Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    We are writing to you because we are concerned about an incident we witnessed on Nov. 18. We were passing through Library Walk to go to our internship on campus when we saw a man upset and furious at a few college students. After stopping to see what the commotion was all about, we realized that he was upset after reading an article that had appeared in the most recent issue of The Koala.

    The reader’s name is Gerald Tolbert, and he is the Assistant Director of Student Affairs at the Early Academic Outreach Program.

    ‘Continuing the continuing tradition of recreational hate’ appeared on the front of the newspaper. After flipping through it, we saw several racist remarks and slanders that we could attribute to his rage. When Tolbert confronted the students distributing the issue, they acted as if they did not care.

    In fact, one of the students from the Koala said, ‘Freedom of speech is my constitutional right.’ When the police arrived, they immediately took Tolbert aside and began to question him.

    We have strong feelings about this incident because we feel that the officers immediately jumped to a conclusion based solely on the fact that the upset reader happened to be a tall black male. In fact, one of the campus police officers asked the Koala’s editor in chief if Tolbert had ‘swung’ at one of the authors of the Koala, which he did not.

    But the issue is more than the idea that campus authorities are showing signs of racial profiling. The Koala itself is causing an attitude of racism.

    As high school seniors, this incident affects us directly because we will enter a university soon. We are aware that racism is everywhere, but we feel that it is not appropriate for it to be on public display in an educational facility that ’embraces’ diversity.

    We are saddened by the fact that a university would allow a student-run organization to print words of hate that will ultimately do nothing but segregate and tear down the student body. We don’t understand how the bigotry that is displayed regularly in the Koala can be so easily disregarded by UCSD leaders and administrators.

    The staff of the Koala is abusing the First Amendment of the Constitution when they infringe on the rights of others. They are actually hiding behind the freedom of speech, as opposed to protecting it.

    The incident that took place today was an example of the chaos that comes from the Koala’s complete ignorance of real freedom and their obvious lack of respect.

    – Jenerra Crenshaw and Yuri Chiba,

    Preuss School students

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