The Koala is not UCSD's only 'racist' publication

    The attacks on the Koala for its use of racist humor have faded by now into our memory like fall quarter’s grades. But one thing is still true: Racism is definitely still prevalent at UCSD and in its publications.

    However, the Koala — the most recent scapegoat — has a far smaller role than most people think. In fact, the role the Koala plays actually serves to reveal a great double standard behind which the true racism hides.The real hypocrisy that saturates the campus is the selective attacks on free speech by groups that are often, arguably, more racist than the Koala.

    For too long, racism has not been well-defined, even though “”racism”” is a simple term. Racism is the judgment of individuals based solely on the color of their skin, an attribute over which they have no control. When someone makes claims that blanket all people of a skin color, they are racist because they hold each individual accountable for their perverted view of the whole race, no matter how far removed from the generalization that individual is.

    Racism is a serious accusation that is all too often flung around lightly. The problem presents itself when people begin accusing each other of racism while believing that they are impervious to racism themselves. Often, one organization will accuse other organizations of racism, not knowing that their own stance is as equally racist as the one they’re attacking. If everyone cries “”hate speech”” because they disagree with one another, then freedom of speech means virtually nothing.

    The best current example is the Voz Fronteriza, an A.S.-funded Spanish- and English-language publication centered on the reacquisition of the entire Southwestern United States for Mexico. This publication is probably the most outspoken of the groups that cry racism at the slightest provocation. In fact, despite its own speech against white people, it condemns the Koala for racism!

    While student organizations and college councils attack the Koala for its racist jokes, the Voz Fronteriza saturates its articles with words such as “”gringo”” and “”gabacho,”” which are offensive to many white students. They also call Chicanos who have assimilated into American culture “”pigs”” and “”traitors.””

    The Koala makes jokes in poor taste, whereas the Voz actually intends the offense. In fact, one article in the Voz, from 1995, praised the death of a Spanish-surnamed Immigration and Naturalization Service worker, stating, “”We’re glad this pig died. He deserved to die.””

    The Voz Fronteriza Web site refers to the imperialism of Europeans by emphasizing only those of strict Anglo-Saxon descent. Its authors point out that they are proud when they obtain “”resistance against European (white) colonialism/imperialism.”” In their rants against the “”white Europeans,”” they seem to forget that the Spanish conquistadors were as much to blame as were the other European colonists.

    Though I strongly believe that the Voz has the right to print its material, I find it unsettling that it quickly cries racism without examining itself. However, it is alarming that the Voz Fronteriza, in its most recent issue, explicitly attacked the Koala for hate speech. “”The real point is how easy it is for the Koala to talk shit and not be afraid of the consequences,”” an article stated. Afraid of what consequences? The Koala has the right to say these things. So does the Voz Fronteriza. So do all the publications. The Voz reveals its hypocrisy in implying that it should have the right to insult certain ethnicities as much as it wishes, but the Koala should not be able to print without fear of consequences. Should one publication be left out of free speech because another publication does not like what it has to say? If that were the case, the New Indicator and the California Review would have destroyed each other years ago.

    This is the double standard in which we have saturated ourselves: one group after another accusing the other of “”hate speech”” merely because it does not like what the other group has to say. This is real hypocrisy, and this is where the real racism reveals itself. The Voz Fronteriza is arguably racist toward white people. Its writers may even think that white people deserve it. That, unfortunately, is not the real issue at hand. The more serious problem is that it condemns the Koala for the exact same vice.

    In the end, there are two problems. The first problem is that racism still exists, but often in forms very different from the typical white supremacist babble. The second problem is the hypocrisy that we face when we feel the power to accuse someone of racism without first examining ourselves. It is this hypocrisy that leads people to look for racism everywhere, and it is this hypocrisy that leads people to think they are the only ones who are not racist.

    The solution is not an easy one. To rid our lives of racism is a gradual process and one that requires a great deal of education. It would be best to stop singling out certain groups as the only “”racist”” ones among us.

    In the end, it is not for me to decide whether it is the Koala or the Voz that is racist without carefully checking my own thoughts first. What we can easily fix is the remarkable number of times publications cry racism because they have not thought through their own stances thoroughly enough.

    The next time a publication wishes to decree someone racist — whether it be another group, publication or A.S. slate — it should consider first whether it is not truly being racist itself. Perhaps then we could begin to eliminate real racism at this university.

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