the line," said MEChA co-chairwoman Gaby Arenivas. "He's attacking a group of people that can't come and tell him, 'No, don't do this.' "
Pownell said he has already told his detractors, "I'd like to apologize if I hurt your feelings, but I'm not going to apologize for what I wrote."
An editorial suggesting that the law be enforced is "racist incitement to violence"?
"He's attacking a group of people that can't come and tell him, 'No, don't do this.' "
Why can't they? Oh, yeah. Because they're breaking the law!
Any story about illegals is going to stir up the universities.
Thousands of her supporters used to cross a line (the border) with impunity every day, not anymore.. get used to it, Gaby
Thousands still cross our borders each day.
Good point. Thanks.
Let's see. Illegal aliens are ... well...illegal. Burglars are...hmmm...illegal!
Since these twits seem to think illegal aliens can do what they want, I suggest we allow burglars to do what they want.
That happens on FR from time to time.
http://www.americanpatrol.com/MECHA/MEChAindex.html - Scorge of MEChA
http://tinypic.com/1sf7r7 - right HTML code stuff...
The sound my cat makes coughing-up a hairball.
And the INS could show up and do a great BIIIIGGGG raid. "La Migra"
Southwestern College Sun Statement Regarding the Opinion Piece Entitled
Illegal immigrants are taxing on American Citizens
The editorial board and faculty advisor of the Southwestern College Sun would like to express our appreciation to the student and faculty representatives of the SWC MEChA and Students For Community Action for the opportunity to engage in a direct and honest dialogue Thursday afternoon. We believe the meeting was constructive, informative and enlightening. We appreciate the candor and commitment of all who participated. We are pleased that we are able to agree on most of the concerns that were voiced. We acknowledge that there are points on which we do not seem to agree. We understand and respect the points of view of people who have positions that differ from ours.
The editorial board and almost the entire staff of the Sun disagree with the premises and conclusions of the writer of the Viewpoints section article titled Illegal immigrants are taxing on American Citizens. The Sun is comprised primarily of progressive-minded individuals whose personal beliefs are incongruent with the views expressed in that opinion piece. The Sun strives to represent and cover all segments of the Southwestern College Community with professionalism, fairness, accuracy and respect. Sun staff members overwhelmingly share the values of MEChA and SFCA members with respect to human rights, civil rights and the sanctity of all people.
The meeting and the campus-wide conversation about the article have been useful and informative to the members of the Sun. We have learned that we need to clarify the role of the Viewpoints section of the newspaper. We have learned that we need to do a better job clarifying what is staff-generated news reporting and what is individual opinion. We acknowledge that the current graphic style that places by-lines and staff titles a top opinion pieces written by individuals implies the staffs complicity with the individuals opinion in some readers minds. We have learned we need to do a better job teaching about the power of language and metaphor, and their connotative and emotive powers.
As a First Amendment Forum newspaper the Sun is ethically and morally obligated to serve its community by providing a forum for free expression representing all segments of our great and diverse society. Persons of all political, philosophical and religious persuasions in the Southwestern College community are entitled to exercise their rights of free expression in the Sun by submitting letters to the editor or opinion/editorial pieces. The Sun places high priority on providing space for members of the community who write to the paper. We pledge, in this case, to add pages to the paper if that is what is required to publish a wide array of letters.
The Sun is obligated to run letters and op/ed pieces its staff as a whole may not agree with. It is obligated to run letters critical of its coverage or its presentation. The staff believes that freedom of expression must include opportunities for a range of viewpoints to find voice, including unpopular opinions.
The Sun acknowledges that the Illegal immigrants article is offensive to some persons in our community, including most members of the staff. The staff acknowledges, in hindsight, that some of the language and verbal imagery may seem harsh and demeaning. The Sun staff regrets that the article caused hurt feelings, anger and/or resentment. That is contrary to what the staff tries to do in its work. The writer of the article has also expressed his regrets over some of the word choices, metaphors and the uncomfortable emotions the article engendered in some members of our campus community.
As students sworn to honor and uphold the tenants of the First Amendment and freedom of expression that guides sound professional journalism in the United States, members of the Sun acknowledge and unwaveringly support the Constitutional rights of the writer to express his point of view on the controversial topic of immigration. We support the rights of individuals on both the left and right ends of the political spectrum to express their views including those we may personally find abhorrent.
The Sun staff and its advisor will continue to follow the tenants of American Constitutional law and serve its community as a First Amendment Forum newspaper. The Sun invites all individuals and groups who take issue with articles, opinion pieces and other work published in the Sun to express their points of view by submitting letters to the editor or requesting the opportunity to publish an opinion/editorial piece.
The Sun editorial board will print letters critical of the immigrant article, the newspapers position on the First Amendment and related issues. Deadline for letters for the first issue of the spring semester is 5 p.m. February 17. As our policy states in the newspapers masthead on page two, the Sun reserves the right to edit letters for libel and length and will not consider letters that arrive unsigned. All e-mailed letters must have a current and working phone number to allow verification of the author.
The staff wishes to extend its support and respect to MEChA, SFCA and all campus organizations. We hope to have a meaningful and productive working relationship with members of campus clubs and organizations in 2005 and look forward to hearing about your events and activities. Please let us know if we can be of service publicizing and covering campus activities this semester.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to hear your points of view and to share ours.
Christopher Wybenga Max Branscomb
Editor in Chief Faculty Advisor
(representing the editorial board)
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"It is time to burn the leaches (sic) off our society
I thought he was talking burning out about Juanita Leach & her family, from Matamoros, who sneaked across the border 5 years ago, then...
Just a simple error of capitalization, and that was why MeCHA was ticked.