If there’s one thing you can count on during a good controversy, it’s that both sides hate the news coverage. Submitted for your enjoyment, two e-mails that have floated into my inbox recently:
Dear Emerald: Congrats on the Pacifica Forum protest,where you savagely harrassed and censored the bad,evil Nazis,and refused to let them speak.Now,since you are so good at censorship,why do you not do us all a favor,and censor the Black Tea Society,the violent and beligerant and overly vocal protestors,and also censor the Maoists,and the socialists,the black people,the orientals,and the communists,and all the Lesbians and gay people on campus?.And their groups??You have successfully censored the Nazis,so we expect you to censor everyone else,too,it’s only non discriminatory.Thanks so much.
sincerely, U. of O. Alumni, d h bucher, Eugene, Oregon (oops,also please censor the athiests,cause I’m sure you do not all agree with them, either.Oh,and the Christians,forgot them.)
Followed by this e-mail, which I received today:
Hi, I’m a U of O student and one of the protesters. I just wanted to write to say that I feel that your latest article is very insufficient.
Contrary to your belief, our protest went just as planned. Starting off with a silent protest and then gradually challenging the legitimacy of Pacifica’s sham. I think you are taking Pacifica’s side in attacking the messenger. You are overwhelmingly supporting Billy Rojas’ bigotry in this article, consciously or unconsciously. Cimmeron Gillespie and the rest of the students are highly underrepresented.
We do not accept the legitimacy of Pacifica’s sham and will not sit back in our chairs foolishly accepting their propaganda. You make it sound like our “interruptions” are that of an unruly mob with no explicit goal, which was to expose Pacifica for their false pretenses with direct questions.
Were you at the last event? Did you notice how organized our questions were this time? Did you notice how uncomfortable Rojas felt, and how he sidestepped every single one of them? Do you even know what his politics are? Or do you know what they are and support them? Not one word about his bigotry towards homosexuals, feminists, or muslims. Not one word about how he said that the rape comments were “a joke.” Pacifica never answers our questions. They continually deny their bigotry, and when it is called into question they attack the messenger, and just repeat that “this is free speech, this is free speech. I’m not a bigot.” Then usually going on to contradict those very statements. You seem to take his side in reporting: “but frankly there were some really dumbass questions on Friday night.”
Did you know that Pacifica is targeting and threatening individual students? Did you know that they are taking pictures of us and putting them on their fliers and websites? Did you know that for years Pacifica has used smear tactics against it’s critics, all under the blanket of “free speech” to further it’s bigotry and hatred.
You make it sound like students feel unsafe and offended by a mere presentation of offensive material in which they merely disagree with it. You didn’t mention once in the article about the personal testimonies of violence and harassment given at senate. I can only assume that you support these actions or have no concern for them if you are unwilling to report them. Not one mention of the Jewish man that was attacked after a Pacifica event. This is clearly an issue that goes beyond free speech. I hope you educate yourself more on the scum that Pacifica is. I hope that you listen to the students more.
It’s worth noting that I quoted two student protesters in that article, compared to one Billy Rojas, but whatever. No platform for fascists and so forth.