February 29, 2008

Max Karson: CU Boulder A "Racist Hell-Hole", His Moonbat Attempt To Start Dialogue On Race Backfires

Max Karson continues to fan the flames of the controversy of his own making, and the issue is not free speech, but racism:
A statement posted on the student newspaper's Web site Wednesday singled out Karson as the only person suspended from contributing to the online-only newspaper's content. But CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard on Thursday said all of the regular opinion-writing staff will be reassigned to other duties while changes are made.

"Max has been an editorial page assistant editor, and all of the duties of all of the editorial page editors have been suspended because the editorial page itself at the Campus Press has been suspended pending a restructuring and re-envisioning of what they're going to do with it," Hilliard said.
. . .
However, his letter to the Camera described his contempt for the opposition to him and the Campus Press.

"Sometimes it's necessary to offend in order to provoke thought about difficult subjects," Karson wrote. "For example, in my 'Asians' piece, I poked fun at Asian stereotypes for the purpose of mocking racist white people who never bother to understand or even consider Asian cultures and race relations at the University of Colorado.
So Karson is really a moonbat whose attempt to stir up a conflagration about race initially succeeded, but ultimately backfired when the object of the opposition became his own rather pathetic attempt at satire and not the "institutional racism" that, according to Karson, supposedly permeates CU Boulder:
I went to the rally full of excitement because I thought that the public conversation was going to move forward to the subject of racial tension at CU -- a subject that is consistently ignored by the general public, school officials and the media. But as the event organizers got up and gave their speeches, I felt my insides sink.

Every single speech was focused on my writing. They called it racist, insisted that it was not satire, and demanded that we reject hate speech as a community. The opportunity to bring new stories and ideas to the conversation was wasted on an hour of angry protests against my jokes ridiculing Asian stereotypes.

And that's what I can't stand. I can't stand that people would rather gossip about me than tell their own stories about racism. I can't stand that the people who experience racism every day would rather waste their energy on demanding the suppression of clearly protected speech instead of adding their own speech to the mix. I can't stand that our student leaders are simply giving more ammo to the angry conservatives who claim that liberals always suppress dissenting speech.

The sad irony of their CU-sanctioned protest was succinctly put into words by David Chiu: "We as a community seek the immediate resignation of the Campus Press staff and university faculty responsible for the publication of these articles. We do not want a scapegoat offered up for sacrifice to meet the demands of an infuriated public."

Yes, David, you do want a scapegoat. I stood there and watched the attending university officials smile and nod while you spoke. Do you know why they were smiling? Because even though they're the ones in charge of the racist hell-hole we call CU, you still managed to blame the hateful attitudes of thousands of people on a dorky, smart-mouthed kid with authority problems.

And your solution, of course, is the same as theirs. You think that if you shut me up, you'll be one step closer to the "hate-free environment" you dream of. It reminds me of when university officials apologize for my piece instead of apologizing for the fact that minority students don't feel safe at their school, and when the CU Student Union passed a self-aggrandizing resolution to condemn racist writing instead of encouraging public dialogue on the subject.

Racism has been driven underground and institutionalized over the past several decades. The days of hood-wearing and cross-burning, at least in Boulder, are over. Now racism lives in policies and micro-messages such as looks, remarks, and avoidance.

If you really want to fight racism, you have to allow people to express it, and then you have to engage it, not stomp it back into invisibility. No matter how much it hurts us, open dialogue is the answer.

My job as a journalist is to create that open dialogue by amplifying the voices of students -- even students with racist or other hateful ideas that I disagree with. Your job as an activist is to engage those ideas with community dialogue, and if you find them hurtful or upsetting, to try to change the minds of the people who espouse them.
Perhaps Karson should work on coordinating his "journalistic" efforts with those of the "activists" on campus. Not only is Karson's conception of what a journalist's responsibilities should be (no doubt instilled by the stellar CU School of Journalism) off-base, his own estimation of his writing abilities as a critical thinker and dialogue-starter are poorly served by whining self-indulgence and poorly constructed shock-jock bloviations. Given Karson's high opinion of himself, it is a surprise that he didn't figure on his implicit allies--the professionally outraged--not picking up on his "brilliant" plan and making him the focus of their efforts.

Karson won't be the first moonbat who believed that manufacturing and faking a racist incident--in this case poorly masked as "satire"--to "start a dialogue" would be a good idea. Sadly, he won't be the last.

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