Letter From the Editor-in-Chief

Last week the New University published an article entitled “Black History Month?” It elicited strong responses from members of the UCI community. Some questioned whether the article should have been published at all.

We regret that, due to the deplorable incidents at UCSD, the article was published amidst an atmosphere of tension and sensitivity. The article was written before the events at UCSD and was published before events escalated.

The New University abhors racism. It is not the intention of the New University to hurt members of the UCI community. However, we strongly believe in the importance of addressing controversial issues head-on. To this end, we have consistently featured unpopular voices from the community and we will continue to do so because it is important to feature voices from a broad spectrum of the UCI community.

A passage from the American Civil Liberties Union’s Web site says it best:

“How much we value the right of free speech is put to its severest test when the speaker is someone we disagree with most. Speech that deeply offends our morality or is hostile to our way of life warrants the same constitutional protection as other speech because the right of free speech is indivisible: When one of us is denied this right, all of us are denied.

Where racist, sexist and homophobic speech is concerned … more speech — not less — is the best revenge. This is particularly true at universities, whose mission is to facilitate learning through open debate and study, and to enlighten. Speech codes are not the way to go on campuses, where all views are entitled to be heard, explored, supported or refuted. Besides, when hate is out in the open, people can see the problem. Then they can organize effectively to counter bad attitudes, possibly change them, and forge solidarity against the forces of intolerance.”

The Opinion section is not reserved for voices that we as an Editorial Board agree with. With the exception of the weekly Editorial, the remaining articles printed in the section reflect the views of your fellow Anteaters. We print writer contact information in order to give readers a way to pursue further discussion, but we condemn those who go beyond civil dialogue to harass writers for their opinions.

The article we printed was insensitive to the current climate of events and insensitive to many facets of the debate it addressed, but the response  in the UCI community has fostered a discussion that would not have arisen otherwise, and we look forward to hosting further discussion in our Opinion section. If you feel that your voice is not being heard, we encourage you to e-mail a response to the address at the end of this article and, space permitting, we’ll print it in a forthcoming edition or online. Those with immediate concerns should e-mail me at newueic@gmail.com.

David Lumb
Editor-in-Chief