Monthly Archives: October 2003

Controversy on Campus–Part 16

For anyone whose interested, the Justice has posted all the letters written in response to Passner’s October 21st column on its website.

The letters can be found here, and its a PDF (requires Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader) file of 3 pages worth of letters, which run the whole gamut of emotions, opinions and thoughts. (Passner is even criticized for poor analysis of the Cubs). And there were 23 letters (if anyone was guessing)…

I’ll blog more tomorrow…

Controversy on Campus–Part 15

Note, I haven’t seen a paper copy of the Justice today.

That aside, building on my last post on this topic, I’ve since read the BBSO statement in its entirety, and wow…I’m both shocked and appaled.

Here’s what bothered me the most:

The Brandeis administrators finally woke up. They now understand that it is not students’ responsibility, but rather the administrators’ responsibility to protect the minority community. They also know that if they fail to protect us, we will turn this university upside down. The greater Brandeis community woke up.

Whether they agree or disagree with our cause, they cannot deny that we have a voice – a very powerful and undeniable voice. But most importantly, we woke up. We realized that it’s not that actions speak louder than words, but actions are the only things that speak. We pushed ourselves to limits beyond what we ever thought possible and refused to stop until our demands were met. We are truly UNBREAKABLE.

Statements like this aren’t going to help at all, it’s only adding fuel to the fire. This is almost like the Ford Hall incident all over again.

Frankly, the administration does protect the (racial) minority community here on campus. I should know. There are special minority programs, events, oppertunities, email lists…they make an extra effort. Threatening the administration by saying that you’ll “turn the university upside down” is absurd and inciteful.

Messages and attitudes like this will only continue to fan the flames of the fire which has erupted on campus. It’s acts like this that polarize the campus and raise tentions–which benefit no one at all.

And you people should remember, you don’t speak for all of us minorities on campus…

Are Jews Shifting towards the right

In this week’s edition of the Cleveland Jewish News, I came across the following two stories.

GOP reaches out to Orthodox [Jews].

Not much of a suprise there, as the Orhodox have been closer to the GOP on social issues, and now with the increased support for Israel demonstrated by the GOP, they’re getting more support.

and even more interesting:

Bush raising Jewish funds from both parties

This will be interesting to watch, to say the least

Controversy on Campus–Part 14

The long awaited issue of the Justice is now online. I have yet to see a hard copy of the paper, so I’m going to have to work with what I’ve seen so far.

Let’s start at the top of things (note: all links don’t require a “login” to the paper)

First, here’s the Justice’s coverage of the whole ordeal. It also exposes that Passner has a history of not-so good comments in his columns (which I admit, I rarely read). He gets taken to task by students and professors alike.

And the Justice story on the protest that erupted [first reported here!]

Second the Justice’s official response: No room for bigotry in our newspaper

Third, here’s the BBSO’s letter/statement: BBSO submits ‘Unbreakable’

Fourth, (now former) Editor in Chief Steven Heyman’s resignation letter: ‘I hope we all learned something’

Fifth, Yana Litovsky’s, (now former features editor) letter of resignation (and it’s a sharp one): Integrity of the Justice perverted [it's a must read!]

That’s all that is featured in the online version…I’m curious to see what’s in the dead tree (paper) version.

Just from skimming the pieces, and I emphasize skimming, Litovsky is right on the mark in her piece.
The Justice really got screwed over by the administration.

After reading the BBSO piece, I understand their anger and frustration. Passner’s article (and prior articles) contained a lot of idiocy. But I don’t like how the piece is written. It sounds like more of a revolutionary statement towards the end–which is what bothers me the most–it’s radicalism.

These parts of the piece begin to evoke the memories of the Ford Hall Occupation, which is well known amongst Brandeis students.

Furthermore, I think the following demand is absurd:

We are requesting that a mandatory University requirement be implemented that will force every Brandeis student to take a class about race relations and cultural sensitivity

That’s absurd! In our daily lives we learn and experience race relations and cultural sensitivity. We constantly have cultural events occuring on campus, and people are aware. A class like this would probably be some sort of Political corretness lecture–which is unecessary and uncalled for.

We are required as part of our University Requirement to take a course designated as “Non-western studies” which I personally think is a good idea, and provides insights into another culture.

More later as the story evolves…

Other things going on in the US and elsewhere…

The US Economy Grows at Fastest Pace Since 1984! 7.2% in the 3rd Quarter!

Now lets see…who was in office in 1984…hmmm…could it be this man? Here’s more on the economic growth.

Now I’m no economist, but when I told this to my friend who’se an economics major, his response was “holy shit…you’re kidding me”…so I guess this is a very good thing. I wish there was either a publication or news show that would put these economic things into simple-person terminology (so people like me can fully appreciate ‘em).

In other political news, the Globe decided to run a story on former Mass Gov and 1988 Dem Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, as he’s apparently about to turn 70. I barely remember the man (I was in first grade when he lost to Bush Sr.–and I remember that we always laughed when we heard his name…because it was so hard to pronounce).

Staying within the Globe–there’a piece of news to me. I thought that the “neo-cons” only had a foreign policy agenda; but according to this letter, they have one on education too.

And in the NY Times, its a battle of the Pundits–as Maureen Down vs Thomas Friedman (Brandeis ’75). VodkaPundit gives the match to Friedman in the 2nd round via KO.

The AngryClam is livid over Justice O’Connor’s latest remarks.

Finally, Allah, of Allah’s in the house has moved (must be part of the BlogSpot Jihad)

I think I’m gonna head out and grab a bite to eat now…

Controversy on Campus–Part 13

For anyone who is interested, Passner’s article is again available on the Justice’s website.
As the Justice notes:

The Justice Editorial Board is acutely aware of the bigoted and inflammatory nature of this sports column, which ran in our Oct. 21 issue. The column should never have been printed and there is no room for these reprehensible sentiments in our pages. But due to the substantial controversy that this issue has incited in our community, the Board feels it necessary to keep it available for inspection by members of the University community.

Here’s the link to the article: Dusty Baker Exposed [login not required]

Controvery on Campus–Part 12

Well, the story continues to grow. The Boston Globe has picked it up, and made it into a full article. On page W1 (Globe West Section–Page 1), bottom left-hand corner: Brandeis newspaper delays publication

The Globe article actually brings into play Baker’s controversial comments earlier in the season (which Passner never refered to); and it ran Passner’s full quote.
Now this article gives even more information about the struggles the Justice faces: saying that the Senior Editor (the student who just finished his term as Editor in Chief a few weeks ago), the Features Editor and an Asssociate editor all resigned. The Globe article corroborates the reports of the Campus Press Notes, who has also reported on this story, and noted that two of the papers best layout people have since resigned (an aside, finding people who want to do layout is also difficult). [his info is from an unnamed Justice newsroom source].

Shifting back to the Globe article, the University spokesman, Dennis Nealon. is quoted as saying:

The staff at the Justice “decided to take their time and look at this, to give students enough time to have input, and not rush an issue out while things are evolving”

Now, from what I understand/saw happening, and based on what’s being reported at Campus Press Notes–the Justice decided monday night to go forward with publication. The Justice did extend the letter deadline 48-hrs from until 5PM Friday to 5PM on Sunday. This sounds like a classic glossing over by the administration–as were Nealon’s statement entirely true, I doubt there would’ve been the large protest Monday night/tuesday AM that occured outside of the Justice’s office.

Second, Nealon is also reported to have said:

The Justice is an independent newspaper published weekly by the students at Brandeis, and is not under the authority of the school administration

Now, that is true (at least in theory). As I’ve previously mentioned, the Justice is automatically guarenteed a certain percentage of Student activity fees so that it can be published. That way, it need not go through the “Funding/Allocations” Board (I forget what it’s being called now) in order to get money. That way, it’s independent of both the Student Senate and the University Administration.

However, according to both Campus Press Notes and the Globe report, former Editor in Chief Steven Heyman said:

“The administration has made it clear they will not have me as editor-in-chief,” Heyman said in a telephone interview Monday night. “I will be stepping down after this issue.”

This is in addition to the comment by now former Sports Editor Rob Siegel who said:

said he decided to resign from the paper’s editorial board after meeting with [University President] Reinharz on Friday.

[Note: Campus Press Notes also reports that Heyman was also called in for that same meeting and was urged to do the same].

Now, I thought that the Justice was independent of the administration? So why did the administration place so much pressure on these two editors to resign? I can understand going after the section edtior, cause it seems like he dropped the ball, but the editor-in-chief? I understand why the administrators decided to get involved (they went into CYA mode) but what about the paper’s autonomy?
That’s what bothers me the most I think.
[Note: I'm also in somewhat of a disgruntled mood with the higher-ups of the administration over an unrelated issue right now; so that may explain some of my anger]

Former Arts Section Editor, Steve Silver has some comments on this over at his blog.

Let me reiterate myself, yet again. What Passner wrote was unacceptable–and I’m not asking for african-americans not to be offended. Passner wrote a racist remark in a very public periodical and (I think) should’ve known better.

I’m a minority myself (I’m a hispanic) and I’m Jewish. I’ve experienced anti-semitism before–and I know how nasty these things are.

At the same time, I think that a lot of the Justice’s staff (among others) is/are getting smeared incorrectly by the “racism brush” (as Steve termed it)–and that’s not right either. Peoplle need to be careful with that.

And to elaborate on something Steve wrote:

What I do have a problem with is with the rise of a certain form of doctrinaire, political correctness-based identity politics (practically invented by Brandeis’ own Herbert Marcuse, and today mostly advanced by white professors and some white students) that, coupled with ever-present ’60s nostalgia, has galvanized the Brandeis left before, during, and since my time there. Indeed, if the student body has it hard-wired into their heads from the start that every institution under the sun is intrinsically racist, is it any wonder that the raving of a singular nut like Passner gets mistaken for a widespread racist conspiracy?

I very much agree with Steve’s assertion here. I don’t know anything about Marcuse, but that aside…The Brandeis left, who are very vocal and have significant faculty backing are as Steve describes them. I’m a republican (*gasp*) which makes me a target to both the students and faculty on the Left here. (I’ve discussed this previously in my blog–but don’t need to revisit it now). If they also realized that I was also a hispanic, I’d be even more of a target! With their complaints that everything is racsit, that globalization is evil, claims of American imperialism, and the like, it isn’t too suprising that they’re now alleging that Passner’s idiotic piece is part of a widespread conspiracy. I think that’s the sick part of it–this is an isolated incident.

Update: A reader has also informed me that Channel 56 (WB) here in Boston ran a segment on its newscast Wed. night about this story. [I do not know if there is an online video clip]

Controversy on Campus–Part 11

No major “news” per say to report, but just some observations.

This issue has driven a big wedge into the student body. It has apparently cost people friendships–and its caused a lot of unecessary animocity.

The article itself [more specifically the quote] was inexcusible. There’s no disagreement about that. The resignation of the author and the overseeing editor were also inline. However, everything that has happened since then has gone a biit overboard.

This whole issue has led to friendships being ruined, unnecessary tensions between people and groups (among other things). This post from another current Brandeis student expresses the feelings of many.

I personally don’t know if the Editor in Chief should’ve been forced to step down. I don’t know if its his job to read over all the articles, or if that responsibility of the copy editors and/or the section editors. If its the latter, he should’ve been able to retain his position. I don’t think the administration should’ve intervened on the side of the protesters to force him to step down. That’s a real shame. But that’s just my opinion.

Even though we knock it a lot, the Justice is for better or worse a decent school paper. To their credit, we don’t have very much news here to report on at Brandeis, but for the most part they do a good job. Last fall a student tried to launch a private “rival” paper, “The Indi“, which for lack of a better adjective, was a joke. It (thankfully) folded after only a few issues.

It’ll be interesting to see what Friday’s issue [of the Justice] looks like. How many pages will this story take up? And how many letters will be sent in?

Controversy on Campus–Notes

I should start by welcoming all those people arriving here from Steve Silver’s Blog and Campus Press Notes (among other locations).

For anyone whose curious, I am currently a senior at Brandeis. I’m a hispanic student, and I’m Jewish too. (if that matters to anyone–and yes, there are hispanic Jews).

If you’d like to see my, posts on the now infamous article and the subsequent events, please scroll down and start from “Controversy on Campus–Part I”.

I’ve gotta go get some homework done now; I’ve gotta an outline due tomorrow for a 50-minute Hebrew lecture I’m giving on monday. Blogging will resume later

Controversy on Campus–Part 10(!)

Wow! This story keeps growing and growing. Aside from the debate taking place on one email list about how big of a problem racism is, blah, blah…nothing important.

So, apparently the BBSO is [finally] in the process of composing their response to the article.

However, there’s even more news! From Steve Silver ’00, it appears that Romenesko has picked up this story [I don't know much about Romenesko--my appologies].

The story continues, as according to a new article in the Waltham News Tribune, five editors and writers have resigned from the paper’s staff (I assume this includes the author, the sports editor and the editor-in-chief). The article also provides new information [which hasn't yet been heard on campus] about how the quote made it in there:

[former] Editor-in-chief S.H. said the quote had been circled in red ink by a copy editor, but due to what S.H. surmised was “lack of experience,” the editor did not bring it to anyone else’s attention.

“The story was submitted late last Monday night,” said Heyman. “Basically, the sports editor did not read his copy.”

I don’t know if this means that the article was submitted past-deadline?

And apparently University administrators have gotten involved in this issue too.

According to Campus Press Notes blog, (welcome to all visitors from there) a call to the Justice office yields a message that says “The administration won’t let us print unless the editor-in-chief resigns.”

I think Steve is right when he says: “Proving once again that some of the most gutless, spineless, morally bankrupt people in America are senior university administrators.”

Speaking of administrators—would any of them care to explain why our tuition has continued to go up, despite the fact that they’ve drastically cut course offerings? Where’s the money going??? [that's another issue though]

Controversy on Campus–Part IX

Okay, just got another email, which sounds like a “recap” of a lot of things–from the perspective of the “Intercultural Center” (ICC):
[names have been removed and irrelevant text has been removed]

Forgive me for this long email, but I wanted to make sure that everyone in the ICC community was informed of what has happened over the past couple of days. Since my email on Saturday, so much has occurred and I want to be sure that everyone knows the facts.

On Saturday, Black student leaders organized concerned students in the atrium of the Shapiro Campus Center and attended a Justice Alumni Event. There, the alumna present explained what it was like to work for a professional news agency. At the end of her presentation, she took questions and answers from the audience. Several people from within the ICC community expressed their distress over the Justice “incident,” and asked the alumna for feedback on specific questions related to a couple of [the author's] offensive sports articles. From my understanding, answers she provided students with STRONGLY supported BBSO’s demand for the resignation of the Editor-in-Chief of the Justice and for the Justice to take appropriate, responsible action.

On Sunday, Black student leaders kept in close contact with the Justice Editorial Board. On Sunday evening, the ICC Student Programming Board, Leaders, and allies met to share thoughts & concerns about the attempt to resolve this situation, and to begin developing a statement from the ICC community to senior level administrators.

During this meeting, after leaving to meet with Justice Staff, BBSO leaders returned and announced joyfully that an agreement had been met. That the Editor-in-Chief was going to resign, but still have the opportunity to work on the Justice under no specific title for one year (meaning that the individual would have the opportunity after this year to regain the position). In addition, BBSO leaders announced that the Justice would be printed for Friday (instead of Tuesday) allowing BBSO leaders to develop a statement to
be printed on the front page. No sooner than 15-20 minutes later, however, did BBSO leaders leave and return again with a very different announcement. This time it was that the Justice Editorial Board decided that they could not deliver what was agreed earlier (in this paragraph).

As you can imagine, emotions began running very high, and people certainly questioned how an agreement could have been made and then broken. Students left the meeting at the ICC to express their concerns at the Student Union Senate Meeting. From what I was told, a number of points of view were expressed regarding the Justice “incident,” from a variety of people. Needless to say, this meeting lasted nearly the entire night. And in the end, resulted in the Senate passing a resolution condemning the racist remarks published in the Justice on October 21. Still, come Monday morning, TWO of the remaining demands of Black student leaders had not been met (1. The resignation of the Editor-in-Chief, 2. A Friday edition of the Justice to allow BBSO leaders time to prepare a front page statement to the community at large).

By late Monday afternoon, Black student leaders met with administrators, and were assured that their remaining demands would be met by later that evening. However, as the night continued, it became evident through conversations between Black student leaders and Justice staff that in fact only ONE of the two demands remaining would be honored. As is understandable, Black student leaders felt betrayed for a SECOND time, but now by more than simply their fellow students. The Justice staff decided that they would going ahead and print on Monday night.

What happened next is what few were aware of and unexpected to many. After midnight, Black students leaders and other concerned community members began a PEACEFUL protest outside of the Justice office. The purpose? These concerned students wanted to send a clear message to the school that they had reached their limit. They wanted the issue to be addressed in a way that was appropriate and respectful, to cease printing of the Justice that night, and for earlier assurances to be upheld.

By 3:30 a.m., several administrators received word of the protest, and rushed to campus to help remedy the situation. [senior administrator] met with Justice Staff members to help facilitate a solution to this (at different times over the next two hours), while students protesting waited patiently for a response. By approximately 5:30 a.m., Justice staff members finally agreed to the remaining demands. Afterwards, [same senior administrator] addressed the concerned student protesters in the multi-purpose room, and restated her committment to diversity related issues. She also reminded us that there is a healing process that must begin soon.

With regard to this, we must keep in mind that there are many different opinions about all that has happened over the past week. While I understand there are different thoughts on how the issue could have been resolved, I hope we all remember that a racist remark was made in our school’s newspaper, which needed to be addressed immediately. And that those who in some way allowed the racist remark to be printed needed to take responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof).

As I moved around campus today, I heard many different things about what transpired late last night/early this morning. Opinions range from what a wonderful job concerned students did within their rights, to people claiming that last night was a “witchhunt”. Certainly, I realize that most on this campus are unaware of what specific things led up to last night’s protest. I hope that people will reserve judgment until they know all of the facts.

As you all can begin to imagine, there are many things we must think about as a community while we move forward. Though many in the ICC should feel proud (and I AM PROUD) of the fact that members of our family UNITED to address a racist incident, we must keep in mind that there are larger issues that several of you have expressed concern about. We must also remember how important it is for us to build and further develop relationships with other groups on campus, including (at some point) the Justice. This may be uncomfortable at times, but I anticipate in the end will be worthwhile and beneficial.

Remember, this is from an ICC point of view–and I don’t think people in the Justice feel the same way. One of the things I heard a lot today was “why the delay in the paper? Why couldn’t they have come up with something by monday [since last tuesday?]“?

Controversy on Campus–Part IX

Okay, just got another email, which sounds like a “recap” of a lot of things–from the perspective of the “Intercultural Center” (ICC):
[names have been removed and irrelevant text has been removed]

Forgive me for this long email, but I wanted to make sure that everyone in the ICC community was informed of what has happened over the past couple of days. Since my email on Saturday, so much has occurred and I want to be sure that everyone knows the facts.

On Saturday, Black student leaders organized concerned students in the atrium of the Shapiro Campus Center and attended a Justice Alumni Event. There, the alumna present explained what it was like to work for a professional news agency. At the end of her presentation, she took questions and answers from
the audience. Several people from within the ICC community expressed their distress over the Justice “incident,” and asked the alumna for feedback on specific questions related to a couple of [the author's] offensive sports articles. From my understanding, answers she provided students with STRONGLY supported BBSO’s demand for the resignation of the Editor-in-Chief of the Justice and for the Justice to take appropriate, responsible action.

On Sunday, Black student leaders kept in close contact with the Justice Editorial Board. On Sunday evening, the ICC Student Programming Board, Leaders, and allies met to share thoughts & concerns about the attempt to resolve this situation, and to begin developing a statement from the ICC community to senior level administrators.

During this meeting, after leaving to meet with Justice Staff, BBSO leaders returned and announced joyfully that an agreement had been met. That the Editor-in-Chief was going to resign, but still have the opportunity to work on the Justice under no specific title for one year (meaning that the individual would have the opportunity after this year to regain the position). In addition, BBSO leaders announced that the Justice would be printed for Friday (instead of Tuesday) allowing BBSO leaders to develop a statement to
be printed on the front page. No sooner than 15-20 minutes later, however, did BBSO leaders leave and return again with a very different announcement. This time it was that the Justice Editorial Board decided that they could not deliver what was agreed earlier (in this paragraph).

As you can imagine, emotions began running very high, and people certainly questioned how an agreement could have been made and then broken. Students left the meeting at the ICC to express their concerns at the Student Union Senate Meeting. From what I was told, a number of points of view were expressed regarding the Justice “incident,” from a variety of people. Needless to say, this meeting lasted nearly the entire night. And in the end, resulted in the Senate passing a resolution condemning the racist remarks published in the Justice on October 21. Still, come Monday morning, TWO of the remaining demands of Black student leaders had not been met (1. The resignation of the Editor-in-Chief, 2. A Friday edition of the Justice to allow BBSO leaders time to prepare a front page statement to the community at large).

By late Monday afternoon, Black student leaders met with administrators, and were assured that their remaining demands would be met by later that evening. However, as the night continued, it became evident through conversations between Black student leaders and Justice staff that in fact only ONE of the two demands remaining would be honored. As is understandable, Black student leaders felt betrayed for a SECOND time, but now by more than simply their fellow students. The Justice staff decided that they would going ahead and print on Monday night.

What happened next is what few were aware of and unexpected to many. After midnight, Black students leaders and other concerned community members began a PEACEFUL protest outside of the Justice office. The purpose? These concerned students wanted to send a clear message to the school that they had reached their limit. They wanted the issue to be addressed in a way that was appropriate and respectful, to cease printing of the Justice that night, and for earlier assurances to be upheld.

By 3:30 a.m., several administrators received word of the protest, and rushed to campus to help remedy the situation. [senior administrator] met with Justice Staff members to help facilitate a solution to this (at different times over the next two hours), while students protesting waited patiently for a response. By approximately 5:30 a.m., Justice staff members finally agreed to the remaining demands. Afterwards, [same senior administrator] addressed the concerned student protesters in the multi-purpose room, and restated her committment to diversity related issues. She also reminded us that there is a healing process that must begin soon.

With regard to this, we must keep in mind that there are many different opinions about all that has happened over the past week. While I understand there are different thoughts on how the issue could have been resolved, I hope we all remember that a racist remark was made in our school’s newspaper, which needed to be addressed immediately. And that those who in some way allowed the racist remark to be printed needed to take responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof).

As I moved around campus today, I heard many different things about what transpired late last night/early this morning. Opinions range from what a wonderful job concerned students did within their rights, to people claiming that last night was a “witchhunt”. Certainly, I realize that most on this campus are unaware of what specific things led up to last night’s protest. I hope that people will reserve judgment until they know all of the facts.

As you all can begin to imagine, there are many things we must think about as a community while we move forward. Though many in the ICC should feel proud (and I AM PROUD) of the fact that members of our family UNITED to address a racist incident, we must keep in mind that there are larger issues that several of you have expressed concern about. We must also remember how important it is for us to build and further develop relationships with other groups on campus, including (at some point) the Justice. This may be uncomfortable at times, but I anticipate in the end will be worthwhile and beneficial.

Remember, this is from an ICC point of view–and I don’t think people in the Justice feel the same way. One of the things I heard a lot today was “why the delay in the paper? Why couldn’t they have come up with something by monday [since last tuesday?]“?

They said what?!?!

So I came across this article on Fox News’ website:

Democrats Open Liberal Think Tank:
Portrayed as vaccine to so-called plague of conservatism in U.S.

Say what? I guess their hold on academia isn’t working very well.

This article in the Autumn 2003 issue of City Journal says that We’re Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore

The Left’s near monopoly over the institutions of opinion and information—which long allowed liberal opinion makers to sweep aside ideas and beliefs they disagreed with, as if they were beneath argument—is skidding to a startlingly swift halt. The transformation has gone far beyond the rise of conservative talk radio, that, ever since Rush Limbaugh’s debut 15 years ago, has chipped away at the power of the New York Times, the networks, and the rest of the elite media to set the terms of the nation’s political and cultural debate. Almost overnight, three huge changes in communications have injected conservative ideas right into the heart of that debate. Though commentators have noted each of these changes separately, they haven’t sufficiently grasped how, taken together, they add up to a revolution: no longer can the Left keep conservative views out of the mainstream or dismiss them with bromide instead of argument. Everything has changed.

I suggest reading the rest…

Back to Politics

Okay, back to more of the regular program around these parts (no, nothing else new with the Justice story yet).

Let’s go back to the Democrat Nominee race…

Clark, who entered the race high in the polls has seen his numbers slip big time. It’s probably because he flip flops like crazy–nor does he even know what party he belongs to on any given day. With that being said, it looks like he’s going after the core voting block in the democrat primaries: the activists. Today’s quote:
Democrat Clark blames President Bush for Sept. 11 intelligence failures

Looks like he’s trying to appeal to the far-left activists with this quote. He’s really struggling.
Even Instapundit has found that Clark has lurched towards the left

Dick Morris was on Hannity and Colmes last night, and he had some really, really interesting political analysis. I don’t think a transcript has been posted online yet, but I’ll see what I can find. It was very thought provoking.

I also caught part of the President’s press conference this morning . I thought he did a rather good job handling things there. Anothe perk–Helen Thomas wasn’t there. You can tell that the press isn’t very fond of him, by some of the questions which they posed; but the President had very good coaching and shot those down.

The only thing I was disspointed about was his kid-glove response to the Fox News reporter’s question about Terrorfat. Damn.

Controversy On Campus–Part VIII

Wow, this story has gotten huge! It’s in today’s Boston Globe (!?!). Here’s the blurb:

3 in Waltham quit college paper after racial remark

A racial remark published in Brandeis University’s student newspaper has triggered the resignations of at least three student editors and writers. Today’s issue of The Justice will be the last put out by its editor-in-chief, the third student to quit the paper following the publication of the Oct. 21 baseball column penned by sophomore sportswriter, who also has stepped down. His column quoted [should say misquoted out of context] a student who used offensive language in criticizing professional baseball’s Dusty Baker, the black Chicago Cubs manager. The Justice’s sports editor, also has resigned

And (as I blog) we just got the following Email from the University President, distributing the letter on behalf of the Justice Editorial Board:

In the sincerest hopes of reconciliation, the Justice has agreed to hold our paper until Friday, rather than printing today. After the hurtful words printed in last week’s issue of the Justice, the Brandeis Black Student Organization (BBSO) requested that a response written by them be included in this week’s issue. After careful consideration, the Editorial Board of the Justice believes that in the spirit of healing, it is best for all involved that this issue of the Justice be printed Oct. 31 in order for BBSO to have an adequate opportunity to express their thoughts in a letter to the community. The Justice apologizes for this delay and we urge you to read this upcoming issue.

Idiocy in the Globe

There was this misguided letter about the ME situation, with this great line:

Furthermore, Israelis as well as Palestinians have caused American deaths, such as when an Israeli driving a tank saw young American peace activist Rachel Corrie blocking his way and ran over her

Wrong. First off, it was a bulldozer, such as this one; not a tank. Second, Rachel Corrie was anything but a “peace activist” (as we all know)–she was from the ISM. Third, she was trying to prevent a house that had a weapons sumuggling tunnel from being destroyed. Fourth, the driver didn’t see her either.

Now lets see, other sillyness in the Globe.

The Globe seems to also be lamenting this: Romney stand dims chances of license for undocumented

And as always, for more, see SillyGlobe

Controversy on Campus–Part VII–Commentary

The number one question I’ve got is what are the BBSO’s demands, and what exactly were the Justice’s plans/promises. The facts are really missing here–and there is a lot of confusion abound.

I don’t think the Justice should be shut down. No, not at all. The way the Justice’s funding is set up, even makes it independent of the Student Senate and the Administration (it’s promised a percentage of student activites fees). Via this system, the Justice is able to say what it wants about the student senate and/or the administration–thus giving it a free voice (rather than it being another administration mouthpiece)–which is a very good thing. It is also the official campus paper, and it does have a role and purpose. Those people who want to shut it down should really take a minute and reflect on what they’re trying to do here.

The Justice dropped the ball in its last issue–that’s an undisputible point. But that writer has resgined as has the sports editor. Was the Editor-in-Chief involved in the proof-reading process–I dunno? I’m not familiar with the inner workings of the paper, so I don’t know what to say. I have heard that since this new Editor in Chief started, things have been looking up (in a good way) for the paper, and that things are working more fluidly. I’m not sure how this will affect things.

I think that people are making way, way, way too big of a deal of this issue now–it’s exploded. The initial outrage was understandable–but now it has gotten out of control.

As for the line: They want us to be great students, to fill their quotas, and to “diversify” and to “teach” others about our cultures. Welcome to the pitfalls of affirmative action. The “diversity” and “numbers” of minority students make the cmapus look better on paper, and can also earn it accolades (and perhaps outside funding?) And for the record, Brandeis did sign the amicus brief supporting Michigan in its case.

Oh, and these students should also take a moment to realize that they don’t speak for all of us minorities as well.

I’ll blog more as things occur…

Controversy on Campus–Part VII

[Note: very long post]

Well, there’s a lot more to this story….I got some emails overnight (try around 2AM)…and things keep changing. And holy shit, this has exploded

First off, the Student Senate apparently passed the following resolution at its last meeting.

Second, I open my email this morning (about 8AM-ish); and I’ve gotten a letter sent at 2:10AM, which read:

Right now…i mean this second, there are students protesting the Justice’s response BBSO’s demands. they are ignoring us, they are going to print with their paper!
We need everyone to come out and show their support, voice their opinion, tell the Justice what they believe should be done. We are not invisible and they are acting as if we are not even there.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!!! BBSO [Brandeis Black Student Org] is not alone! Students of Color are not alone! Come now–yes it’s 2:09am but we are here, protesting, chanting, singing, marching!!! Please come out of your beds, put down the books, and fight for real justice!

That was all the message said, and I (as well as others I assume) have no clue what’s going on. For starters, it was 2AM; and I was just heading to bed before my 9AM course. I had no clue what this was all about. But this morning details started to trickle in.

There was this letter sent to one list (some minor editing has been done by me–the content is the same):

It is now 3:30 in the morning and many of us Brandeis studentss of color have not slept. After several meetings between the BBSO exec board and the Justice’s editors, the Justice still does not want to meet all of our demand. First, they refused to print out an apology on the newspaper’s front page. On sunday they finally agreed to print the apology on the front page. On monday afternoon the Justice told the administration the paper would be out on friday in order to give BBSO members the opportunity to write a statement to be print out in the justice. However, on MOnday at 12:00am, I received a phone call from my friend informing me that the Justice had secretly decided to print out the paper tonight and to have it out by Tuesday. Professor, THEY LIED TO US, they took advantage of our situation and LIED TO US. At around 12:30 a large group of Brandeis students, mostly minorities, started to protest in front of the Justice in order for our voices to be heard. We are still protesting, and they are not responding. At about 1:30am the Justice sent someone out to tell us that if we wanted a statement written on the front page, we had nine
hours to write one and submit it. We, of course, did not agree to this because they were they one who failed on us, not us on them. Soe of the Justice members say they feel threated by us standing outside the windon in protest, and this concerns me. I dont want out image to be damaged but at the same time I want our voices heard. [Administrator] has now told us that by the state [should be Commonwealth] of Massachussetts [laws(?)] some of us could get arrested. This worries and upsets me.
Many of us are losing hours of sleep, many of us have tests, papers, and reading to do, instead we are here protesting at this time in the morning. They have left us with very little choice. They want us to be great students, to fill their quotas, and to “diversify” and to “teach” others about our cultures. Honestly: WE ARE TIRED. I am writing this email to you because I know you are a true supporter of the minorities of Brandeis and I truly appreciate your concern in this matter. Hope this gives you an idea of what’s going on.

I do not know how true the accusations within this letter are. I repeat, I’m honestly not sure, and I’m reserving judgement. On the Justice’s side, they did extend the letter submission deadline until 5PM on Sunday (from the usual 5pm on Friday–so a statement could’ve been written in that time)–and I’m not sure if in this letter any facts were distorted due to strong emotions.

On a seperate list, after the first email on a different list, the following reply came through, apparently from a member of student gov’t [letter has been edited to remove names and simplify content].

As all of you know, this past week has been a very trying week for the whole Brandeis community. Last night may have been a culmination of that frustration on my part, as, after an 11 hour senate meeting (from 7 PM until 6 AM), the Senate passed a resolution on this issue Part of this resolution indirectly calls for the resignation of the editor-in-chief.

Because of that part of the resolution, myself and couple of other senators could not sign this resolution even though we agreed with the rest of it.

And then I walked into The Justice office today. For those of you not really familiar with what’s going on, The Justice is on the verge of disappearing from our campus. Many editors are very frustrated with what’s going on and they felt like their last chance to help them out, the Student Senate, let them down. Now it feels to them that not only is administration against them (which they are), but also that the students don’t support their newspaper anymore either. (I do not want anyone to be confused: I am totally for the
eradication of racism on this campus, but I do not feel like more bloodshed and the loss of our student newspaper is the way to go about it)

That’s why I’m writing this e-mail. I’m not asking that you agree with what happened in The Justice. I, myself, was horrified to read what was written and was very pleased with the columnist, and did not
have much moral dilemma in my mind with the sports editor, resigning. But I’m sick and tired (as I know some of you are from speaking to you) of this witch-hunt and really want all this drama to end. And I’m
asking you to be the student voice that agrees with me on this issue.

R. W. [pseudonym] and myself started a trend that I would extend to you to continue. We have both expressed to The Justice that we appreciate all their hard work. That’s all I’m asking of you guys; I’m not asking you to agree with what they did, I’m just asking that you are willing to e-mail me a letter that I
can bring to The Justice as moral support.

They look like an army troop that has lost most of its soldiers and its generals. There are many people on this list who are either writers now or have written at some point for The Justice, and if you haven’t, you have read The Justice. And if you claim that you don’t, I hope you appreciate the ordeal these people have been through (though I do not dismiss and cannot even begin to fathom the ordeal that BBSO has been through.)

I am asking you that you send me a letter I can bring to The Justice editorial board that extends your support for them continuing as a newspaper either saying how much you enjoy reading the paper, or how much you appreciate the hard work they do, or that you really enjoy writing for them, or that you’re behind them at this troubling time (if that is the case.)

I’ll be in charge of compiling the list and presenting it to them (please get it into me ASAP…cause it would really help out.) And if we get enough responses, I want to bring it to the Senate also (so foward it to anyone who may be interested.)

I’m not asking you to support the incident that occurred, but I am pleading with you to support YOUR student newspaper, which may be going straight into the shitter if you don’t.

I’ll put my comments about this letter in the next post.

Then a few more letters came across, first replying to the above:

Thank for bringing up this point, since it is becoming aparent that there is no true search for justice with regard to the Justice article and that any prevalent feelings among members of the Brandeis community are not tilted towards the dampening of racist feelings on our campus, but rather towards a ruthless self-serving desire not to be left behind in the ongoing condemnation race.

While the comments in the article in question are clearly racist and not in compliance with Brandeis principles, this has gone on for longer than necessary and has attracted much more debate and controversy than the case renders. While I rarely read the Justice, I did take the time to review that
article and it is my professional opinion that a quote hardly calls for so much attention. Such a quote is unacceptable, true. It is outrageous, further. It is most definitely a mistake to have included this
particular paragraph in the publication, I agree. However, what is even more problematic and heart-wrenching that there has been so much ado made by people who did not even bother to read the article, but simply transferred ongoing national and state debates on racism to the Brandeis campus.

Well, I am sorry to disappoint you, but as long as society goes on, you can expect a good measure of all vices not only to exist, but also to prosper. All major clubs initiated “debates” on this topic. Members of the Brandeis community received numerous emails, until the event was completely blown out of proportion.

Since I am receiving virtually all Brandeis club correspondence, I can assure you that the number of emails on the topic passed the 50 email mark by the end of Sunday. Everyone was making proclamations and looking for scapegoats. Yet, you cannot redress the broken balance through further tears in the Brandeis community. I am appalled at the prospect of a full featured wolf hunt here at Brandeis. Take heed lest we forget the principles that guide us.

I too am on only a few lists, but I’ve gotten a lot of letters as well. If not too many.

Then came this letter:

I fully support the Justice Editorial Board in this extremely difficult time. Starting with the forum Thursday night and continuing up to this very minute, they have shown the dedication to the community that led
them to accept nearly full time unpaid jobs in the first place. They have handled this terrible situation with grace and dignity, and deserve recognition for that.

Last night I observed the protest outside the Justice office. Students from many different groups on campus, but primarily BBSO and ICC groups, attended the protest, making a lot of noise and chanting “Down with the Justice,” along with other slogans. I can only imagine the pressure–from students and administrators alike–that they have been under for a mistake that the responsible parties have already resigned over. The current Justice editorial board, including Editor-in-Chief, deserves our praise and thanks for all their hard work and dedication.

The Justice will grow from this experience; I am a firm believer that out of every bad comes some good. I put my faith in the Justice Editors to lead us and the Justice to easier and better times.

An aside, I believe that the Editor-in-chief is very, very, new, and has only been in his position for 2-3 weeks(?)

There was another letter along those lines:

The witch hunt has gone on long enough. The Justice has listened with patience to the campus’ reaction to the horrifying comments made by [the author], and it’s time to allow them to get to work. The Justice can only grow and improve in response to this. It’s time for the Brandeis student body to say most firmly that we are indeed anti-racist, pro-diversity (which are of course, not synonyms), but we will not allow discontent to rage irrationally and bring down the Justice. With our support and action the Justice can indeed become tool for combatting racism and fostering diversity. But that can only happen if we put down our swords and pick up our brooms.

I don’t know if any of the abover were from members of the Justice BTW.

Then of course, not everyone agreed:

We (2 people) are very disturbed to see some of the views expressed on this listserve because we feel that they have not been written with all the information of the events that have transpired. If you were aware of BBSO and the ICC attempts to work in conjunction with the Justice, you might feel differently about their stance. BBSO has made reasonable demands and certain members of the Justice have at times demonstrated unapologetic, belligerent, and disrespectful behavior. As a group of students who fight for justice we should be supporting those who have been treated unjustly, not those who were responsible for doing it.

We are dedicated to fighting all types of injustices on this campus, therefore it our duty to seek information out about the issue and to be informed members on this campus about this issue. We feel that the opinions of a lot of people on this listserve are not as well informed as they should be, which is unacceptable as one of the few true social justice organizations on this campus. We urge you to attend BBSO meetings, ICC meetings, public forums, and Senate Meetings and then make an educated and informed decision about the events which have unfolded over the last week and a half. Our aim is not necessarily for everyone to support the marginalized group, but even a cursory understanding of what has really been taking place instead of hearsay might change some of your opinions and actions…

And finally, here’s probably the letter that echos the sentiments of many

What is going on, why would you protest the paper from printing? Its their job. There are dozens of writers who put their blood, sweat, and many tears into it every week. What should it shut down? What were BBSO’s demands?

I’ve added commentary above