Letter to the Editor

Sent to the Barometer:

In the Barometer’s October 26 editorial regarding the October 5 article “Student section… color selection” and Renee Roman Nose’s October 26 column “Blackface? what’s your opinion?”, the editorial staff apologized for their ignorance regarding the historical use of blackface and asked for further discussion on campus and in the Barometer.

To quote:

“To all students, we challenge you to contribute and participate actively, with open minds, to the campus conversation. […] It is important for a thriving student media that all students participate in the conversation. […] We actually do want to hear what we do wrong. We want to improve as we strive to act professionally in working toward career goals.”

I was happy to see that the Barometer staff was desiring a continued discussion regarding this issue.

However, on Wednesday night I was informed by my friend and Barometer columnist Luke Sugie that the Barometer would not be printing a column he submitted because the editorial staff had decided they would no longer be printing op-eds regarding the October blackout at Reser Stadium.

The Barometer made an egregious error by printing an image that renders blackface, but it seems that, instead of continuing a dialogue as promised on October 26, the editorial staff has instead decided to censor their columnists.

This decision marks not only an affront to those who care about injustices — both current and historical — against people of color, but also an affront to public discourse. The answer to a bad decision isn’t to silence discussion of it, but instead to foster more discussion.

I hope the Barometer reverses its policy of not printing op-eds regarding this issue — for the sake of democratic discussion, for the sake of dialoging about racism, and for the sake of the professionalism of its staff.

EDIT: it was printed.

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3 Responses to Letter to the Editor

  1. Dennis says:

    Ha! Awesome letter =)

    That line about the answer to bad speech being more speech is almost always quoted BY journalists as a defense of their editorial policies.

    The fact that it’s applicable to the Barometer at this point is a sign, to me, of how bad things seem to be over there at this point. I wonder what’s going on?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The fraternity used it as a decoration as part of a philanthropic event to help raise money for the Linn-Benton food share. It’s a prop, I don’t see people getting pissed off when there’s a hanging scenes in movies and such, oh that’s because it’s a white person and we don’t have a right to get angry about anything because that somehow is racist too. Stop being so fucking sensitive. I’m not racists, I have black family members and I don’t think any less of them because the color of their skin nor any other race.

  3. Michael says:

    Thank you for those who have responded. I’ve written more about this here and addressed comments there as well. I am going to close comments here, so if you would like to add more, please go to the that link. Thank you!

Comments are closed.