Literary Hate Crimes

The Koala, UCSD’s independent newspaper that claims to have been “baitin’ you into starting race wars since 1982,” released their newest issue on March 3, 2010.  Reacting on the recent racial events that occurred on UCSD’s campus, the editor-in-chief Kris Gregorian, or “White Supremacist Extraordinaire,” (a self-proclaimed title), published eight pages of literary hate crimes.  Among many new additions, The Koala’s newest issue satirizes the demands issued by the BSU in the recent weeks, by introducing a mock program–the Coalition of Outreach and Opportunity for Negro Students, or C.O.O.N.S for short.  The “program” proposes such things as “Special All Black Housing” and “Special Classes Just 4 U!” including “SOC20N: Blame it on Whitey” and “Swimming 101: It’s not actually that deep!”  For eight pages, The Koala never ceases to compose new racially ignorant categories.

An excerpt:

Full Issue Here

The Koala is currently on a temporary funding freeze by the UCSD Administration and the Associated Students of UCSD, while they attempt to shut down the publication.

In response to the legal battle, the Koala released a statement available here.


6 responses to “Literary Hate Crimes

  1. Cat in the Hood

    Dear Chancellor Fox:

    I am writing to you concerning the continued racial controversies at various University of California campuses. Since the noose left at the UCSD library has been removed, I’m contemplating to send you a new one. Why? Because a good old-fashioned lynching is in order.

    Before you rush to conclusions, let me explain.

    The current episode of turmoil began with a local party whose theme poked fun at stereotypes supposedly representative of South Central LA. Any reasonable person would readily perceive this approach as satire, a longstanding literary and dramatic device. Was it offensive? As with most satire, it definitely was – and that is good.

    You see, when we are offended, we are likely to react. Unless that reaction is simply a knee-jerk response (such as that by your office), a reaction requires activation of one’s brain. You may agree that activating our brains is infinitely preferable over mindlessly swallowing whatever b.s. we happen to be served.

    One particularly unpalatable piece of b.s. that is shoved down our collective throat is “diversity.”

    In its original form, diversity is highly desirable. In nature, biologically diverse ecosystems are less vulnerable to diseases and more productive than monocultures. On a university campus, opposing (or even merely different) viewpoints spur lively debate, which in turn fosters creativity and innovation. Without question, humanity collectively benefits from the contributions inspired by a large variety of backgrounds and experiences.

    Why has the University of California chosen to adopt race/ethnicity as the single decisive factor in furthering diversity? Are you ensuring UCSD receives a balanced mix of Republicans and Democrats? Gays and heterosexuals? Opera lovers and metal heads? Meat eaters and vegans? How about students who prefer the writings of Ayn Rand versus those of Karl Marx? Perhaps a proper mix of students interested in quantum physics and aspiring poets (and those writing poetry about quantum physics)? Folks that can appreciate Dr. Seuss on a subversive level, and those who can’t? I’m virtually certain that more diverse viewpoints will result from any of these arbitrary traits than the color of someone’s skin.

    I assumed that college application essays served to differentiate students beyond grades and test scores. It appears that with all the budget cuts, there is no staff to read them. Therefore, instead of treating students as the unique individuals they are, it seems easier to simply lump them into categories with emotionally charged labels.

    Sure, race and ethnicity, along with height, weight and gender, are the most obvious traits we notice about people we meet, before they have a chance to open their mouths and let us glean some insight into more substantial aspects of their personas. But isn’t that precisely the sort of simpleminded superficiality higher education is supposed to eradicate?

    Throughout history, people with their own agendas have used arbitrary traits to unite, divide and discriminate against people. Each time, they applied a nice, shiny euphemism. “Preserving family values” – sounds like a good thing, right? How about “preserving the pure blood of the Aryan race?” It gives us cold chills today, but it sounded perfectly benign, even laudable, during the Nazi era.

    Another shiny euphemism is “diversity.” If we add more “blacks” (however you may define that label), we will create a student body that is more balanced and representative of our society – so goes the reasoning du jour. Are we going to assume that “blacks” … come from challenged socioeconomic backgrounds? Are more conscious about human rights? Have rhythm? Jump higher?

    I am not privy to UCSD’s list of stereotypical “black” traits. Make no mistake, that list exists, even if it is only implied – because every time we attempt to force a group of diverse (in its original meaning) individuals under a labeled (or red and white striped) hat, we give birth to such a list. Such a list, while perhaps not offensive at first glance, is far more damaging than the list of attributes used by the Compton Cookout as the recommended attire, behavior and attitude of its attendees. Because any list that is born under the auspices of a prestigious institution such as UCSD will automatically be imbued with a sense of legitimacy.

    The characteristics we choose to identify others and ourselves mark the dividing lines between social groups. By focusing on race, we are furthering this broken model of diversity.

    If we allow racial definitions to divide us, if we allow the fear of symbols to control us, if we allow the threat of persecution to silence us, our race – the human race – will succumb to the worst form of slavery.

    This is my call to hunt down and publicly execute the ignorant and racist notions that have hijacked the concept of diversity. What better place than a library, a place of learning and organized knowledge? Let’s hang these ill-conceived ideas from the rafters and let their rotting corpses remind us that if we want to vanquish racism, we must start by treating all people equally.

    For if we allow misguided preconceptions to live, we are bound to witness the death of the accomplishments brought by the Civil Rights Movement, of free speech, and of our human dignity.

    Yours sincerely,

    The Cat in the Hood

  2. Triston McLaughlin

    Satire, when done well, is not hate filled, boring, simplistic and contrived. Sadly, while the defense of the Koala is that its editors are using satire, and its free speech, most are ignoring the fact that its just plain bad writing. I am not even referring to the content of the latest edition, which is just sad and cruel, but the childish and whiney tone of the editors.

    From an outsider’s perspective, having read the older addition, as well as the new one, I don’t see journalism here, nor any real craft. The Onion is clever, Mad Magazine was clever, The Giant Napkin is well thought out, Humorfeed opens my eyes.

    Seems the Koala’s main purpose is to get attention using the basest of stereotypes, the laziest forms of humor and the lowest form of wit.

    I am all for free speech, and would never stop even the most inane and awful writers from being able to “share” their “wisdom”. But do their publications have to be financially supported by me, a California taxpayer?

    I think that the Koala hides their bad editorializing, their bad writing, their poor and lazing reporting, and their just plain awful work behind “controversy” and “free speech”. They use controversy in order to stay in business. They live for the battle to defend what is really pathetic prose. They hide behind the mantel of the First Amendment to disguise the fact they just can’t write well.

    They want us to get all caught up in what they consider “cleverness” and “satire” and “humor”, using race as a cover. Notice how we are all in a twist over what is just bad, hateful, and lackadaisical words they try to pass off as a witty periodical is really just beevus and butthead low-brow grunts.

    Triston McLaughlin
    (no hiding my name under a cute branding)

  3. Agreed with you Triston for the most part. The problem is that the UCSD AS is explicitly saying they’re trying to shut down the Koala for content. For what it’s worth, I actually found some of their BSU issue jokes to be better-than-normal, but you’re correct that it’s mostly poor comedy. And that’s fine- the Koala can publish all they want if they can raise the funds, but there should be a way to defund organizations that simply suck at writing. On the other hand, that would also mean defunding pretty much all the other on-campus media publications, so I don’t know if we want to go there. Plus who can determine what’s “good” and what’s “bad”? It’s a tricky concept.

    Also note though that the taxpayers of CA aren’t directly contributing to the Koala, it’s the students of UCSD who are forced to fork over cash for tons of extra “fees” to the AS and other groups that simply waste their money. If students could actually control how much they wanted to pay in extraneous fees, I bet you’d see a much more responsive AS as well as better, more interesting publications.

  4. Triston McLaughlin

    If the Koala published a KKK comic book, which they pretty much have, why do the students of UCSD defend them by agreeing to pay for racist content?

    I think the Koala wants to incite something, I am not sure what, but it is NOT a better campus nor a better school.

    UCSD has become an embarrassment to the world for the recent antics of its students- cotton balls, KKK hood, the Koala, with its students pretty much saying, eh.

    The Koala is fueling the hatred, and seemingly proudly so.

    Iits one thing to defend free speech, its quite another to support hate speech.

    So, Koala, enjoy your time in the “sun” from under your slimy rock. If I was an employer and saw this on your resume, you wouldn’t work for me.


  5. First of all case law supports the Koala and the way media organizations are funded. Funding is allocated on a content neutral basis. You could publish a KKK comic book using AS funds if you really wanted to. AS can’t decide that certain speech is acceptable while other speech is not. I am offended by various Asian publications on campus. Get rid of their funding. I am offended by pro-israel or pro-palestine publications. Take away their funding.

    Also, the recent issue of the Koala is golden. Stuff is pretty much writing itself with the stupidity and aggressive nature of the BSU. And for people saying that Koala isn’t funny or clever… I would love to cite both of the above posted top five lists. I particularly enjoyed the third entry of the second list… count Asians as 3/5 of a person.

    Yes, I am an avid reader of the Koala. It has made me groan in disgust at how unfunny some of the stuff is. It has also made me to crack up with laughter over how genius some of the stuff is.

    Probably the funniest thing about all of this is that the Koala will continue to exist. The Koala will win and come out on top. You can call them stupid and immature all you want, but they are actually quite clever. They are going to be on the winning side of this free speech debate, and that, is hilarious.

  6. Tristan is basically saying that he wants a state institution to defund a publication because he does not approve of the content.

    Censors are by nature people who think their way is the only way and have little tolerance for dissent or disagreement. It’s generally pointless to argue with them, as most quite simply cannot tell the difference between that which is dangerous and reprehensible (a paper that aggressively calls for group X to be assaulted perhaps) and that which really really rubs them the wrong way.

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