One of my favorite things about the field of journalism is how seamlessly its various appendages — from tabloids to newsletters to WikiLeaks — have historically banded together in vehement defense of their free speech rights. From my experience as a Nexite, I can say our breed is usually no different; we’re a motley crew of eccentric cynics who take our First Amendment rights almost as seriously as we take our coffee addictions. However, it’s recently become apparent that we need to clarify the specific limits of the document we hold so dear. While the U.S. Supreme Court has set a shaky precedent tentatively allowing hate speech under the protection of the First Amendment, this means that we have the option — not the duty — to print opinions based in racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise discriminatory sentiments.
As the unofficial campus newspaper of UCSB, the Nexus has taken on the responsibility of representing the voices of some 20,000 of the country’s most progressive, open-minded students. As such, it’s my opinion that it would be a gross misrepresentation of our student body to allow submissions containing bigoted, offensive hate speech to be printed in our paper. While the Nexus welcomes, encourages and supports opinions from all political and religious perspectives, it would be an insult to the maturity and moral strength of our university to print submissions based on offensive, unscientific assumptions.
I implore those who mask their attempts to dehumanize and discriminate against their peers under the guise of free speech to realize that bigotry is not simply offensive; it is damaging to all progress humanity has made toward tolerance and the Daily Nexus chooses not to participate. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns or feedback and share your voice with the community by sending your opinion submissions to email@example.com.
Editor in chief Katherine Friedman speaks freely and carries a damn big stick.